Arsenal 2 Leeds United 0: Kalvin Phillips is back but Eddie Nketiah punishes former team-mates in Carabao Cup

Leeds United’s Carabao Cup run is over for another year after a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in a real game of two halves at the Emirates.

Leeds impressed in the first half but substitute Calum Chambers put Arsenal ahead with a header from a corner in the 55th minute, netting with his first touch of the game and 23 seconds after coming on.

After a header from captain Liam Cooper to Illan Meslier fell short, former Whites loanee Eddie Nketiah then doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 69th minute and more or less ended the contest there and then.

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Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa made four changes to his side and handed a debut to 19-year-old right back Cody Drameh but fielded a strong team that featured England international midfielder Kalvin Phillips on his return from injury.

Look who's back - Kalvin Phillips for Leeds at Arsenal (Pictures: Bruce Rollinson)

Arsenal initially began well, a last-ditch tackle from Diego Llorente stopping Ainsley Maitland-Niles from bursting into the area before a Saed Kolasinac shot was deflected wide.

But Leeds gradually began to go through the gears and squandered a great chance in the 18th minute when Diego Llorente’s raking pass played in Dan James whose poke at goal was saved by ‘keeper Bernd Leno.

Nine minutes later, the Arsenal custodian pulled off a terrific stop to save a powerful half-volley from Jack Harrison that was destined for the bottom right corner.

A much easier save to keep out a spinning James shot from the edge of the box followed soon after.

Familiar face: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal proved to be a handful for Liam Cooper and Leeds United in the Carabao Cup last night. It was from a mistake by Cooper that Nketiah capitalised to score the Gunners’ second and put the tie beyond the Whites’ reach.(Pictures: Bruce Rollinson)

But Arsenal created their best opening yet just before the interval when Emile Smith Rowe sliced a shot over and the tide was about to turn after a flurry of substitutions.

The Gunners began the second half on the front foot and Bielsa then brought on exciting teen forward Joe Gelhardt for Roberts seven minutes after the restart. Two minutes later, the Gunners lost White to injury, Chambers brought on in his place.

And it was Chambers who fired Arsenal into the lead as a corner caused chaos and the centre-back’s header trickled over the line past Meslier.

Whites club captain Cooper then replaced Llorente but Leeds struggled to get going and a poor header from Cooper paved the way for Nketiah to double Arsenal’s lead in the 69th minute.

Gabriel Martinelli and Crysencio Summerville. as Arsenal beat Leeds United. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Cooper tried to guide a high ball back to Meslier but failed to put enough power in his header and Nketiah raced on to the ball and rounded Meslier before squeezing the ball home.

Leeds looked to respond but the damage was done and Arsenal went close to adding a third in the 89th minute when Alexandre Lacazette fired a fierce shot over the bar.

Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, White (Chambers 55), Holding (Tavares 76), Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny (Lokonga 72), Pepe, Smith Rowe (Lacazette 72), Martinelli, Nketiah. Unused substitutes: Ramsdale, Partey, Saka, Salah-Eddine, Balogun.

Leeds United: Meslier, Drameh, Llorente (Cooper 59), Struijk, Dallas, Phillips, Forshaw (Klich 46), Roberts (Gelhardt 53), James (Summerville 70), Harrison, Rodrigo (Greenwood 70). Unused substitutes: Klaesson, Hjelde, Cresswell, McKinstry.

Referee: Andre Marriner.