A collector’s item from Nacho Monreal and a fine team goal from Alex Iwobi secured our sixth win in seven games as we eased past Brighton & Hove Albion on Arsene Wenger’s 21st anniversary as manager.
Monreal netted his first Premier League goal since March 2013 - and his first ever at Emirates Stadium - after two of his fellow defenders had gone close.
Shkodran Mustafi had a shot cleared off the line and Hector Bellerin’s effort was blocked before Monreal made it third time lucky with a crisp right-footed finish past Mat Ryan.
A sumptuous backheel from Alexis allowed Iwobi to confidently double our lead after a sweeping move that started with Petr Cech and picked up pace when Alex Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey combined with Alexis on the edge of the box.
Lacazette himself hit the post with a thumping drive with barely a minute on the clock, but we had also had the woodwork to thank when Solly March beat Cech after a well-worked free-kick.
That was almost the sum total of Brighton’s threat in a very one-sided match. Our possession stats nudged 70 per cent and the visitors had goalkeeper Mat Ryan to thank for keeping the score down.
We went into the last international break on the back of a 4-0 thumping at Liverpool. The mood is rather better ahead of the next Premier League pause - and we haven’t conceded in the top flight since that trip to Anfield.
AS IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
This win moves us level on points with Chelsea and to within one point of Tottenham. We’re still six behind Manchester City and Manchester United as we move into a two-week break for international fixtures.
After the international break we resume our Premier League campaign at Watford.
That’s the start of three away games in eight days with a Europa League trip to Red Star Belgrade and a Premier League game at Everton also on the horizon.
DID YOU KNOW?
Nacho Monreal’s goal was his first ever at Emirates Stadium, his first Premier League strike since March 2013 and his first goal for us since the Emirates FA Cup semi-final in April.
Here’s some more standout stats from Sunday’s game:
- We’ve won nine successive Premier League home games since March - matching our all-time record at Emirates Stadium
- Alex Iwobi’s goal was his first in the Premier League since January
- Alex Lacazette was the width of a post from scoring in his first four home league appearances. The last Arsenal player to do that was Jackie Henderson in 1958
- We’re now unbeaten in our last 32 league matches against newly-promoted sides (W27, D5)
- On his 21st anniversary as our manager, Arsene Wenger recorded victory over a 45th different Premier League club - a new record
- We’ve kept four straight league clean sheets since our 4-0 defeat at Liverpool last month
- Sunday's game was our dedicated Arsenal For Everyone matchday - find out more
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