Graeme Souness blasts Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier over costly ‘mistakes’ during Arsenal defeat

Graeme Souness slammed Illan Meslier as Arsenal smashed Leeds United
Graeme Souness slammed Illan Meslier as Arsenal smashed Leeds United (Picture: Sky Sports)

Graeme Souness slammed Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier over his costly ‘mistakes’ in the Premier League defeat at Arsenal.

Leeds conceded three first-half goals as they slipped to a 4-2 defeat at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang beat France U20 goalkeeper Meslier at the near post to fire Mikel Arteta’s side ahead after 13 minutes.

Meslier conceded a penalty just before half-time after dawdling on the ball and then bringing down the impressive Bukayo Saka, with Aubameyang making no mistake from the spot.

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin added a third for the hosts – Meslier again beaten at his near post – and Aubameyang completed his hat-trick shortly after the break.

Leeds got one back as Pascal Struijk rose well and headed home from a corner and Helder Costa kept the pressure on Arsenal when he beat Bernd Leno with 25 minutes remaining.

But Marcelo Bielsa’s side left themselves too much to do in a first half which saw Meslier make a number of errors.

Meslier endured a difficult match at the Emirates
Meslier endured a difficult match at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)

Speaking at half-time, Souness told Sky Sports: ‘That is a pen – the back pass is perfect, right weight, he has not spun it at him [Meslier], the perfect pass to give him enough time to take a touch and launch it.

‘This is not the first one he has made a bad decision on and that is a penalty all day long.

‘It’s never been more difficult to be a goalkeeper but he’s kicked a couple out of play and he’s had a part in all three goals.

‘The guy has cost Leeds three goals. I’ve seen him do it before, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes.’

Former Leeds United striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink added: ‘He [Aubameyang ] gets the ball where he is dangerous, comes in side and gets his shot away like a normal striker would.

‘He does that really well, they change tempo, make three passes in a short space of time, gets in on his strong left foot and puts it in.

‘But the goalkeeper needs to save that – he [Meslier] gambles, but leaves way too big a space for any striker.’

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