A tale of how of the result of a match doesn’t reflect the performance seemed to be Arsenal’s storyline against Brighton yesterday at the Emirates. The Gunners continued their bounce back in the Premier League since their defeat against Liverpool, making it four straight games without conceding a goal.
As teams gear up for the international break, Arsenal had the chance to close the gap between themselves and champions Chelsea, after they were beaten by Manchester City. Wenger made changes to the line-up, calling on Petr Cech, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette who has been on a little record, scoring in every Premier League home game for the Gunners, seemed to have wanted to extend this stat. In the 2nd minute of the match, the Frenchman would only watch his long-range effort come off the post after he well beat the opposition keeper with his effort.
The Gunners would open their account of the match through an unlikely goal scorer but one who is fully deserving of it, following his recent form. In the 16th minute, Xhaka delivered a cross into the opposition penalty area which seemed to be heading out of play, but was headed in by Lacaztte with only a fraction of the ball which was out of line; allowing Mustafi have an effort on goal but was well blocked, with the opportunity falling for Bellerin which he struck well but was blocked – falling for Monreal who controlled the ball and struck it with his right foot, leaving the opposition keeper helpless and making it 1-0 to the Gunners.
The visitors had a cracking effort and could’ve drawn the match level in the 23rd minute, following a free-kick effort from Solly March which he struck well and seemed to have well beaten Cech, but just like Lacazette’s effort, he would only see his effort come off the post. Unlucky for Solly March not to have scored, after striking the ball with such venom.
Ramsey came close to doubling the Gunners lead but would be denied by the leg save of goalkeeper Matthew Ryan. A wonderful build-up to the opposition penalty area, with Kolasinac picking out the run of Ramsey in the penalty box, with the Welsh international striking the ball into the corner of the post but was denied by the leg save of the keeper.
The second half started just like the first, with the Gunners creating chances and the opposition doing most of the defending but would be rewarded with a second goal in the 56th minute by yet an unlikely scorer. Ramsey and Alexis combined well in the opposition penalty area to play a nice one-two, with Alexis doing only what Alexis does and playing a backheel pass to the Nigerian International Iwobi, who struck the ball well to double the lead.
A double save from both goalkeeper and defender Dunk, prevented Alexis from getting on the score sheet. Alexis with his trademark cutting in from his right side had an effort on goal and Ryan came with the slightest of touches before defender Dunk hit it out for a corner.
Kolasinac also could’ve punished the visitors from the corner kick, but his effort was cleared off the line after he brilliantly headed the ball.
In the closing stages of the match, Giroud who came on for Lacazette had the chance to wrap things up for the host following a less struck Alexis effort, but he (Giroud) couldn’t keep his header down, watching his header go over the post.
All in all, it was a good game for the Gunners with the players impressing really well as a unit even with 2-3 big names missing from the lineup. Hopefully, this little run we are in isn’t short-lived and could be the start of something new.