Brighton 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners return to the top of the Premier League after enjoyable evening on the seaside

A comfortable victory for Arsenal against an underwhelming Brighton & Hove Albion side at the American Express Stadium sees the Gunners return to the summit of the Premier League.

Goals from Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard – against his former club – mark a 2023/24 league double for Mikel Arteta’s side over Brighton, who suffer their first league defeat in front of the Seagulls’ support since the end of August.

As it happened

Ending up on the losing side in three of the previous four matches to kick-off at 17:30 on a Saturday, Arsenal should have been ahead almost immediately from kick-off. However, Gabriel inexplicably headed Martin Ødegaard’s delicious free-kick delivery onto the penalty spot the wrong side of the post.

Saka – already with 21 goals contributions to his name in the Premier League this season – spurned an equally glorious opportunity to break the deadlock as the England international somehow curled his effort from deep inside the area wide of Bart Verbruggen’s far post.

Brighton’s Dutch shotstopper was called into action for the first time in the match not long after Saka’s chance, as he acrobatically pushed Gabriel Jesus’ fierce strike out of play for a corner that led to nothing for the goal-hungry Gunners.

However, Arsenal’s pressure paid dividends shortly after the half-hour mark, as Tariq Lamptey’s clumsy foul on Jesus allowed Saka to make no mistake in confidently firing the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.

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David Raya prevented Julio Enciso’s stunning curling effort, which looked set to settle nicely in the top corner as Arsenal deservedly returned to the away dressing room for half-time with a slender one-goal advantage.

On course for a fifth consecutive away day defensive shut-out in the Premier League for the first time since April 1997, Arsenal kept Verbruggen busy in the opening exchanges of the second half as Jesus headed only inches wide before the Dutchman reacted instinctively to palm Ødegaard’s fierce strike over the crossbar.

However, nothing could stop Arsenal from taking away all three points from the trip to the seaside – as early as the 62nd minute – with Jorginho putting it on a plate for Havertz to tap the ball home from practically underneath the crossbar.

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Second-half substitute Trossard capped off an exceptional evening for Arsenal with four minutes left of regular time, as the former Brighton man exquisitely emerged victorious in his one-on-one battle with Verbruggen on his first return to his former employers since his move away to the English capital.

The lineups

BHA: Verbruggen; Lamptey, van Hecke, Dunk, Estupiñán; Baleba, Moder; Groß, Simon Adingra, Enciso; Welbeck

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