Fulham moved just one point behind Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion after securing back-to-back victories with a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.

Fellow promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest are just one point further back in fourth after they condemned Leeds United to a second straight defeat.

In-form Brentford sit fifth after a thrilling win over Middlesbrough and Preston North End, who complete the top six, won 2-1 at Wigan Athletic.

Elsewhere there were victories for Huddersfield Town, Derby County, Cardiff City and Stoke City, while Barnsley drew 1-1 in their Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday and Reading were held by the same scoreline at home against Hull City.
 

CALAMITOUS CASILLA AT FAULT AS LEEDS LOSE AGAIN

Kiko Casilla made a crucial goalkeeping error for the second week running as Leeds slipped to third defeat in four Championship matches, losing 2-0 at Forest.

After conceding a soft goal in his side's 1-0 defeat at home to QPR a week earlier, Casilla allowed Sammy Ameobi to score with a near-post shot that the former Real Madrid man should have had covered.

Marcelo Bielsa's never recovered and failed to create the glut of chances that have typified their games this season, although Liam Cooper ought to have scored when presented with a free header from which Brice Samba made a one-handed save at the second attempt.

Having weathered some late Leeds pressure, Forest doubled their lead when the excellent Joe Lolley robbed Jack Harrison of possession and ran clean through on goal where he squared to Tyler Walker to score in the last minute of the game.

MITROVIC STRIKE EXTENDS FULHAM'S GOOD FORM

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his 20th Championship goal of the season to earn Fulham the points at Ewood Park that made it four wins out of five in the league for the Cottagers.

Blackburn went into the game undefeated at home since September but were lucky to go in goalless at the break after Bradley Johnson almost turned Joe Bryan's cross into his own net, but Rovers goalkeeper Christian Walton scrambled across to clear the danger.

Fulham kept the pressure on in the second half and Walton made a diving, one-handed save from a Tom Cairney shot 11 minutes after the restart.

There was nothing Walton could do to as Mitrovic latched onto Bryan's cut-back and fired a low shot into the corner of the net from 12 yards to became the first player to reach 20 goals across the top four tiers of English football in 2019-20.

 

WATKINS WINNER KEEPS GRIFFIN PARK BUZZING

Ollie Watkins followed hot on the heels of Mitrovic with his 20th Championship goal of the season and his strike clinched a dramatic 3-2 victory for Brentford over Middlesbrough.

He struck late to settle matters after Boro had twice come from behind to run the Bees close, with Thomas Frank's side hosting Leeds on Tuesday. 

Derby won by the same scoreline at Swansea City, Tom Lawrence proving to be the hero for Phillip Cocu's men. 

West Brom returned to the top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory over Luton Town after Leeds slumped to another stunning home defeat against struggling Wigan Athletic.

Leeds started their clash with third-bottom Wigan holding a two-point lead at the summit, but a Pablo Hernandez own goal was enough for Wigan to pull off a repeat of their victory at Elland Road last season.

A Donervon Daniels own goal and Semi Ajayi's header moved Albion a point clear of Leeds, while Fulham are just three points adrift of Marcelo Bielsa's men following their 3-2 defeat of Huddersfield Town.

Just six points separate the top six following wins for Brentford and Bristol City, with Nottingham Forest slipping to fourth after they went down 2-1 at Birmingham City.

Charlton Athletic's 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Barnsley moved them four points clear of the relegation zone. 

Preston North End were held to a 1-1 home draw Swansea City, while it was also all square in the encounters between Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall and Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers.

DEJA VU AT ELLAND ROAD FOR TOOTHLESS LEEDS

Leeds mounted a storming fightback to beat Millwall in midweek and a home encounter with Wigan appeared to be a great opportunity to build on what was their first win in four league matches.

Yet Wigan inflicted a costly 2-1 defeat late in the Yorkshire club's bid for automatic promotion last year and Paul Cook's side headed back to Lancashire with three precious points again this time around.

Joe Williams' corner deflected off Hernandez and into the net just before the hour-mark and wasteful Leeds were unable to respond, slumping to a third loss in four.

BAGGIES RESPOND, FIVE-STAR BEES THUMP HULL

West Brom were beaten at Cardiff on Tuesday after losing their previous Championship encounter with Stoke City, but there was no slip-up against bottom side Luton at The Hawthorns.

Brentford had failed to score in their previous three matches in all competitions, but Said Benrahma scored a hat-trick as they thrashed Hull City 5-1 at the KC Stadium to move four points behind Leeds.

All five goals came in the first half of Fulham's 3-2 victory over Huddersfield, while Bristol City have won four in a row in the league without conceding following a 1-0 success at QPR.

CHARLTON CLAIM PRECIOUS RARE WIN

Only a second Championship win in 18 games moved Charlton above Stoke, hammered by Derby County on Friday, and Huddersfield.

Lyle Taylor and Andre Green were on target for the Addicks, leaving Barnsley seven points behind a Stoke side sitting just above the bottom three.

Leeds United soared back to the top of the Championship as Patrick Bamford's double inspired a 3-2 victory over Millwall.

Marcelo Bielsa's side had trailed 2-0 early in the game at Elland Road but came roaring back to take the three points, while rivals West Brom tripped up 2-1 at Cardiff City.

Third-placed Nottingham Forest sit just two points adrift of struggling West Brom now, after edging out Brentford.

Wayne Rooney's first goal for Derby County, helped by a big deflection, gave Phillip Cocu's side the lead at Luton Town, but the former England captain finished on the losing side as the Hatters came back to score a 3-2 victory.

Blackburn were 2-1 victors against QPR, Huddersfield Town won 2-1 at Hull City, Bristol City recorded an away-day success at Reading, and lowly Wigan saw Jamal Lowe grab a stoppage-time winner to record a 2-1 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday.

 

BAMFORD THE HERO AS LEEDS RISE AGAIN

It would have been reasonable to ask if the wheels were coming off the Leeds bandwagon when they fell 2-0 behind against Millwall inside 23 minutes, as Shaun Hutchinson and Jed Wallace gave the visitors a dream start.

There have been worrying signs for Bielsa's Leeds in recent weeks but just as thoughts turned to their previous failures to capitalise on strong starts to league campaigns, the West Yorkshire side roused themselves.

Bamford began the recovery by striking from close range in the 48th minute, Pablo Hernandez cracked an equaliser just after the hour, and Bamford had Elland Road rocking when he stooped to head home Luke Ayling's cross to put the hosts ahead.

A 3-2 win, a long-standing rival sunk, a first win of 2020 secured. Crisis? What crisis?

NOW THIS IS A CRISIS: WEST BROM IN TURMOIL

Seven games without a win in the Championship for West Brom spells trouble - and the only saving grace is that they are still in the automatic promotion places.

Any hopes that the weekend win over West Ham in the FA Cup would prove a turning point were soon shattered at Cardiff.

Callum Paterson fired the Bluebirds ahead in the first minute of the second half, and despite Charlie Austin's penalty levelling up the match, Cardiff had the final say.

Lee Tomlin's free-kick was a sublime goal, curled over the West Brom wall and into the top left corner to clinch the points. Luton are next for West Brom, visiting the Hawthorns on Saturday.

 

FOREST EYE RETURN TO PROMISED LAND

It is worth remembering Nottingham Forest have not played Premier League football this century, having been relegated in 1999. Truth is, they have rarely looked like getting back, but maybe their time is approaching.

With the top two having looked suddenly vulnerable over recent weeks, Brentford and Forest have been among the teams making up ground at a rapid rate, which added spice to Tuesday's clash between the clubs.

Joe Lolley's strike made all the difference for Sabri Lamouchi's side, with the former Huddersfield player firing home with the help of a deflection in the 14th minute.

Forest last lost in the league at Huddersfield on December 21, their seven-game unbeaten run raising real hope in Nottingham of a return to the top flight for the former European Cup winners.

Leeds United have signed 19-year-old Ian Poveda from Premier League champions Manchester City.

The England youth international has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with Marcelo Bielsa's side.

Poveda was part of the Arsenal, Barcelona and Brentford academies before joining City in 2016, but he made only one senior appearance for the club, playing in the 1-0 win over Burton Albion in the second leg of last season's EFL Cup semi-final.

The attacking midfielder, who will wear the number seven shirt, is Leeds' second signing of the January transfer window following the arrival of goalkeeper Elia Caprile from Chievo.

Leeds are second in the Championship, a point behind leaders West Brom and three above Fulham in third.

Mikel Arteta is prepared for the possibility of Arsenal not bringing in reinforcements this month after revealing existing negotiations have not progressed in recent days.

Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League with 29 points, 10 fewer than fourth-place Chelsea, leaving the Gunners in real danger of missing out on a Champions Leaguer return and perhaps European football altogether next season.

Since new coach Arteta took over last month, Arsenal have been linked with numerous new players, particularly given their bad luck with injuries.

Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, Thomas Lemar of Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng have all been mentioned as potential targets, with the former the most strongly linked.

But Arteta seems pessimistic about the Gunners' chances in the transfer market.

When asked if Arsenal might not sign anyone this month, Arteta said: "It's a possibility, yeah. Things haven't moved at all since the weekend."

And when quizzed about PSG insisting no offer had been received from Arsenal for Kurzawa, Arteta added: "There is nothing new to say on any individual players and when we have more info, we'll let you know."

One player who has bolstered Arsenal's squad is Eddie Nketiah, the young striker recently returning from an unsuccessful loan spell at Leeds United.

Despite the 20-year-old's difficulties at Elland Road, Arteta previously suggested he can see Nketiah being of use before the end of the season – but the striker has been warned he will only get chances if he proves he deserves them.

"It would depend on the circumstances, the players we have available, his performance, the way he trains, the impact he makes every time he plays," Arteta said.

"He's a young player but I have to try and treat him exactly the same as the other ones. I will put him on the pitch because I think he deserves it.

"The way he trains, the way he shows every day how much he wants it will depend on him."

Leeds United had their promotion hopes dented as they fell to a controversial 1-0 loss at QPR on Saturday.

Marcelo Bielsa's men have only won one of their past seven Championship matches, a streak that started with their astonishing collapse in a 3-3 draw against Cardiff City.

Leaders West Brom can extend their advantage to four points when they host Stoke City on Monday.

Brentford did not take full advantage of Leeds' loss as they drew 0-0 away to Huddersfield Town, meaning Fulham – winners over Middlesbrough on Friday – remain third.

Swansea City's 2-1 home victory over Wigan Athletic saw on-loan Liverpool prospect Rhian Brewster score his first senior goal.

Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City, Derby County, Millwall and Preston North End were the other winning teams, with the 1-1 scoreline between Birmingham City and Cardiff one of only two draws on the day.

 

LEEDS' SLUMP CONTINUES

Nakhi Wells' 20th-minute strike for QPR ultimately proved decisive in London.

Leeds were angry that a handball by Wells as he collected Eberechi Eze's deflected free-kick was not spotted by referee Peter Bankes.

Pablo Hernandez hit the post with a set-piece of his own and Patrick Bamford had a second-half penalty saved by Liam Kelly, who conceded the spot-kick, before Kalvin Phillips received a red card in the closing minutes for a foul on Geoff Cameron.

Leeds' advantage over Fulham has been cut to four points with 18 matches still to play.

 

BRENTFORD HELD AS SWANSEA FIGHT BACK

Brentford started their match knowing a win would put them above Fulham, but they missed the chance to do that and go within three points of Leeds in the process, with Josh Dasilva hitting the post in the closing stages at Huddersfield.

Nottingham Forest have the chance to go level on points with Brentford when they face Luton Town on Sunday, while Swansea sit fifth after coming from behind to beat Wigan.

Nathan Byrne capped a 16th-minute Wigan counter-attack to put the visitors ahead, but Brewster replied inside three minutes before a clever backheel from Andre Ayew after the break won it.

 

WEDNESDAY THUMPED BY BLACKBURN

Wednesday slumped to an astonishing 5-0 home loss against Blackburn, who saw Lewis Holtby score twice.

Massimo Luongo was sent off after Holtby's opener and Wednesday fell apart from there.

Patrick Bauer headed the winner as Preston came from behind to beat Charlton Athletic 2-1 at Deepdale, Josh Harrop having scored a superb leveller.

Millwall are only outside the play-off positions on goal difference after a 2-0 home win over Reading while Derby beat Hull City 1-0, with Bristol City getting the better of Barnsley by the same scoreline after Niclas Eliasson's dramatic winner.

West Brom edged above Leeds United to the top of the Championship on Saturday after Marcelo Bielsa's men were beaten at home by Sheffield Wednesday.

Two late goals saw Leeds fall to a 2-0 Yorkshire derby defeat at Elland Road, which meant West Brom moved to the summit despite dropping points in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic.

Brentford and Fulham are third and fourth respectively after wins over QPR and Hull City, with Nottingham Forest dropping to fifth after they were held to a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Reading.

Bristol City, Birmingham City and Barnsley were the other winners, while there were draws when Blackburn Rovers hosted Preston North End, Middlesbrough took on Derby County and Stoke City faced Millwall.


MISFIRING LEEDS SLIP UP AGAIN

Leeds have only won one of their last seven games in all competitions and now trail West Brom by a point, with Brentford only six points adrift in third.

Bielsa's side looked like they would have to settle for a goalless draw but it got worse when Jacob Murphy scored a goal that goalkeeper Kiko Casilla will not remember fondly with three minutes left.

Atdhe Nuhiu, who had set up the opener, then made the points safe in stoppage time as Wednesday moved up to sixth.

Patrick Bamford had earlier missed a good chance as well as having a strike disallowed for offside, while Jack Harrison was also guilty of not converting a clear opening.

West Brom twice led against Charlton at The Valley but had to settle for a draw courtesy of Josh Davison's first career strike and an own goal from keeper Sam Johnstone, who was trying to keep out Tom Lockyer's header. 

Albion's goals came from a superb Kenneth Zohore effort and a deflected strike from Hal Robson-Kanu.

The two teams also drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture in October, Charlton coming from behind on that occasion too.


BRENTFORD AND FULHAM KEEP UP PRESSURE

Brentford raced into a three-goal lead after 33 minutes at home to QPR, Ollie Watkins heading in his 18th league goal of the season in a 3-1 derby victory at Griffin Park.

An excellent long-range strike from Ivan Cavaleiro, who joined Fulham permanently from Wolves this week, put Scott Parker's men in front against after 29 minutes and that proved to be the only goal of the game.

Forest are a point and a place behind Fulham after a dramatic conclusion to their game at Reading. 

Ben Watson appeared to have given Forest an away victory six minutes into stoppage time but Reading went straight up the other end and Jordan Obita's cross resulted in a costly own goal from Tobias Figueiredo.

Luton Town remain bottom of the table after Gary Gardner's strike earned Birmingham a 2-1 away win. Wigan Athletic lost 2-0 at home to Bristol City and remain in the bottom three along with Barnsley, who won 2-1 at home to Huddersfield Town to move within a point of safety.

Mikel Arteta thinks Arsenal will benefit from having suffered against Leeds United on Monday before his angry half-time team talk sparked an improvement.

The Gunners claimed a 1-0 win at Emirates Stadium thanks to Reiss Nelson's second-half strike against the Championship leaders.

Arsenal were outplayed by the visitors in the first half, with Patrick Bamford hitting the crossbar and Emiliano Martinez making some crucial saves as Leeds fired in 15 shots before the break.

The hosts were vastly improved in the second half and Arteta hopes his players will have learned a lesson from the match.

"Now, I'm really pleased, but we saw two different teams from the first to second half," he told BBC Sport.

"I tried to tell them exactly what they were going to face and after 32 minutes we had won one duel, I think. We changed our attitude, desire and organisation at half-time and then we were completely different.

"Sometimes they have to experience themselves how tough and how hard it is going to be. I watched a lot of Leeds games and they battered every team every three days. It was good for my players to learn and to suffer on the pitch."

Striker Alexandre Lacazette admitted Arteta had some angry words for his players at the interval after 45 minutes in which they had just 37 per cent of the ball.

"The manager shouted a lot," he said. "He was not happy because we knew they'd play like this and we didn't respect what he had said."

Goalscorer Nelson said they were caught unawares by Leeds' high press in the first half but hopes the Gunners will head to Crystal Palace on Saturday with renewed confidence after recording consecutive wins for the first time since October.

"The emotions are high," said the midfielder. "They played well in the first half. Leeds are a great team and they pressed us; we didn't expect it. We got the goal in the end and that is the most important thing.

"This will give us confidence to go forward. We want to go to the Palace game and do well."

Arsenal moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United on Monday.

Mikel Arteta earned his second win as head coach in all competitions thanks to a scrappy finish from Reiss Nelson 10 minutes after the restart.

Championship leaders Leeds had entirely controlled a first half in which Arsenal looked a shadow of the team that played so well in the narrow loss to Chelsea and 2-0 victory over Manchester United recently in the Premier League.

Arteta, though, managed to spark a second-half upturn to secure a fourth-round match away to Bournemouth.

A strong Arsenal side were outplayed in the first 45 minutes at Emirates Stadium, Leeds managing 15 shots and 63 per cent of the ball on the Gunners' own turf.

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved well from Jack Harrison's strike before Patrick Bamford rattled the crossbar from inside the penalty area, as the visitors continued to win the ball back with ease whenever the hosts moved forward.

Martinez had to react brilliantly to make sure Sokratis Papastathopoulos did not turn Luke Ayling's cross into his own net, as the visitors failed to make the most of several good openings.

Arteta's half-time talk clearly got through as Arsenal started the second half on the front foot, and they snatched a fortuitous breakthrough after 55 minutes when Nelson scuffed a finish past Illan Meslier after a cross from Lacazette deflected into his path.

Leeds were now looking unable to cope with a high press and substitute Gabriel Martinelli forced a good save from Meslier, after Lacazette had escaped punishment when VAR reviewed him kicking out at Gaetano Berardi.

What does it mean? Arteta shows he can talk the talk

Such was the difference between Arsenal's performances in the first and second halves that whatever Arteta said to his players should be noted down and taught in coaching classes.

A lifeless, disconnected display turned into a high-pressing and hard-working approach to which Leeds had no answer.

Martinez alone turns up for first half

But for Martinez's excellent first-half saves, this game could have been beyond the Gunners long before Arteta had the chance to lift his players' performance.

Bamford ends with a whimper

Having hit the bar in a promising first half, Bamford grew less and less effective in the second and was mostly a passenger for the final 20 minutes.

Key Opta Facts:

- Arsenal have won eight FA Cup games against Leeds United – only against Wolves and Chelsea (nine each) have the Gunners won more matches in the competition.
- The Gunners remain unbeaten in their last seven matches against Leeds across all competitions (W6 D1), since a 3-2 defeat at Highbury in the Premier League back in May 2003.
- Arsenal have won back-to-back matches in all competitions for the first time since October (vs Standard Liege and Bournemouth), which was also the last time they kept consecutive shut outs.
- Leeds attempted 15 shots in the opening 45 minutes against Arsenal, the joint-most shots the Gunners have faced in the first half of a game this season (also facing 15 in the first half against Liverpool in the Premier League back in August).

What's next?

Arsenal head to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, while Leeds resume their Championship promotion push at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang insists he loves Arsenal and is fully committed to the club amid speculation he wants to leave.

The striker has been linked to sides including Barcelona and Inter as he enters the final 18 months on his Gunners contract.

However, Aubameyang, who has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season, is adamant he wants to help Arsenal return to the top of English football under new head coach Mikel Arteta.

"I really hope that you were proud of us after the [Manchester] United game," Aubameyang wrote in the matchday programme for Monday's FA Cup clash with Leeds United, referring to last weekend's 2-0 Premier League victory over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

"I’m sure you can see what we're trying to do on the pitch, that you can see improvement in our performances and now it has materialised with a deserved win on Wednesday. 

"The atmosphere was exceptional. When you are on the pitch and you feel the crowd roaring after every run, every tackle, every duel and after every chance, it gives you such a boost mentally. The Emirates [Stadium] felt like a fortress. 

"You were our 12th man and I felt like Manchester United could have played for hours and they would have never scored. I really hope it will be like that until the end of the season. All together, we can have a great 2020! We need to be united more than ever.

"I would also like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about me in the media. People like making up stories and they should focus on what's happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in! 

"I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs."

Arsenal's win over United was their first under Arteta, who took over the permanent head coach role last month after Unai Emery was sacked in November.

It was also their first victory since a 3-1 defeat of West Ham on December 9.

Mikel Arteta intends to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal captain despite the striker being linked with a move away from the club.

Aubameyang was handed the armband when Granit Xhaka was stripped of the role by Arteta's predecessor Unai Emery.

However, with Aubameyang's contract set to expire in 2021 and talks with the club over an extension said to have broken down, the Gabon international is reportedly a target for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter.

Aubameyang has told RMC he is "100 per cent" at Arsenal despite the speculation, while Arteta has consistently said he expects to keep hold of the 30-year-old.

"At the moment, I think everything is okay," Arteta told reporters of Arsenal's captaincy situation ahead of Monday's FA Cup tie at home to Leeds United.

"It's not the time for me to change things in place now because I haven't seen the real things to make those decisions.

"But the more stability we generate with our captain – and players in the squad - the more clarity we're going to have to transmit to the fans what we're trying to do."

Xhaka led a captaincy group also featuring Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil, with Arteta offering insight on what he expects from the club's leaders.

"I've been in clubs where we had four or five captains. It's more a leadership group than captains," added the ex-Gunners skipper.

"In the end, one guy wears the armband. After that, the team picks the leaders. When someone talks, they listen - or they're looking at the roof. That's when you see.

"Leadership is related to how a team lives together. Different groups - with different leaders that are not in the best, common interest of the group - is what I want to avoid.

"We have some who are more leaders on the pitch, some more outside the pitch. We want to bring them all together.

"The staff are very important as well. Players don't live alone in the training ground. They're constantly interacting with a lot of the staff. The leadership has to come from a lot of people in the building."

Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 at home in their last game to earn Arteta's first win.

Ezgjan Alioski rekindled the rivalry between Leeds United and Manchester United by claiming the Championship leaders could beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's under-achieving side.

As Leeds prepare to face Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on Monday, Alioski was asked whether they could announce themselves to the Premier League by beating a team who triumphed over the Red Devils 2-0 on New Year's Day.

The Macedonia international's response would have been music to the ears of the Leeds faithful, and it came 10 years and a day after the club - then in League One - claimed a famous 1-0 FA Cup victory at Old Trafford.

Alioski told reporters that Arteta's achievement in beating Solskjaer's men left him undaunted, saying: "Of course, I saw the result against Manchester United.

"But this Manchester United from this year, even we can beat them."

Alioski said a return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence would restore Leeds' status as one of England's top clubs and underlined his team-mates' commitment to the philosophy of head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The former Argentina, Chile and Marseille boss has delivered the most attractive football Elland Road has enjoyed since the club was in the Champions League, and Alioski attributed the transformation to the 64-year-old.

"If we were in the Premier League, Leeds would be one of the biggest clubs," Alioski opined. "The only difference is they [Arsenal] are in the Premier League and we are in the Championship.

"We are going to go there to play this football that Marcelo Bielsa wants. Since he has arrived, Marcelo Bielsa has let Leeds dream again.

"I arrived two-and-a-half years ago. Mostly the same team is here, Marcelo Bielsa kept the same team and everyone can see what Leeds changed and how we improved with him."

Marcelo Bielsa insists Mikel Arteta has more credentials than just being a previous member of Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Manchester City.

Arteta took over as Arsenal head coach in December following the dismissal of Unai Emery, the former midfielder leaving his position as Guardiola's assistant at the Premier League champions to take over at his old club.

The Gunners drew their first match under Arteta against Bournemouth before going down to Chelsea in his second game, though he claimed his first victory with a 2-0 win over Manchester United on New Year's Day.

Arsenal host Leeds United in the FA Cup third round on Monday, with Arteta praising Bielsa in his pre-match news conference.

Bielsa, returning the favour, believes Arteta has the potential to become a great coach on his own merit.

"I think that Guardiola is the best manager in the world and as a great manager of course he distributes responsibility to his staff," Bielsa told a news conference when asked how much impact Guardiola will have had on Arteta.

"Arteta's position on his staff was tough. It was important work, an important job. Arsenal didn't choose him just because he was a member of staff for Guardiola. This is just one fact. He is a person that has more qualities.

"The profile of one person depends on the job you have. If you are a manager, you have more media [attention]; if you are an assistant, you have less.

"When Arsenal play more matches, we are going to see more of the manager. In three matches, all he can do is try to get results. To make changes, you need a process and to keep doing this for a long time, but I can imagine how Arteta works."

One player who has already seemingly benefitted from Arteta's introduction at Arsenal has been Nicolas Pepe, who put in an impressive display against United, scoring the Gunners' opener eight minutes in.

Bielsa, who coached Pepe at Lille, believes the winger – who has so far failed to recapture the form he showed in Ligue 1 last term – will go on to prove his quality in the Premier League.

"Pepe is a great player with big resources and he is a goalscorer," Bielsa added. 

"He's a player who is able to unbalance a match. Obvious skills, then you have all of these skills in one player. It's just a matter of time to show those skills.

"He has shown them clearly. One thing is to have the skills, another is to have the skills and show it on the pitch. He does both. He has clearly shown his skills and is at a club where he deserves to be."

Calum Chambers required surgery on the knee injury he sustained against Chelsea and Mikel Arteta suggested that may push Arsenal into the January transfer market.

Defender Chambers was forced off after an awkward fall in the 23rd minute of Arsenal's 2-1 Premier League loss to the Blues at Emirates Stadium on December 29, reportedly damaging his anterior cruciate ligament.

Arteta was unable to provide a timescale for when the 24-year-old may return to action and hinted bolstering his squad may be more of a priority in January.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for Dayot Upamecano, though RB Leipzig are said to be demanding £80million for the centre-back.

"[Chambers] is in London, having surgery...It's not looking good," said the Arsenal coach.

"We're going to be in the market to see for options that can strengthen the team. That's for sure, that's our obligation. We're going to be working on that.

"Obviously, we had a bad injury with Calum, that's going to change our plans at the back. But the reality at the moment is we're not going to be able to do much.

"I'm more concerned at the moment to get people back from injuries than signings, and trying to improve the players we have here, get everybody on board with what we're trying to do.

"If something extra comes up and we think it's the right opportunity, let's do it."

Arteta claimed his first win at the helm by overseeing a 2-0 victory over Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, but he welcomed a short break in the wake of the festive period.

The Gunners are not in action again until Monday, when they host Leeds United in the FA Cup third round.

"At the moment we're managing a lot of injuries, we haven't been able to rotate the team a lot. We survived. I was a little bit scared [against United], we could expose a few players and get some injuries," said Arteta.

"We went through the game and we suffered but I think all the teams in the Premier League at the moment are in the same position. We went through it, we suffered together and now we have a few days to recover."

Eddie Nketiah's loan spell at Leeds United has been cut short, with the forward to return to Arsenal in January.

Nketiah, 20, joined Leeds on a season-long loan in August last year, but only made two Championship starts, with 15 appearances coming off the bench.

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa confirmed on Wednesday that Nketiah would be returning to Arsenal this month.

"Arsenal have informed he will not continue with us and we are sorry for that," he said.

"Eddie arrived at Leeds when the Championship had started and had to spend time adapting to our style.

"He wasn't part of the 11 starting and it wasn't something easy for him because he deserved to be there, but was on the bench for [Patrick] Bamford.

"After he played against Fulham, he became one of the starting 11 players for Birmingham. We know that Bamford was injured in this match, but he was going to play anyway and today he played again because he played well against Birmingham and did a great physical effort.

"He didn't take this decision, but he's a great player, excellent professional and had very good behaviour – a gentleman in every sense.

"We are grateful with him, also to his family and his club. They developed Eddie with a very good education and for this reason it's a pity he leaves us because we were happy with him."

Nketiah's two Championship starts for Leeds came in his two most recent appearances.

He scored three Championship goals and netted twice in the EFL Cup for the league leaders.

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