Live Blog

Matchday LIVE: Arsenal smash Leeds as Martinelli stars, Barcelona & Juventus also claim wins

Take a look back at the key incidents from Saturday's matches, with the Gunners having hammered Leeds and Barcelona narrowly beating Elche

Updated
Bukayo Saka Kieran Tierney Arsenal 2021-22
Getty Images

Thank you and good bye

2021-12-18T20:00:00.000Z

And with that, we bring the curtain down on another GOAL Matchday Live - and there has been no shortage of action.

Borussia Dortmund blew a chance to cut the gap to Bayern Munich against Hertha Berlin, Barcelona were forced to see off a scare by Elche, and Juventus made relatively light work in the fog of Bologna.

But Arsenal are truly moving into their own once more under Mikel Arteta, it seems, with a major victory over Leeds - and it leaves both clubs spinning towards opposite ends of the table.

Until the next time, thank you for joining us - and have a good time.

Gavi
Getty Images

Whites slip to worrying low

2021-12-18T19:45:00.000Z

FT: Leeds 1-4 Arsenal

The gap widens

2021-12-18T19:40:00.000Z

FT: Hertha 3-2 Dortmund

Allegri maintains brilliant Bologna record

2021-12-18T19:35:00.000Z

FT: Bologna 0-2 Juventus

FT: Hertha 3-2 Dortmund

2021-12-18T19:28:00.000Z

There goes the final whistle of the day in the Bundesliga - and it's an upset in the capital!

Borussia Dortmund have failed to get the edge on Hertha Berlin, who fight back from an early concession to claim a big win against the Black and Yellow.

Frustration for the visitors as they head into the festive period.

FT: Leeds 1-4 Arsenal

2021-12-18T19:23:00.000Z

The final whistle goes and it can't have come soon enough for Leeds United.

Arsenal are victorious, delivering another hammer-blow to the underpowered Whites, who have now shipped almost a dozen goals in two games.

But it is youth that rules the day for the Gunners. Mikel Arteta will be delighted.

FT: Barcelona 3-2 Elche

2021-12-18T19:22:00.000Z

It's all over in La Liga - and Nico Gonzalez has kept the blushes away for Barcelona!

Until that rapid-fire double concession, it had been a celebration of youthful talents for the Blaugrana, but they were forced to dig themselves out of danger against Elche.

A deep breath for Xavi. They needed that one.

GOAL: Leeds 1-4 Arsenal

2021-12-18T19:15:00.000Z

(Emile Smith Rowe)

And that is that!

Emile Smith Rowe ensures that there will be no late rally on the scoreboard for Leeds by sticking in Arsenal's fourth of the night.

The Gunners have had a whole roster of great performances tonight, which will please Mikel Arteta no end.

GOAL: Hertha 3-2 Dortmund

2021-12-18T19:13:00.000Z

(Steffen Tigges)

What a nailbiter finale we've got in store in the Bundesliga!

Borussia Dortmund strike back to cut the gap to one now, with a handful of minutes left on the clock too.

Steffen Tigges is the man to deliver the lifeline for the Black and Yellow.

GOAL: Barcelona 3-2 Elche

2021-12-18T19:10:00.000Z

(Nico Gonzalez)

Barcelona might have won it in the closing stages in La Liga!

Nico Gonzalez could well have ridden to the rescue for the Blaugrana, with five minutes and added time on the clock.

They retake the lead once more, at Camp Nou.

Nico Gonzalez Barcelona 2021-22
Getty Images

GOAL: Leeds 1-3 Arsenal

2021-12-18T19:05:00.000Z

(Raphinha)

Penalty to Leeds - and it is a former Whites favourite who does Arsenal dirty!

Ben White lunges in and catches Joe Gelhardt, to give away the spot-kick.

Up steps Raphinha and the Brazilian dispatches it effortlessly, to add something for the hosts to cheer about.

GOAL: Hertha 3-1 Dortmund

2021-12-18T19:00:00.000Z

(Marco Richter)

It's all falling apart for Borussia Dortmund!

Marco Richter bags a brace for Hertha Berlin and that could well be game, set and match in the Bundesliga!

Not the night at the office the Black and Yellow had planned for sure.

FT: Bologna 0-2 Juventus

2021-12-18T18:52:00.000Z

There goes the final whistle in Serie A and it is a strong win for Juventus, who down Bologna without too much trouble.

Goals for Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado sees them snap up three crucial points on the road.

The Bianconeri will be delighted with that one.

GOAL: Barcelona 2-2 Elche

2021-12-18T18:50:00.000Z

(Pere Milla)

We didn't think it would be that quick!

Barely a minute after getting themselves on the scoreboard, Elche have pulled level against Barcelona!

Pere Milla strikes to do the damage and now the Blaugrana are back on level terms in the blink of an eye!

GOAL: Barcelona 2-1 Elche

2021-12-18T18:49:00.000Z

(Tete Morente)

Is the comeback on for Elche?

Tete Morente strikes to pull one back for the visitors at Camp Nou.

Barcelona will have to be wary here for a quick equaliser.

GOAL: Hertha 2-1 Dortmund

2021-12-18T18:47:00.000Z

(Marco Richter)

What a turnaround in the Bundesliga!

Marco Richter strikes and suddenly, Hertha Berlin are on top against Borussia Dortmund!

Major frustration for the Black and Yellow. They have to fight back now to pick up a point on the road.

GOAL: Hertha 1-1 Dortmund

2021-12-18T18:41:00.000Z

(Ishak Belfodil)

A blow to the visitors' hopes of keeping pace near the Bundesliga summit!

Ishak Belfodil levels for Hertha Berlin and the hosts pull Borussia Dortmund back onto equal terms.

The ex-Hoffenheim man frustrates the Black and Yellow.

Back underway

2021-12-18T18:35:00.000Z

Leeds 0-3 Arsenal

Back to action stations across Europe now - the second halves are underway in England, Germany and Spain.

Leeds will just hope they can get to the end without losing anyone else to injury.

Arsenal will just hope they can score even more.

GOAL: Bologna 0-2 Juventus

2021-12-18T18:30:00.000Z

(Juan Cuadrado)

The fog never bothered Juan Cuadrado anyway!

The Colombian doubles Juventus' lead and possibly puts this game to bed at close-range now, with over two-thirds of the match gone.

The Bianconeri cement their control against Bologna. It remains hard to see out there, so much that the goalscorer appears to run to celebrate with an opposition player before realising he's got the wrong man.

Juventus celebrating 2021-22
Getty Images

Gunners pepper woeful Whites for record

2021-12-18T18:25:00.000Z

HT: Leeds 0-3 Arsenal

HT: Leeds 0-3 Arsenal

2021-12-18T18:20:00.000Z

HT: Barcelona 2-0 Elche, Hertha 0-1 Dortmund

The whistle goes in three games in three countries - and there are three very happy sides heading into the sheds.

Borussia Dortmund have earned a hard-fought lead over Hertha Berlin, and Barcelona's youthful one-two punch has put them on top against Elche.

But Arsenal are absolutely mopping the floor with Leeds United in West Yorkshire. On the back of the latter's midweek result, it's another slap in the face of their football ethos.

Much more to come, you'd imagine.

GOAL: Leeds 0-3 Arsenal

2021-12-18T18:12:00.000Z

(Bukayo Saka)

This is all getting rather hard to watch for Leeds United fans now.

Arsenal are in cruise control heading up to the break, and now add a third to punish their underpowered hosts even more.

Once again, the Whites can't dig themselves cleanly out of danger in their box and following some loose passes, Bukayo Saka squeezes a finish in at the near post.

GOAL: Hertha 0-1 Dortmund

2021-12-18T18:01:00.000Z

(Julian Brandt)

Borussia Dortmund make it three favourites from three on song in this latest batch of kick-offs!

The visitors nab the lead in the Bundesliga, with Julian Brandt doing the damage.

Hertha will feel hard done by there, given they have had their own chances too.

GOAL: Leeds 0-2 Arsenal

2021-12-18T17:59:00.000Z

(Gabriel Martinelli)

What an absolute peach of a finish that is - and Arsenal and Gabriel Martinelli have double delights at Elland Road!

He's already got one but the 20-year-old makes it two for the evening in West Yorkshire as he times a super run through, latches onto the ball, shrugs off the defender and lofts it above Illan Meslier.

This could be another rough match for the Whites.

GOAL: Barcelona 2-0 Elche

2021-12-18T17:49:00.000Z

(Gavi)

Double the pleasure for Barcelona in almost as many minutes!

Gavi stretches the hosts' lead to two goals inside 20 minutes, only moments after his team-mate opened the scoring, with his first goal in La Liga for the club.

Elche are facing a tough day at the office already.

GOAL: Barcelona 1-0 Elche

2021-12-18T17:47:00.000Z

(Ferran Jutlga)

Youth leads the way for Barcelona - and it puts them in front on the scoreboard too!

Ferran Jutlga nabs the opener for the Blaugrana, paying off Xavi's faith in his skills up front at Camp Nou today.

He's mobbed by his delighted team-mates. An early lead is secured for the hosts.

GOAL: Leeds 0-1 Arsenal

2021-12-18T17:46:00.000Z

(Gabriel Martinelli)

The pressure has stemmed from the visitors - and now the Gunners get their shot in the back of the net!

Gabriel Martinelli sweeps a finish over Illan Meslier after Leeds scramble and fail to defuse the danger of the ball around the edge of the box, possession pinging between Arsenal players as they go down one after the other.

Mikel Arteta nods approvingly in the mist.

HT: Bologna 0-1 Juventus

2021-12-18T17:45:00.000Z

There goes the whistle for the break - and it is the boys from Turin who are on top in Serie A.

Alvaro Morata's rich vein of form continues to prove a boon to Juventus, who lead this fog-shrouded clash thank to his finish.

Bologna remain in touching distance though, setting up a tasty second-half.

KO: Leeds v Arsenal

2021-12-18T17:30:00.000Z

Barcelona v Elche, Hertha v Dortmund

If the fog is thick in Italy, it's almost as bad in England. Elland Road is absolutely swamped in it.

But Arsenal can see Leeds United and they're not going to let them out of their sight. We're underway in our lone Premier League game!

Elsewhere, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund have both kicked off against Elche and Hertha Berlin too.

Morata hits hard

2021-12-18T17:15:00.000Z

Bologna 0-1 Juventus

GOAL: Bologna 0-1 Juventus

2021-12-18T17:06:00.000Z

(Alvaro Morata)

First blood to the Bianconeri - though there is a question whether Bologna actually saw it coming, given how thick the fog is across the pitch.

Alvaro Morata strokes home a neat pass at close-range, to earn the plaudits of his team-mates for another clinical finish.

Juventus take an early lead, and Max Allegri nods approvingly.

Morata Bologna Juventus Serie A
Getty

KO: Bologna v Juventus

2021-12-18T17:00:00.000Z

Winter has well and truly come this weekend across Europe. It might not be snowing but a thick, cold fog has cast its spell over Italy.

In Serie A, Juventus are just getting underway against Bologna. We'll have updates throughout from this one.

Do not adjust your set

2021-12-18T16:55:00.000Z

Leeds v Arsenal

MIA

2021-12-18T16:50:00.000Z

Leeds v Arsenal

But the temptation of history aside, there are no other top-flight games in England today. Before the dawn, there was meant to be two - but on this fog-shrouded Yorkshire evening, Leeds and Arsenal remain the last clubs standing.

Aston Villa were forced to postpone against Burnley after a late spate of positive Covid-19 tests, joining four more games on the sidelines, including Manchester United against Brighton, Southampton versus Brentford, Crystal Palace's trip to Watford and West Ham's encounter with Norwich.

There may be an unexpectedly high viewing figure turnout for this one.

Ronaldo Manchester United 2021
Getty

History waiting for Whites starlet?

2021-12-18T16:45:00.000Z

Leeds v Arsenal

There's a bitter irony in that one of the two teams who actually get onto the field today is the side with arguably the worst injury record in the Premier League this term.

Fresh from a 7-0 rout against Manchester City in midweek, Leeds United remain without talismanic faces all over the shop, from England duo Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford through Spanish pair Diego Llorente and Rodrigo.

But they could make history tonight, with teenager Archie Gray named on the bench. The 15-year-old would become the youngest player in Premier League history if he gets on the pitch.

Today's order of play

2021-12-18T16:32:00.000Z

There's just one headline match from the Premier League today, but it could well prove to be a fruitful one. Mikel Arteta's Arsenal have made the journey up the M1 to face Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United - and the hosts are out to deliver a dramatic response to their current plight.

Elsewhere, European action is on the cards too, with Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Barcelona all looking to get themselves on track too. It might be a short bill, but there's plenty of headline faces about.

Today's order of play is as follows:

1700: Bologna v Juventus
1730: Leeds United v Arsenal
1730: Barcelona v Elche
1730: Hertha Berlin v Borussia Dortmund

(All times GMT)

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United 2021-22
Getty Images

๐ŸŽ‰ โšฝ๏ธ Welcome to GOAL Matchday Live! โšฝ๏ธ ๐ŸŽ‰

2021-12-18T16:30:00.000Z

Hello and welcome to GOAL Matchday Live - our rolling blog coverage of all the biggest beats and hottest games across Europe this weekend!

It's as Elton John once said - we're still standing! But only just in the Premier League, with over half of the English top-flight's games this weekend forced off amid the surge of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant.

Only hours before kick-off, Aston Villa and Burnley's clash became the latest to be postponed, leaving just one match across the country standing today. Let's hope it can live up to the billing of five more that are missing in action!

Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2021-22
Getty Images