Report: Arsenal 2-0 Brighton (inc goals)

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Arsenal: Cech, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Alexis, Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Walcott, Elneny, Giroud

Arsenal extended their unbeaten run as goals from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi gave them a somewhat pedestrian 2-0 over Brighton at the Emirates this afternoon.

Rob Holding came in for the injured Laurent Koscielny, while Alex Iwobi was declared fit again and started in place of Mesut Ozil whose knee problem ruled him out of the game.

The Gunners almost opened the scoring in the second minute with a fizzing drive by Alexandre Lacazette that cannoned back off the post with the keeper well beaten. At the other end a free kick was flicked on by Brown, but Cech shepherded the ball wide.

Alexis was next to have a pop from distance, but he found Matt Ryan in the Brighton goal equal to the challenge. The visitors sat very deep, looking to block off the supply lines meaning Arsenal needed precision to fashion their chances. Slick passing in the 12th minute provided one to Iwobi, but he couldn’t quite find the finish.

A free kick outside the box saw Xhaka cross to the back post, Mustafi and Bellerin tried to put home the rebound, but it fell to Nacho Monreal who took it down and finished perfectly into the bottom corner with his right foot to give Arsenal the lead. 1-0.

A clumsy Kolasinac challenge gave Brighton a chance to put a dangerous ball in the box, but a well worked free kick saw March crack a shot off the post, and when the rebound fell to Dunk he couldn’t quite control it and put it wide with the goal gaping. Going behind certainly woke the visitors up.

Iwobi capped a nice run with a shot on goal, but again it was tame; Xhaka hit a free kick off the wall; and Lacazette had a pop from outside the box when he could have played in Alexis outside who would have been one on one with the keeper. Another illustration of how good decision making can impact the game.

Shane Duffy went into the referee’s notebook for a foul on Alexis as the first period headed into the final few minutes, and Arsenal almost doubled the lead with a fantastic break from a Brighton corner. Alexis, Bellerin, and then Kolasinac were all involved, and when the ball fell to Ramsey it looked like a goal was inevitable but Ryan made a superb save with his feet to deny the Welshman.

Brighton weren’t toothless though, Mustafi’s hesitation provided a chance for Propper to curl one towards the top corner, but he overhit it and Arsenal took the one goal lead into the break.

There were no changes at half-time for either side, and the game settled into much the same pattern with the Gunners trying to break down a packed defence. Alexis set up Lacazette but his shot was blocked by Duffy, before Ramsey volleyed over when the Chilean’s corner found him on the edge of the box.

The same combination gave Ramsey a chance from much closer in but he couldn’t quite get enough power on his header, but when a beautiful move between Sanchez and Ramsey saw the former Barcelona man back-heel the ball into the path of Iwobi he got the assist his creativity deserved. The Nigerian made no mistake with an emphatic finish to make it 2-0.

Alexis then played in Bellerin whose cross was just about cleared, he had a shot himself blocked on the way through, and when sent down the left by Kolasinac a goalbound effort was deflected just wide. From the resulting corner a Kolasinac header was cleared off the line and again an Alexis effort on goal was saved.

Alexis toe-bogged one wide after exchanging passes with Iwobi, Lacazette had a close range shot blocked, and with just under 20 minutes to go Arsene Wenger made his first changes with Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott coming on for Lacazette and Iwobi.

The Chilean curled a free kick over the bar after he’d been brought down outside the box, and Brighton made two changes with Knockaert and Murray coming on for Brown and Izquierdo.

If Chris Hughton’s side target was to keep the score down, they certainly did enough to frustrate an Arsenal side who really should have scored more to boost what is a very small positive goal difference. Walcott’s poor pass in the box put an end to a promising move, and the manager made his final change introducing Mohamed Elneny for Xhaka in the 83rd minute.

There was a great chance for Murray to pull one back after Mustafi was caught napping but the powerful near post header flew just wide. Cech had to punch away after more carelessness at the back from Arsenal allowed a cross to the back post, and Mustafi’s defensive header skimmed wide for a corner with the Arsenal keeper rooted to the spot.

Propper hit an injury time shot wide, Giroud headed over, and in the end Arsenal deserved the win – but may feel they’d let a chance to score more goals go begging.

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91 Comments on "Report: Arsenal 2-0 Brighton (inc goals)"

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Paul

Good solid result. Brighton didn’t offer much.

We are looking good with a strong bench, shape looks good. Three wins in three, same points as Chelsea. Without getting too excited let’s hope we can keep it going.

Stringer Bell

Good 3 points but we have to admit our midfield is terrible. Xhaka is just too immobile and Ramsey bombs forward but lacks a final pass, technically not good enough and just not on the level of top players. I think it was two seasons ago that his superb runs in to box resulted in league goal.

Alex

3 seasons ago…

henry

i dont enjoy Arsenal’s game
when Ramsey plays

Paul

Neither of the Cup Finals he scored the crucial goals in?

Gunnerjoe

No I don’t

Hi-brid

Fancied a few more goals today to take us give Chelsea. Ia that greedy?

Hi-brid

*above* not give

Hi-brid

*Is not Ia

Wengerballz

This crowd is tough on people who have their spell check off

lee dicks on

And those who post without looking

Don

A fairly comfortable win which I suppose is enough. Having said that, get the feeling that in the past we’d of hammered them by 4 or 5 handy enough. Not convincing at the back yet again also. Still lots of improvement required.

ForeignGooner

They would’ve conceded 4 if it weren’t for the woodwork and some very good last-ditch defending.

Random witness

You can say that again!

Looney

Mustafi and Xhaka though. I’m getting worried. Xhaka isn’t spotting runs, he’s immobile, defensively fragile and now he’s even misplacing passes. Don’t need to say anything about Mustafi, it’s pretty glaring.

Ebo

“If it weren’t for the woodwork” – I know man, who would’ve expected the woodwork to be in that particular position, just sitting there being a part of the goal and yet knocking back shots that hit it. Bizarre turn of events.

ForeignGooner

They would’ve conceded 4 if it weren’t for the woodwork and some very good last-ditch defending.

Andy Mack

There have also been times in the past where we would have walked away with only a point. We all know they need to improve.

alex iwobi

iwobi smashes it and scores! hopefully he’ll keep smashing ’em instead of passing to the opposition keeper

also it’s pretty incredible how the manager can end a game 20 minutes early with only two substitutions

Nick

Can’t see why you got voted down for what was an astute comment ! The subs did have a negative impact and saw us sitting deep and inviting pressure and not only Iwobi but others as well tend to try to look good while trying to score instead of putting their laces through the ball !

Sank

Good win. Laca is perfect striker for us. Felt sorry for him as could not score

Alex

Meanwhile Spurs beat the other newcomer 4-0.

SuperTom7

Did you enjoy that game?

ForeignGooner

Not every newcomer is the same, as Burnley would tell you.

Badaab

And the greatest player in world football, Dele Alli, was booked again for diving. Remember, English players don’t cheat- they’re practicing ‘gamesmanship.’

Gunnerjoe

Not sure I care

TeeCee

Are you John Terry in disguise?

Rob

good result. I dont think we look any more solid than our liverpool game though. Ramsey continues to play as a support striker, abandoning midfield. Iwobi tracked back more and with Ozil in we will be even more unbalanced,

caligunner

No I don’t think Iwobi tracked back more.

This is BHA, not ManC. I would want AR to bomb forward as much as he can to attack that setup they had. Did you not see how BHA was setup throughout the game?

locksley444

Great win, enjoyed Alexis’ enthusiasm even if selfish in the second half. On a side note, felt disappointed seeing Theo. With an opposition sitting that deep, there’s no reason for him to be sent on. It seems more like Arsene’s line of thinking was “okay i can give him a few minutes here without any risk of affecting 3 points”. Reeked of similar decisions (oxlade chamberlain in RWB vs liverpool, in that case to convince him instead of picking the best team).

Sean

Walcott felt like such a pointless change. Hardly worth the energy complaining about that in a game like this, but you’re right, it felt like one of those substitutions Arsene makes out of habit to give someone a rest rather than add anything to the performance. Wish he’d try something a little different given these opportunities. Like I’d loved to have to seen how AMN would have done in a central midfield role for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

Andy Mack

Much as I like Iwobi, he rarely gives much width. He tends to play either as an inside forward or more often an AM/No10.
I’d guess the Idea with Theo is that He can (sometimes) give width to potentially cross for HFB. Unfortunately Theos crossing is rarely adequate, but I think that’s why he came on.

Reality check

I think it was one of Iwobi’s best games in an Arsenal shirt. Tracked back well and always seemed to chose the right option in attack. Thank god he capped it off with a nice goal. Keep it up and Ozil might find his way back a bit complicated.

Andy Mack

Certainly one of his best when he’s played on the right side.

nimble foot

I think it was more of Arsene noting that Brighton were going to come on and attack as the half wore off just like they did in the first half – which they did – and thinking we’d get chances to counter, Walcott would be good for that. He would have space to use his pace and has a fine finish in his feet, the Europa game must have boosted his confidence… But Ya, maybe you are right coz you know, it’s Arsene, he hardly thinks.

Lack of Perspective

Arsene hardly thinking seems like the most false thing i have ever heard.

He maybe decides with his heart sometimes. But not thinking is just a lame excuse of a dig towards wenger. At least have a reasonable derogatory comment to make.

nimble foot

Sarcasm fella, sarcasm. @Lack of Perspective
If that change was made by Pep, folks would be lauding his reading of the game even if nothing came off it but because it’s Arsene, they’re having a bit of a moan about how pointless it was.

Nick

Would love to have seen Jack give 15 or 20 minutes

Mpls

I would too but he just came off a couple of appearances and if you’re leaving Ramsey on and pulling Xhaka, Jack’s not the right move.

Nick

Agree but then I would have taken Ramsey off for Jack

ramgooner

Walcott was sent on to put crosses in for Giroud.

Goonerink

giroud isnt andy carroll, he has more in his repertoire.
bellerin’s crosses were good enough.
jack would have been a better choice.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

I think the idea to play speedy theo is that the oppoaition will also take note not to throw too many players forward to chase the game cos they know theo can countwr with pace.

eddymc2

Seemed (worryingly) to me for a while like Sanchez and Lacazette were ignoring each other – could have scored more if those two combined better.

Indian Gooner

A decent win but still the midfield has definitely got to be improved. Might just struggle against the bigger teams,..

Sean

As long as Ramsey curtails his attacking a bit like we saw against Chelsea for the big games then him bombing around like a lunatic in home matches we’re likely to dominate doesn’t actually bother me too much. We’ve seen that when well drilled then Xhaka-Ramsey can actually do a very decent job. I just hope it won’t take another hammering and “lessons to be (re)learnt” before we see a solid away performance at one of the teams’ grounds again

Ethiopian Gooner

You mean like chelsea?

Gunnerzed

That was so boring. Ramsey was so poor. I get players can have bad games but that was bad. Wilshere should have replaced him instead of Walcott coming on. City, Utd and Chelsea hitting 3’s and 4’s, we just looked shaky at 2-0 up?? There’s no drive in this team, I get its tactically okay to ‘see out the game’ but I don’t think that’s what we were doing. So slow, no drive (apart from Sanchez.)

Don Cazorleone

I sort of agree, but the third in game in 6 or 7 days, a boring do-your-job style win was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Not too many risks, just get 3 more points under our belts.

Alextsratz

I don’t care if we only win 2-0 or even 1-0 as long as it’s a controlled victory where we bore the opposition to death. Unfortunately that isn’t the case right now and our defense continues to be lucky.

arsepedant

Would that be the defense that’s just kept four consecutive Premier League clean sheets?

Alexstratz

Remember when we went unbeaten during the first half of last season? People thought it was Mustafi when it was only luck. Performance is a better assessment of the defense rather than the short-term results against bottom half teams because luck is temporary.

SuperTom7

Those “3’s and 4’s” won’t last forever. Plus, Chelsea scored zero yesterday. If we could keep this “crappy one-nill, two-nill run” going for a while, I would be more then happy.

nimble foot

What we need, is consistent 3pts… What we want is to win games 5,6, even 7 nil but I’d rather take what we need everyday

Goonerink

This 100%, first half sanchez was sloppy, made up for it a bit in the second. I get why he bought on elneny but presumably Theo came on because of his brace in the game before…which was pretty much because of jack. Why jack isn’t getting first team action is beyond me. His talent is there, his fitness is there.

Great to retain possession against ‘contra’ attacking teams but I thought having 5 defenders allowed us some creative freedom. Not the freedom to string five sideways and backwards passes together whilst the attacking players stay stagnant.

Oh well 3 points and 2 goals is a good result against a resilient Brighton

Lack of Perspective

Could be that he played midweek and has been on the butt of every injury joke for the last 5 years.

Cant bemoan wenger for playing his players into injury and the bemoan him when he is careful with a player he values highly.

Damned if you and damned if you dont

Goonerink

but theo played midweek, as did holding as did giroud.

Mpls

They’re not Jack, and they’re not recently returned from another long term injury.

Mikeh

I really don’t understand comments like this after we win. Let me ask you something – If i offered you a 2-0 win every single game, for the rest of the season, but the performance was exactly the same as today, would you take it?

Gunnerzed

Of course we’d all take 2-0 in every game but come on. We’re spoilt by past teams with Henry, Pires, Mr Bergkamp etc that’s a given. But the current City, Utd, Chelsea, Lpool and sadly even Spurs remind me of those teams then we currently do. We are miles behind.

Andy Mack

Teams with Henry, Pires and GOD, also had games where they didn’t score 4 and sometimes they were a bit lucky to walk away with even a point.

Plaza

I believe that victory comes trough harmony. So I would say no

caligunner

Did you watch the game? Theo came on for Iwobi.

Of course there is no drive. Its so easy to score goals. How hard is it?

Man Manny

Good job but I think games like this should see us building up our goal+ margins. I thought after the second goal, the team will push for more goals. We need to start putting teams like this to the sword.

Mpls

On another day the chances we had would’ve made 5. Laca’s post strike, the impressive save against Ramsey, another couple on Alexis, Tank’s header – we were putting them well to the sword, they just defended a few well and had a bit of luck on their side.

LordH

Enjoyed first 20mins then thought it became a tad predictable – however, 3 points and a few genuine class moments

QMantis

Very important win, all in all a good week for us. We’re getting there slowly. Not at our best yet so important to keep on picking up the wins. Coyg

Lula

We looked imperious. Great second goal. Suffocated them, playing their own game against them and blocking them in their own half, then took them apart. A relaxing game.

Play well against the big teams and in November and from February to April and we might have a bit of a decent thing going on. Shame the teams above us look red hot too.

Andy Mack

The teams above us do look to be in fine form at the moment, but they’ll all stumble at some time in the next 30 games. The question is will their stumble be a few losses or only a few draws…

Shambles

And you trust us not to stumble along with them?

Andy Mack

No comment… 😀

Ashish Chandra

Ashamed by Walcott’s lack of drive. A tiring Brighton should have become fodder for him, but alas this man disappeared, and was pathetic. No pressing, no runs across defenders, and no shots. Nothing, nada.
Things are so bad, that Bellerin ignored a free Walcott on his side, and went for a more difficult pass down the middle, and lost the ball.
An Iwobi on one leg would have been more of a threat. Why not bring on Wilshere, at least he can keep the ball. I would have been really happy, if we had given Walcott for free, with Ox.

Shambles

A bit boring. Should have scored more but we seem to decide not to try anymore once the game looks won. I bet we would have scored three if they had gotten one back.

Stephen Vallins

It’s very difficult to play against a team that doesn’t want to leave its own half and play just in front of its penalty area
When they did venture into our half they never committed too many players
Arsenal were patient and got a result Man City struggled to a 2 nil win at the Amex

caligunner

I agree I was expecting at least 10 goals. What about you?

gunner4l1fe

Good win. Sorry for Laca today, hoped he would score again. I’m sure he will come back strong and fire a few past Everton. Xhaka needs to tidy up his play, too much sloppy passes. They defended deep, which gave the familiar feeling of us just passing around the box constantly to no effect, but perseverance pays off. Will take wins like this any day. COYG!!

bob davis

I thought Nacho was excellent again! Happy for Iwobi too! Let’s keep this winning run going!

Diarra

Sanchez is a good player but makes us play so much worse as a team. Never passed to Kolasinac who had basically nothing to do during the whole game. Wants the ball all the time just to over-hit a pass or to run into opposition players. One of 10 comes off and he is man of the match. Also wants the ball in the middle of the pitch and occupies the space where Xhaka/Ramsey should be playing, no wonder our midfield doesn’t work.

On the other hand, a good week for the Arsenal!

Martin

I’m amazed how many Alexis haters there are and give thumbs up for such a crass comment

caligunner

The thing is what was posted was true. He hardly played on the left side. He was constantly in the middle where everyone else was. BHA was playing so compact with the lines and though the middle we should have tried to take them a little wider. Don’t get me wrong I know watching him over the years thats how he plays but it left the left side wide open. Same with Iwobi.

I don’t care because we won but it was frustrating seeing him always in the middle.

Twatsloch

Dunk or whatever he was called, Mr Shirt Tugger or what? What an annoying prick he was. Was hoping for Holding to step in and sort him out.

Badaab

I have no idea how he avoided a booking, he made as many fouls as Ian Darke mentioned the Liverpool game while commentating for BT (thats 6).

Badaab

I was left with two questions after this match:
1.) How did Dunk not get a single card this match after committing 6 fouls for which play was stopped?
2.) Does Kevin Friend know when a ball is in/out of play? He seemed to be unable to tell.
That said, good, if unimpressive win today, especially since our midfield seemed to go missing, and everyone wanted to play through the middle instead of maintaining their positions (Sanchez, Ramsey, Xhaka).

John

Blaming the DM alongside Ramsey for anything seems misguided. He has to play his position and cover the space vacated by Ramsey for 90 minutes.

AusGunner

Some of you people are actual sociopaths I’m convinced

JAL

Happy with the 3pts and clean sheet, but again utterly embarrassed by our lack of passion and atmosphere. Getting mocked at the clock end by Brighton fans. Joke.

Leah\'s Left Foot

Yeah, as usual less atmosphere than Outer space, but there’s nothing better than a goal to silence the inevitable, tediously unoriginal singing of “shall we sing a song for you?”
Every fortnight it happens, like they’re the first fans ever to sit in block 22 and sing this hilarious song 🙂

JAL

It was when a guy started a song and only 2-3 people joined in and the Brighton fans mocked him, felt so bad. I thought the Diamond club was bad, but turns out even the clock end is indeed a library!

bob davis

I did try with the North Bank Highbury chant, but nobody else joined in!

I think the 12pm kick-off had a lot to with it.

Teryima Adi

A routine win for the lads. Well done.

santori

We need to start putting them away.

Too many wasteful misses per chances created.

Other teams are putting their opponents to the sword. I’m not suggesting we need to ratchet up 4 goal wins but it may come up to goal differential.

We are not reaping benefits of our creation enough.

There’s too much showboating as well. Get 3 goals up first before we try the fancy stuff.

Other than that decent win. But we should have won this by 4 or 5.

Plenty of improvement to work on.

arsepedant

Do you mean the “fancy stuff” like that backheel for our second goal?

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