Arsenal 2-0 Brighton: Jesus and Havertz restore the Gunners’ Premier League lead

Having suffered defeat at the hands of Aston Villa last time out, Arsenal looked to regain their spot at the top of the Premier League table with a win. Brighton, having won all three of their most recent visits to the Emirates Stadium, hoped to come away with the goods once again and build on their 8th-place start to the campaign.

ARS: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Ødegaard, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

BHA: Verbruggen; Veltman, van Hecke, Dunk, Milner; Gilmour, Groß; Adingra, Lallana, Mitoma; Ferguson

The Gunners started the game on the front foot, dominating the ball in the final third and looking to carve out opportunities. Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard, in particular, began brightly and eager to make an impact.

Roberto de Zerbi was forced into an early substitution, with a Joël Veltman injury seeing Jack Hinshelwood introduced to the fold.

An exquisite trivela pass from Ødegaard found Saka with time in the box, but his lay-off to Gabriel Martinelli saw the ball end up in row Z – a wonderfully-worked opportunity squandered by the Brazilian.

It felt as though an opening goal was a matter of when, not if for the home side. Brighton’s last line of defence, though, was resolute, with a number of crucial interventions keeping the Gunners at bay.

The visitors would have been relieved to hear the half-time whistle, having taken 0 shots and facing insurmountable pressure for the duration of the first 45 minutes.

For Arsenal, frustration grew as they were yet to find a deserved breakthrough from 16 shots at Verbruggen’s net. If Arteta’s men wanted to reclaim their spot at the top of the Premier League, they had to convert their chances.

Playing out from the back in ambitious fashion, Brighton found themselves thwarted by the intense Arsenal press, seeing the second half of football begin much like the first – only this time, the ball found the back of the net.

A corner found Gabriel Jesus free at the back post, with the forward making no mistake and heading home in the 53rd minute for his second league goal of the season.

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The Gunners almost found themselves two to the good, with Ben White flicking another corner on at the near post, but goal-line heroics from Brighton captain Lewis Dunk kept the Seagulls within touching distance from an equaliser.

Chance after chance went begging for Arsenal. Moments after a strong right hand from Verbruggen denied Ødegaard, Kai Havertz missed a great headed opportunity. Somehow, Brighton were still in the game.

Despite all the attempts from the home side, it was Brighton who took home the worst miss of the day. Kaoru Mitoma found Pascal Groß in the box, but the German somehow shot wide of David Raya’s goal. That was the moment for the visitors.

One German’s miss was followed by another German’s goal, as Kai Havertz calmly slotted home in the 87th minute to bring home the points and send Arsenal back to the top of the league.

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Three points are three points, make no mistake – and this is a very valuable three points for an Arsenal side looking to go all the way in the Premier League this season. Ultimately, though, the scoreline flattered Brighton and, on another day, it could’ve been five or six.