Date:Sunday January 9 2011
Leeds United once again came within a whisker of causing the shock of the FA Cup third round.
Last season Leeds knocked out Manchester United at Old Trafford at this stage and only a Cesc Fabregas penalty in the final minute denied them after Robert Snodgrass had fired Leeds into the lead from the penalty spot.
Simon Grayson made three changes from the side beaten at Cardiff in midweek, Alex Bruce replaced Neil Collins in defence and Sanchez Watt and Luciano Becchio replaced Billy Paynter and Ross McCormack in attack.
The early parts of the game saw both teams sounding each other out without either managing to take charge.
The chances started to come for the home side, Schmeichel did well to smother an Arshavin effort when the striker was through on goal and then he produced a good save to deny the same player.
Leeds captain John Howson twice came to their rescue, when he cleared off the line twice in the space of seconds.
Schmeichel was in great form in the Leeds goal and he did well to keep out a swerving shot from Denilson.
Leeds best chance of the first half was when Becchio found space behind the Arsenal defence but Szczesny came out to block his effort.
Bendtner had the last chance of the first half but once again, Schmeichel was equal to his effort and sent the sides in goalless at half time.
Leeds took the lead nine minutes into the second half, a good passage of play by Leeds eventually saw the ball fall to Gradel inside the area and he was unceremoniously brought down by Denilson in the area to earn a penalty.
Robert Snodgrass kept his cool to beat Szczesny from the spot despite the Arsenal keeper getting a hand to the ball.
Arsenal were struggling to find a way through a solid Leeds defence and Schmeichel was having a fairly quiet second half.
Arsene Wenger decided to change things for the home side on the hour when he brought in club captain Cesc Fabregas to try to get the home side going.
Leeds almost doubled their lead just past the hour, Becchio got a firm head to a Snodgrass corner and Szczesny made a fine diving save.
Snodgrass also went close when his long-range free kick went just wide of the post with Szczesny well beaten.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Simon Grayson set out his stall for the rest of the game when he brought on another defender, Leigh Bromby in place of Sanchez Watt.
Arsenal by now had brought on Theo Walcott in search of an equaliser; Bendtner had their first real sight of goal in the second half when he headed over the bar.
The Leeds defence was still standing strong and Andy O`Brien and Alex Bruce were rocks at the heart of the Leeds defence.
O`Brien denied both Arshavin and Bendtner in the space of minutes as the home side and fans started to get frustrated.
Walcott had a great chance to equalise but his weak lob was straight at Schmeichel.
Arsenal thought they had a penalty with just three minutes remaining when Walcott went down in the area. Referee Phil Dowd appeared to point to the penalty spot but then changed his mind following his assistant raising his flag for an offside that happened after the initial tackle.
Leeds relief was short lived and again it was another penalty incident.
This time Ben Parker pulled back Theo Walcott as the winger went through on goal and Dowd pointed to the spot.
Cesc Fabregas drilled his penalty straight down the middle of goal with Schmeichel diving to his left.
It set up a nervy final few minutes of added time and Arsenal almost stole it when Denilson saw his shot fantastically turned around the post by Schmeichel.
Bendtner headed over from the corner and that was to be the last meaningful effort of the game.
Both sides will now meet at Elland Road in a replay with no date yet announced.
Szczesny, Gibbs, Djourou, Squillaci, Eboue, Denilson, Rosicky (Vela 79), Bendtner, Chamakh (Walcott 68), A. Song (Fabregas 59),
Subs not used
Fabianski, Ramsey, Clichy, Miquel
Schmeichel, Connolly, O`Brien, Bruce, Parker, Howson, Johnson, Snodgrass, Gradel (Hughes 90), Watt (Bromby 76), Becchio (Somma 85)
Subs not used
Higgs, Collins, McCormack, Paynter
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Date:Sunday January 9 2011
|18. Leeds Utd||5||2||0||3||-5||6|
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