There wasn’t much about Arsenal’s performance against Brighton worth shouting about but Mikel Arteta was at least impressed by the efforts of his goalkeeper and centre-back pairing.
On a night when the weather conditions made life very difficult, something full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu referenced, the backline stood firm to secure a third clean sheet in four games.
On the partnership developing between White, who was facing his former club, and Gabriel, Arteta said: “Yeah, [I’m impressed] because they’ve never played together and because they have struggled a little bit with the language and they didn’t have any time to work together in pre-season either.
“They’re getting a really good connection, good chemistry, and I think their qualities match and complement each other really, really well. I think both of them today were terrific.”
A strong hand from Ramsdale was also needed to prevent Brighton from snatching a late goal. In a crowded box, the keeper clawed away a Solly March header as Neal Maupay waited to pounce.
While the summer signing wasn’t completely pleased with his kicking game, the boss said he’s already proved he has the personality to deal with high-pressure situations.
“The way we decided to recruit Aaron was [after] going through a big process where we wanted to know a lot about his personality, his character, the way he can handle playing under pressure at a big club,” said Arteta.
“He is showing he is ready to do that and I’m really happy with his performances and what he is bringing. That’s one of the reasons I think defensively we have been really difficult to concede goals.”
Arsenal’s defensive unit will now part ways for a couple of weeks with Ramsdale restored to the England squad and Kieran Tierney and Tomiyasu also set to travel away with their countries.
When they return, attention will turn to Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, two home games at the Emirates in quick succession.