Result: Brighton 0-1 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 29 December 2020
Venue: AMEX Stadium
Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Xhaka, Elneny, Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Aubameyang
Subs: Runarsson, Mustafi, Cedric, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Pepe, Willock, Nketiah, Lacazette
Alex Lacazette made an instant impact off the bench scoring the winner after a fine Bukayo Saka assist as Arsenal scraped a 1-0 win against Brighton at the AMEX Stadium.
The home side had the better of the first half but the Gunners were far sharper after the break and squandered three good opportunities before breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes.
It was a very different kind of win compared to the swashbuckling victory over Chelsea but Mikel Arteta won’t mind that, his side now have a bit of momentum.
Having found a winning formula on Boxing Day, Mikel Arteta decided not to shuffle his pack too much. Alex Lacazette dropped to the bench with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, fully recovered from a calf problem, replacing him. Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe, both praised for their energetic performances on Boxing Day, retained their places.
As Brighton kicked-off, Aubameyang chased after the ball at full speed. He didn’t get anywhere near it, but if he was trying to set an example, it was promising. Unfortunately, it was about the best thing our captain did over the course of an incredibly turgid 45 minutes.
Both sides enjoyed long spells of possession in the opening stages. There was lots of passing back and forth by the respective defences but cutting edge was sorely lacking. The Seagulls at least mustered a few attempts on goal – mostly capitalising on Arsenal mistakes – in contrast, we didn’t test their keeper at all. The closest we came was a Xhaka free-kick fired over the bar.
Martinelli, Saka and Smith Rowe – the three musketeers who led the charge against Chelsea – were completely nullified. Behind them, Elneny and Xhaka, faced with the imposing figure of Yves Bissouma, became increasingly error-prone. At one point the Egyptian was caught on the ball just outside the box and Macallister fired over. It was a let-off.
As the half wore on, the home side grew in confidence and were it not for smart defending by Smith Rowe, who stole a dangerous cross with a sliding challenge, and a Leno save to deny Jahanbakhsh, we might well have been down at the break.
Brighton had a strong claim for a penalty inside two minutes of the restart as Dunk when down in the box as a corner was played in. VAR had a look and decided nothing untoward had happened.
On 50 minutes we finally put together a move of note. On the break Martinelli fed Saka down the left and he crossed for Aubameyang. Our striker connected first time on the run but keeper Sanchez got his knee in the way and the ball went for a corner. Auba just stood in disbelief.
A second chance fell to Martinelli two minutes later. The Brazilian cut onto his right foot and tried to find the top corner but his effort, possibly via a small deflection, sailed over. A third great chance went begging soon after. This time Auba curled over after another swift break involving Smith Rowe and Martinelli.
Compared to the first half, the game had really opened up and Saka was increasingly influential. His ability to turn on a sixpence and accelerate away from players forced Brighton onto the back foot.
After Leno got down well to deny Davy Propper, Mikel Arteta took the chance to make his first change. Lacazette replaced Martinelli and 21 seconds later the Frenchman had put us in front. Saka charged down the right flank and picked out the striker with a fine pull-back. He took one touch to control before calmly slotting home. (1-0)
Saka went down in a heap with 15 minutes remaining and needed treatment from the medical team. He was in considerable pain and initially tried to play on before being replaced by Ceballos. Smith Rowe went out wide and the Spaniard took up the number 10 role.
It was clear heading into the final 10 minutes that we were focused on defending what we had rather than pushing for a second. At one point, Bellerin found himself on the ball charging forward but when he looked up he realised there wasn’t another white shirt within 20-yards. He slowed things down and went for the corner flag.
The game played out in much the same vein during five minutes of stoppage. Brighton had lots of the ball and tried to work crossing opportunities but Holding and Pablo Mari dealt with everything thrown at them.
Six points in three days and consecutive wins in the league for the first time since September. It’s been a very solid festive period so far. We go again on the 2nd January against West Bromwich Albion. Happy New Year.
A very contrasting performance from the Chelsea game. Saka was decisive again. Even on the reply I expected Laca finish to be on the wrong side of the post, what a finish!
Very happy three points, amongst all the draws it helps us make some move in the table.
BTW, why are we considering selling Bellerin? He has just rediscovered his form, a very consistent performer. Unless, Barca are offering big money, that we can use on a creative player.
Collecting wins and points is a good habit, but the kid bissouma showed what a proper CM can do, we just cant progress forward with elneny and xhaka. The play gets slowed down so much. Need forward passing players and ones who are really comfortable with ball on their feet like Bissouma was and elneny, xhaka weren’t.
Smart buys will be good for once.
These are the same players that passed forward against Chelsea. Arsenal rarely do smart buys.
Yup … Hope there is a santi 2.0 coming in january…with Partey and Gabriel the side will perform better
they played a lot off backward and slow against chelsea too. the difference was a penalty and free kick making it look better. optimistic about parrtey, but he needs a partner. is gilberto silva fit?
arteta and edu are injury free
It’s all about collective energy/intention, plus having outlets to pass to ahead (smith Rowe; Laca when he came on). Plus we have Partey. We need another attacking mid to play between the lines to open up the forward passes from our holding mids. And we need to keep cultivating squad aggression, which leads to harder pressing and a killer instinct (passing forward with intent).
I think the unsung heroes tonight are Holding and Mari. We’d all written Mari off before he kicked a ball this season and Holding seemed to be close to the exit and we all agreed that made sense. Both of them had excellent games against boisterous Brighton attackers and they’ll be hard to drop when Gabriel returns. So pleased for Holding. Never doubted his attitude but thought maybe he just isn’t quite good enough. He’s not done much wrong this season and is probably one of our most consistent performers all season. Very, very proud of the team. The downward… Read more »
Rob holding has become a very cosy and reassuring presence in the back line
Always fancy him in a duel against the attacker
I really like his temperament too. He never loses his head. He’s almost got that boring solidness to him that many of the great defenders have.
Basically the antithesis of David Luiz.
we didnt all agree some clowns would rather start luiz than holding
No wonder the players are so comfortable, when the fans are very very proud of the team after 2 wins against Brighton, Chelsea, and what is it, 3 wins in 11
Have you seen three ghosts over this festive period?
We been in a major slump it’s true, but back to back wins suggests a more positive second half of the season.
I agree with you about Holding–always liked his attitude, endeavor, honesty, but he is awfully slow and, for a while when he came back, regularly misjudged high balls and was easily beaten. This was as good as I have seen him play. He’ll never be fast, but Leicester won the league with Wes Morgan and we had a pretty good, slow, German.
yup i’ve always liked Holding. a good defender in him. adds some englishness and brings the good ol’ English grit too.
Mari has been quietly excellent last two games despite the pen giveaway. Who would have thought this would have been the most stable partnership so far.
Maybe pace is overrated in defenders. If you can’t run too fast, it’s hard to get far out of position!
I’d be curious to see Bissouma’s pass map, he was very good at winning the ball for sure, but his passing was very safe. Safer than both Elneny or Xhaka in my opinion.
I watched the West Ham-Brighton game the other day and kept an eye on Bissouma, as I’d been impressed by him earlier in the season. But against West Ham, just from the eye test, I wasn’t terribly impressed. Maybe just an off night, but West Ham conceded a lot of possession in that game, strangely, and Bissouma didn’t really do anything with the ball to help break down the defense. He could well come good for someone other than Brighton, maybe like an Idrissa Gueye type, but I don’t know that this is what we need right now, especially with… Read more »
I heard we bought someone from Atletico who might be good.
Xhaxa and Elneny have the worst ‘feet’ of any cms in the league. So frustrating watching them unable to turn on the spin and look forward and release all in one motion. The reason we past backwards all the time or in a horse shoe shape is because the middle is just bereft of Talent.
I agree regarding Bellerin. He’s in good form, he’s a popular figure and he’s one of our longest serving players. When has losing that type of character ever gone well for us?
bellerin see-saw in full swing.
I just think we’ve got to stop getting rid of decent players because nobody wants our bad players.
It’s a counter-intuitive way to do things.
Laca is coming back to some form too! ESR and Saka again with solid games. The energy of them and Martinelli! It’s no surprise Bellerin and Tierney are playing better with these guys.
Dare I say, our best line-up doesn’t include Auba anymore. He’s looking a poor fit…
I hv to agree with u on Auba. Sadly 😕
Agree re Auba. The lack of holdup play in the midst of the three youngsters was apparent compared to the Chelsea game, and when he went out left he was about as guilty of killing forward momentum with back passes and a lack of running as any of the others people complain about. He just looks so flat right now. If he didn’t have lingering goodwill from the last campaign we’d be tearing him apart.
Saka and Martinelli are the present and Laca looks like the better foil for them right now.
Spot on, I though from the first 5mins Auba was our weak link. He lacks that aggression to hound down the defenders which Laca has, the high press was failing cause Auba would job then walk while they pass the ball about. At one point I saw Martinelli chasing the ball from their tight back to their keeper then to their left back while Auba stood on the 18yard line doing little to nothing. He may be or too scorer but without the press, and his link up play being weak we literally carry him until there’s s chance. Martinelli… Read more »
Loved everything you said up until the Heccy comment. As much as we are all fond of him, his form has been pretty dreadful for the past 6-8 months. One and a half decent performances shouldn’t let us forget that.
Not being negative, very happy etc etc but let’s not have short memories
Hector looks small and a bit frail to me and I don’t think it’s because he tucks his shirt in like my wife says. Tierney looks ok?
I think you are mistaken; I am not sure how people are judging Bellerin’s performances. He has had one or two bad ones, never anywhere near the worst in a particular match. Most of the time, he has played really well. We must be looking at different things.
He lost every aerial duel with Bernardo yesterday and has been poo defensively this season.
A likeable lad, but certainly not someone who is top shelf. He has looked better these last 2 games because Saka is playing RW.
It would be absolute folly to sell Bellerin.
I said it during the summer – which prompted one dickhead to ask me if I was Bellerin’s mother – and I’ll say it again.
He’s a top top player. We need to keep him.
He’s too small gets pushed over easily gets outmuscled in duels gets bullied off the ball too easily his only assists are his pace and attacking threat, he’s not a great defender one v one either I think for the money we can get for him are can get a better RB with decent pace attacking ability and defending ability who won’t get bullied off the ball or lose every one v one he gets into. Decent player been a good servant but its time to move on to better things in the summer.
Spot on !
Barca are broke (muahahaha). Not much credence to those stories.
only if they give us frenkie in return.
Here’s the thing with Hector… he was front and center when it came to representing the squad in those pay cuts, which they were led to believe would save jobs within the club. A few months later, redundancies are made public knowledge.
I for one would be incredibly fucked off for having been used as a pawn, and to be made to look an absolute fool in all this. It would not at all surprise me if he simply wants leave, as soon as a suitable offer presents itself.
Just my two-penny worth on the matter…
Big win! Really important to back up the Chelsea win with another, even if it wasnt all plain sailing. Saka was excellent once again and I also thought Smith Rowe had a fantastic game and showed what he can bring to the side. On a side note a midfield pairing of Partey and Bissouma would be deadly. Get it done Edu!
Completely agree, the youngsters overcame a slow first half and were excellent in the second.
Hate to be the doom and gloom guy, but is nobody worried about how awful our “captain” is? Laca has proven he deserves to start up top in my eyes.
I thought Smith-Rowe had no influence at all in the first half, was great in the second. I will rewatch the game sometime during the week if I can, and try to see which of us is right.
Smith-Rowe, Martinelli and Saka are literally our best players by a mile. Massive massive 3 points against our bogey team!
SMS , our new messaging system to other teams
We got the win. That’s all. Happy new year!
Arteta’s vision is becoming clear. Something to work towards, to believe in.
Certainly not one for the record books, but a win we needed and a win we got. Well done lads.
Absolutely! At the moment I’ll take the 3 points however they come. As much as I wish we could play em of the park, playing at all is a refreshing improvement in the last 2 games.
every game is for the record books. that’s what record books are for. to keep records.
A lot of huff and puff, but 3 points are great!
Looks like Arteta’s training ground perspective is starting to take shape in matches. Very similar to Guardiola’s setup, as we saw during the Man City match, today. Still over the moon that Smith-Rowe is proving so capable.
Would have been just happy with some forward passes, but the team actually looks like it’s connected from midfield to the final third, a huge relief!
Cheers to three points COYG
looks nothing like a pepe set up to me. struggle to string 3 passes togeather 1st half long balls into the channels all half. decent spell 2nd half nick a goal then hang on at the end
What a finish. Should have started after last week. Auba needs to up his game.
First half woeful, 20 minutes of second half wonderful.
Delicious three points nomnomnom. Momentum.
Anyone else worried about Auba, he can’t seem to run away from defenders anymore. Several times he tried his classic move on the left – knock the ball 15 yards then outpace the defender, but just couldn’t get any separation.
£400 000 per week.
Pockets too heavy
Auba is hopelessly out of form at the moment. I am a bit concerned and hope that it is not in any way connected to the contract he signed.
But it is impossible to forget that Auba is world class. And it only takes that one goal for him to begin scoring again and contending for league top scorer record.
Is he still world class if he loses enough pace to not be able to outrun a Brighton defender in open space? His pace and finishing and and savvy are his stock and trade…if he loses the pace he’s compromised badly and becomes similar to lots of players. He’s not a dribbler or a creator. He’s looking more like later period Theo.
Still hoping he’s just being careful re his calf injury but I think we were seeing this before.
Great goal by Lacazette and a fine assist by Saka. The rest was shit.
And a Happy New Year to you as well.
We need victories at the moment, however they happen.
Tierney, Holding, Leno. Certainly weren’t shit.
Leno was good. Holding and Tierney not terrible but not the brilliance we’ve come to associate with Tierney either. The game was awful bar one moment of brilliance from Lacazette which is the only reason today is talked about in positive terms. Had Lacazette missed that one we would all be absolutely slating them.
Holding had another solid game and a clean sheet
some of you wouldnt know a good defender if it slapped you acoss the face.
Mari and Rowe too
We had 5 chances in the first 9 minutes of the second half. I wouldn’t call that “shit”?
I should have said “created”.
I thought it was turgid until the second half but to be fair Arteta only rotated one player on three days rest and to my eyes we looked leggy. And Auba for Laca was a downgrade.
Whatever is up with Auba I don’t know but that chance in front of goal in the second half was the kind he’d never have missed last season. It’s a trademark Auba goal and he blew it in a very uncharacteristic way. I hope the old Auba comes back.
Lacazette has really put in a shift lately. It’s good to see.
West Brom next, lost 5 nil today.
Hope Saka is ok.
Saka is really showing pepe up! That’s how a wide player should play.
My thoughts exactly!
Starting to think Arsenal wasted 72mil. But I still have some hope for him. After all he has added pressing and off-the-ball work to his game -something that seemed unlikely and herculean for him just a few months ago.
He needs to really up his game and change his game I should add.
Should have got premier league ready Zaha for half the price and less wages…But Arsenal going to Arsenal.
H me was not half the price. The reason he is still there is because palace are asking crazy money for him, in the same ballpark as Pepe.
That game worries me a bit. Especially after that result. You know what Big Sam likes to serve up against “top teams”. Its gonna be 11 behind the ball and set piece buggery. Maybe the odd counter. That one is gonna be a grind.
Nice to end Year on high note. Unless there are injuries concern, I would prefer starting X1 which played against Chelsea.
Auba is lacking confidence and he can be super sub unless he is back to his best. Only change should be Partey to Elneny.
ESR is looking good. As always, Saka was our star, I hope injury is not serious. COYG
Baby steps. I’ll take the narrow win all day. Let’s make it 3 in 3 on Saturday.
Good sub from Arteta
First half was a real relegation 6 pointer game. I guess Martinelli was knackered and ineffective, not sure what is up with Auba. The team was much improved in the second half, thanks to the efforts of Saka. Excellent subs as well and handling of the game after we scored to keep Brighton out.
The kids now need to be kept in.
If I ever see Willian in an Arsenal shirt again, it will be a day too soon.
Well done The Arsenal.
add mesut ozil to your list of players never to be seen in an arsenal shirt again
With Arteta at the helm, I make you right.
The thing with this win is that you begin to put fear into the hearts of opposing teams. They will be mindful of the fact that this team seems to be regaining form.
Brighton really came out to dominate the game in that first half. It is as though the thought Arsenal was theirs for the taking.
Exactly my feeling as well. That, and “F*cking YES!”
Without Saka this would have been another game we didnt win. Im happy with the three points. But far from happy with the senior players. Particularly Elneny and Aubameyang were dreadful. Must be really embarrasing for the senior players, knowing that teenagers are showing them how its done. Also Aubameyang has to be the worst captain in the history of this club. Hes 33 confidence shouldnt be that massive of a factor to his overall game. Imo it just seems like he doesnt care.
£400 000 per week.
First half was pish. Second half much improved and three points in the bag. Next up the walrus hopefully keep the winning streak keeps going.
2 starts for ESR = 2 Wins. Says it all.
And happy new year fellow gooners! Wishing everyone good health for the coming year!
2 games without Willian = 2 wins. Addition by subtraction.
2 games without Willian n luiz 2 wins also..phaps there’s a theme
I noticed a Stat – Xhaka fouled 3 times. Xhaka didn’t strangle anybody 3 times. He must be mellowing in his old age.
Smith-Rowe had a better (more influential) game tonight in comparison to the Chelsea game (where he was also good).
I just can’t understand how people thought Smith-Rowe was any good in the first half. Second half, like Chelsea, he was important.
Very much a game of two halves, what ever Arteta said a the break must have worked. Saka still a real gem, what a player we have on our hands.
Two wins in a row?? WITCHCRAFT!
So nice to see the return of players actually making movements (let’s not speak of that first half today) in these 2 games. A bit worried about Auba overall, but let’s see if things do/don’t improve with him in the next few.
We were awful in the first half but much better in the second. Saca MOTM.
Scrappy but welcome win: three vital points against a relegation rival. Auba missed a sitter and had an average game. World class finish by Laca.
Unconvincing but satisfying evening.
So much backwards passing. I saw throw ins in the opposition half go backwards, then back to Leno. Whenever we win the ball, instead of turning the screw, we pass it back, settle ourselves while they do they the same. Far far too slow. We’re waiting for the waters to open up for us.
It’s instruction from Arteta I’m afraid.
After half time, the instructions had changed and so did the performance.
Great finish from Laca which gets better with several viewings.
Ecstatic about the 3 points though
The thing I despise the most is when we have possession in the other team’s half, but no one up front is moving, so we pass it all the way back to the keeper, who boots it downfield… right to the other team.
If someone makes a run and we try an attacking pass, we risk… giving them the ball. Which we do anyway by playing it back.
100% agree, was shouting my head off
Our cms are shit.
Love the win but for me that moment at the end with Bellerin sums up what’s wrong with this team. He busts a gut to get forward and try spring things and get us an extra advantage and…..no one else felt like doing the same and getting in position to score a goal.
If that was City or Liverpool they would have had 2 players in the middle waiting to pounce and finish the game. We lack that deadly instinct and drive and need to find it.
Overall, delighted with 2 wins in 3 days though. Come on you reds!
Was pissed off that no one helped Bellerin or gave him options for a pass. But thinking about it now, can understand the team not wanting to commit forward with too many players. We just so desperately need a win and didn’t want to risk anything at all after we scored. I think once we win a few games, the confidence will come back and we should be able to counter attack better.
Maybe they were desperate to secure the win and hang on for the 1-0 knowing that Brighton have scored 3 last minute winners/equalisers against us.
ESR really impressive. It’s not just his positive play but his pressing is really smart as well. He presses just enough to disrupt the other teams build up. A turnover in enemy territory can be as valuable as a good Ozil pass sometimes. Plus, even in crowds, when he sees an inch of space he moves aggressively into it rather than passing backwards which has destroyed our momentum this season. He has a really bright future!
The fewer forward passes we make, the more nervous this team gets. We are our own worst enemy when we do that. West Brom next and it will be a tough game but hopefully we have the energy for that. If Auba and Willy hit form then we can have a decent second half of the season. We need a few other match winners to really get the confidence going. Can’t wait to have Partey back.
Even if there was not much intensity to our play, it’s good to see everybody throwing themselves into tackles and blocks. Some commitment for a change.
Auba is on his heels as well
Auba hasn’t been the same since Boseman Chadwick died on Aug 28
Why did you feel the need to include a comment this daft?
It’s not insightful, it’s certainly not funny, hell, it’s not even really offensive.
It’s just bad taste and bizarre.
What’s daft about saying someone hasn’t been the same since their idol died?
What makes you think I was trying to be funny or offensive?
You could have asked for clarification instead of displaying your low comprehension skills.
And “grow up?”, I think you should read more.
why is it daft he hasnt been the same since? he loved the black panther so probably part of his poor form is down to this reason.
he said as much reciently that the black panther was his favourate film so think again
… the black panther actor.
You even got his name wrong.
I think this win was again down to us finding that dynamism in the second half to get it done. This was the first time in a while where I saw Arsenal pile the pressure. Auba should have scored a couple probably, but he’ll probably play his way back. Saka, ESR and Martinelli again were really good. It’s taken 7 games without a win for Mikel to understand that he doesn’t need guys like Willian or Pepe. Playing youth is paying off and Lacazette and our forwards are getting enabled by the dynamism in front of them. I’m so excited… Read more »
Spot on. A world class midfielder anchoring and springing lightning fast transitions up the wings to our speedy youngsters is going to begin to drastically change our fortunes. I’m excited as well. Im glad Arteta has grown and sern where he needs to adapt, even he admitted that in his last presser.
The only major difference between the “senior” team pre-Chelsea vs the “youngblood” team is.. William. That may sound trivial, but in arsenal context, that’s a world of difference!
20 points! 20 points! 20 points!
Hey it’s a hell of a lot better than the 14 points we had the other day.
Brighton is a bogey team for us so this was a very good away win, a bit nervy but we did well and held on. Laca was excellent against Chelsea and what we needed here, the kids did well. Rob and Pablo calm and solid at the back, it was a good, hard fought win.
A sweet goal from open play.
And we won.
The rest i don’t give a fcuk….
Well done Gunners.
Top post, well said.
The points are all-important at the moment.
Once again the youngsters were the bright spot in an uninspiring perfomance. We looked much better in the second half when, surprise surprise, stopped playing so much silly backward passes and started moving forward.
Happy with the victory tho. Saka MOTM, sad that Martinelli shot didn’t go in, and ESR was lively.
I’m really starting to think that Bukayo Saka will become a superstar.
And what a difference two wins does, football is something to look forward again!
I hope saka isn’t out. His quality is so evident out there
Really happy about the win, but this is going to be a long season.
We scored one goal against a relegation-quality team – and only because they decided not to mark our center forward.
While we’re definitely better with Martinelli and ESR, we’re still not creating chances.
Unless we start doing that, this winning streak isn’t gonna last much longer.
Such an odd festive period. Traditionally, Arsenal throws title runs away at this tiime of the year with loss after loss. Here they are, winning games over this period. Confusing.
had a look at the table reciently?
Really positive win – Saka is such a game changer. Just important to bank those 3 points then get out.
Very much looking forward to the West Brom game and shoving Big Sam’s words down his throat (“Arsenal relegation battle…”)
United got thrashed 6-1 at home and then lost to us and there were calls for Ole
Spurs were top a week or two ago. They could be 9th by tomorrow evening.. This is going to be a strange league for sure
Evertin were touted as contenders
Gotta take a step back and look at the big picture
Chelsea won so many on the trot
Who cares about the past? Arsenal are up there with Leeds, Man C and Everton, the only other clubs to have won the last two premier league matches.
Beat our bogie team..Bigger win then people think.. I know its only Brighton but they have had our number.
Our Central midfield is still so average. I would Get rid of Xhaxa, Elneny and Ceballos. Dont think Willock will make it.