Aubameyang with the match ball

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed his first-ever Premier League hat-trick as Arsenal returned to winning ways in an action-packed match.

Making his first start for a month, the skipper led the line superbly at center-forward, taking his tally to 11 for the season in the process.

But Arsenal had to see off a late Leeds fightback, who struck twice in the second half when Arteta’s team appeared to be cruising at 4-0 up.

Arsenal were good value for the points though, having looked lively from the very start. Emile Smith Rowe and Hector Bellerin both had shots off target before they took the lead.

Despite making five changes, the side was gelling well, and it was a nice move that led to the opener. Gabriel, Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka were involved but all the hard work was done by Aubameyang. He cut in from the left, beat his man then wrong-footed the keeper with a low finish inside the near post.

The skipper had a great chance to double the lead following a marauding run from David Luiz into the box. He picked out Aubameyang with the cutback, but his shot was well blocked by Luke Ayling to deflect the shot over the bar.

Wonderful play between Martin Odegaard and Bukaya Saka looked to have won Arsenal a penalty when the latter was bundled over inside the area. Referee Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot, but somewhat surprisingly, his decision was overturned after VAR intervention.

Justice was done shortly afterward when Saka was again brought down in the box, this time by keeper Illan Meslier, who tripped him after being closed down. Aubameyang made no mistake from 12 yards.

Arsenal were rampant by now – led by Saka. He made another incisive run into the box before the ball fell to Ceballos, who threaded a pass through a defender’s legs into the path of Bellerin to smash home.

Aubameyang completed his hat-trick soon after the break, heading home Smith Rowe’s floated cross to the far post.

As the freezing rain fell, Arsenal were enjoying ourselves, with the movement of the forward players a joy to watch.

Arsenal progress was checked though when Leeds pulled one back through a powerful header from Pascal Strujik from an out-swinging corner.

Odegaard had a fierce shot well saved, though replays suggested he was offside anyway.

But Leeds were full of running after their goal, and further reduced the arrears when Helder Costa smashed home from Tyler Roberts’ cutback.

All of a sudden Leeds were on top. Patrick Bamford had a penalty appeal turned down as the visitors ramped up the pressure.

At the other end, Aubameyang smashed the bar with a superb first-time effort from Granit Xhaka’s pass and Saka also struck the upright as the game opened up even more.