Arsenal won their first Premier League title since September and beat Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 on Tuesday night. Despite a slow start to the game, the opponent came out of the break with much more determination. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli missed a couple of good chances in the goal.
The turning point came just after the hour mark when Mikel Arteta’s first replacement, Alexandre Lacazette, introduced the ball from the right into Brighton’s box after a fine attempt by Bukayo Saca.
Arsenal needed three points to win again, which will considerably ease the pressure on the Spanish coach.
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Despite a slow start, Arsenal made a significant improvement in the second half of the year. The young Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe proved dangerous in the last third year and brought energy, direct running and intelligent play to the team.
The central defenders Rob Holding and Pablo Marie put an end to Brighton’s work by taking the lead. The Gunners were the most dangerous team as the game progressed, taking advantage of the weaknesses in Brighton’s back line to create some good scoring chances.
The midfielders sometimes looked hungry, and players like Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny usually limited themselves to returning the ball to the goalkeeper and central defenders. From a tactical point of view, the team was clearly set to apply pressure, but that doesn’t justify the total lack of creativity in their phases, especially since Arsenal failed to register a single penalty in the first 45 minutes.
Evaluation of managers (out of 10)
8… With the same team that disgraced Chelsea on Boxing Day, the only change was the arrival of Aubameyang instead of Lacazette. However, this change seems to cost the advocates of independence dearly, as they clearly lack a diligent command of the French language. Arteta redeemed herself by replacing the former player from Lyon on the hour mark, who scored Arsenal’s only goal seconds later.
Rating of players (1-10; 10 = best, players used after 70 minutes will not be rated).
Six-year goalkeeper Bernd Leno — Although his division was sometimes disastrous, the German goalkeeper made a handful of solid saves to not leave Arsenal behind.
D.F. Hector Bellerin, 6 years old. He’s a bit off the board and doesn’t pick up riders on the straight.
DF Rob Holding, 7 — Life in the Gunners’ defense, especially in the early stages as the Arsenal withstood a wave of attacks from Brighton. The positioning of English today is exemplary.
DF Pablo Marie, 7. Solid defense, especially in the air. His loss of consciousness from behind narrowly missed the intended target.
DF Kieran Tierney, 7 – Impressed by his progress, he managed to bounce off his marker and hit several times with a beautifully weighted center. Splendid general recording of the Scots.
MF Mohamed Elneny, 5 g. – Several times he carelessly gave the ball away, which could easily have led to a goal for Brighton. Not enough, to say the least.
MF Granit Xhaka, 6 — A decent performance, but his slow start could have cost Arsenal dear. With his passes, the travelling team could better control the game.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Young Bukayo Saka continued its recent good form with another game-changing performance in Brighton. Photo by Frank Ogstein – Pool/Getty Images.
MF Emile Smith Rowe, 8 — Although one of the youngest players on the field, the academy graduate showed confidence in the center of the park with some good running forward.
FW Bucayo Saka, 9 – Arsenal’s most creative display, well represented by his pointed cross that enabled Aubameyang to shoot at close range – which was magnificently saved by Robert Sanchez. He then witnessed Lacazette’s winning goal after a determined run in the box.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 6 — Virtually invisible in the first half, no pressure, no running with goal. He missed a great opportunity in the second half by forcing a rescue from Sanchez.
FW Gabriel Martinelli, 7 — Very good first half pressure as Arsenal desperately tried to create something worth mentioning. He needs more playing time to get to full speed.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 8 – scored a few seconds after he arrived in the middle of the second half. A nice goal, going just past the first post into Brighton’s goal.
MF Dani Ceballos, N/R — Replaced the injured Saku with 10 minutes to go and made some good blocks.
MF Ainslie Maitland-Niles N/R — Helped Arsenal finish the game well.