MOT View: Rasmus Kristensen proves Jesse Marsch right at Leeds United with superb first-half showing v Arsenal
Rasmus Kristensen enjoyed a superb first half for Leeds United v Arsenal and managed to keep Gabriel Martinelli quiet at Elland Road.
After the bizarre power cut delay at Elland Road, Leeds eventually got underway against Arsenal and made a frantic start.
The Whites went toe-to-toe with the league leaders and started with great intensity, but Bukayo Saka handed the visitors a lead after half an hour.
Arsenal made a number of counter-attacks, but Kristensen did superbly on the right flank to keep Arsenal star Martinelli quiet.
With Luke Ayling now back fit, Jesse Marsch has faced a number of questions over the right-back position and who will be his first choice. Based on Kristensen’s first-half performance v Arsenal, he made the right call.
Ayling will have to wait
Kristensen has been a huge presence for Leeds since he moved to EllandRoad from Red Bull Salzburg in the summer, and he deserves plenty of credit for Leeds’ improved defence this season.
The only match Kristensen has missed this season was against Brentford, when the Bees out five past Leeds. That speaks volumes about his impact at right-back.
Admittedly, Ayling possibly offers more of a threat down the right wing, but the two are incomparable defensively.
Leeds have maintained their high-octane, high-energy style under Marsch, and Kristensen’s defensive abilities provide a reliable foundation for the team to fall back on when the ball is lost.
Martinelli is enjoying a superb start to the season with the Gunners, but he’s possibly facing his toughest opposition so far in the shape of Kristensen.
Should the imposing Dane keen up this form, then Ayling will have to be patient and wait his turn to return to the starting lineup.
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