Arsenal rating win in bizarre Brighton rivalry with hosts wanting toothless
Tuesday evening noticed sixteenth place within the Premier League host fifteenth.
At this level of the season, it is not surprising to see Brighton near the relegation zone. For all their endurance and class on the ball, little of it’s punctuated with real goalscoring menace. After they concede late on by means of a second of ill-judgement, like they did at West Ham having led twice within the recreation, it is not precisely shocking.
Arsenal’s type, nonetheless, has been shocking and surprising. The run all through November and December has had followers tearing their hair out, with a choose few who shall stay anonymous swearing and effing and jeffing with all of the cohesion of a cow making an attempt to clarify to a commuter when the subsequent practice at a station is because of arrive, all of the whereas screaming ‘ARTETA OUT’.
However Tuesday evening supplied up just a few different intriguing pre-match storylines. An odd rivalry has emerged between Brighton and Arsenal, giving a tasty edge to a match already massively vital for either side’ prospects.
The Seagulls had taken 11 factors from their six Premier League matches in opposition to the Gunners earlier than the midweek conflict, doing the double over the north Londoners final season. Neal Maupay scored in each fixtures and was the pantomime villain on the Amex in June, clattering into Bernd Leno and inflicting the goalkeeper to be stretchered off earlier than scoring the winner within the ninety fifth minute.
The previous Brentford star additionally wound up Matteo Guendouzi to the purpose the place the pair got here to blows after the match. Guendouzi did not play for Arsenal once more in the course of the closing phases of the 2019/20 season and was loaned out to Hertha BSC in October.
On paper, sixteenth versus fifteenth isn’t one to look out for. Perhaps on the finish of Match of the Day if you have not fallen asleep but.
However with Arsenal’s poor type – considerably addressed by their 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Boxing Day – and Brighton’s surprisingly glorious file in opposition to them, Tuesday evening was not a fixture to overlook. Or at the very least that was the preliminary thought earlier than the sport.
The groups unsurprisingly stunk of festive interval rotation – Brighton lining up with out a recognised striker with first league begins of the season handed to Bernardo, Alexis Mac Allister and Davy Propper, and Arsenal providing younger expertise like Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka the chance to supply the match once more Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with probabilities up entrance.
Regardless of the modifications made by Graham Potter, it was the Seagulls who made headway first, protecting possession ticking over and offering probabilities for Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Dan Burn. The Gunners, alternatively, sat again and appeared to counter with the tempo Martinelli, Saka and Aubameyang all supplied on the break.
The opening sequences of the primary half had been full of the 2 groups feeling one another out, although Aubameyang’s presence in a central function did make the Gunners really feel extra threatening, even when they usually failed to select the promising runs he and his fellow attackers had been making.
We all know Arsenal are in a rut, and it is definitely lots nicer to see the youthful trio behind Aubameyang slightly than the likes of Willian or Nicolas Pepe, however the menace wasn’t there. They had been outshot eight to 1 within the first half, and had just a little little bit of luck gone in opposition to them would have been heading down the tunnel a objective down.
Yves Bissouma was the one standout participant from that opening interval, always wanting assured on the ball and hoovering up something unfastened.
A change in method noticed Arsenal obtain extra of the ball within the second half, and their fast, zippy play noticed them rewarded when Saka left Dan Burn for useless and fed substitute Alexandre Lacazette, who curled in on the close to publish for his fifth Premier League objective of the season.
With Arsenal asserting themselves extra, Brighton crept again into their shell. Taking part in striker-less for over an hour was at all times going to blunt their offence, and going a objective down meant Maupay was launched for the ultimate 25 minutes.
Sadly for the hosts, whose attacking menace was largely restricted as a consequence of an absence of motion up entrance, he could not make the distinction.
It is an odd rivalry, particularly for one which’s been born in a time the place there are not any followers to witness the sparks flying, however this was a extra sedate affair than June’s conflict. Arsenal stored their heads after a poor opening interval to return again stronger and win by means of Lacazette’s strike.
Job performed for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, who transfer as much as thirteenth. Brighton, nonetheless, are caught in seventeenth following Burnley’s win over Sheffield United, and with no wins since November and with out a common goalscorer, relegation is wanting an ominous prospect.
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