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Mikel Arteta rates Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard’s full Arsenal debut after Leeds United win


Mikel Arteta praised Martin Odegaard’s full Arsenal debut against Leeds United (Pictures: Getty)

Mikel Arteta insists he was impressed by Martin Odegaard after the Real Madrid loanee helped Arsenal beat Leeds United 4-2 on his full Gunners debut.

Odegaard arrived at the Emirates last month from Spanish giants Real and featured in the recent draw with Manchester United and defeat to Aston Villa, albeit only from the bench.

The Norway international was handed his first start for Arsenal on Sunday and helped Arteta’s side beat Leeds 4-2 to climb above their rivals in the table.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted his first Premier League hat-trick and Hector Bellerin also got on the scoresheet on an entertaining afternoon in north London.

Asked to rate Odegaard’s display, Arteta said: ‘Big credit to him. His first Premier League start against Leeds, considering he’s not played much football in three months, he was great.

‘To run the way he did, the way he was comfortable and creative on the ball and the personality he showed was great.’

Odegaard helped Arsenal beat Leeds 4-2 (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal took a 4-0 lead over Leeds before the visitors briefly threatened to mount an unlikely comeback with two second-half goals.

Gunners boss Arteta added: ‘I’m very pleased with the result and very, very happy with the performance against a fantastic team that makes life so difficult for you.

‘We handled the situations well. At half time I told them there’s a team that will never give up and throw everything at you.

‘They made it hard. You have 45 minutes – every action you have to be on full gas. You have 15 minutes’ break then it’s another 45 minutes.’

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, meanwhile, said: ‘In the first half we should have prevented them scoring three goals, if we were more organised in possession we could have had a different result.

‘In the second half we shortened the margin with two goals but conceded the fourth goal and we had chances to score the third which means the ending of the game could have been different.’

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