Post-Match Report

Report: Brentford 0-1 Arsenal

Kai Havertz and Eddie Nketiah celebrate the winner against Brentford

Brentford -

Gtech Community Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
0 1
                  Havertz (89)
Havertz (89)

Kai Havertz’s late, late header was enough to win a scrappy encounter at Brentford and send us to the top of the table.

In a game of few chances, the German forward came off the bench in the second half to head in Bukayo Saka’s deep cross a couple of minutes before the end.

We had earlier had a Leandro Trossard goal ruled out for offside after a VAR review, and we cleared two efforts off the line through Declan Rice and Alex Zinchenko. It may not have been pretty, but the three points were warmly received at full-time by the travelling supporters. 

Early let off

With on loan David Raya ineligible to face his parent club, Aaron Ramsdale was given his first chance in the Premier League since our win over Manchester United in early September.

And it was our keeper who presented the hosts with their first chance. He dwelt just too long on the ball inside our six-yard box, allowing Yoane Wissa to pick his pocket and set up Bryan Mbuema. Declan Rice got back superbly to block his shot on the line though, and the rebound cannoned back off Wissa and wide of the upright.

It was a huge let off for us early on, and we were struggling to create chances of our own at the other end.

Leandro Trossard headed over from a decent Alex Zinchenko cross, and a Gabriel effort went wide from a corner, but aside from that chances were thin on the ground in the opening half hour.

Ramsdale almost put his defence in trouble again with a misjudged throw out, but we turned potential danger into a counter-attack, which only fizzled out when Bukayo Saka was dispossessed.

VAR intervenes again

As the first-half came to a close it looked as though we had finally taken the lead. Saka’s clipped a cross into the box which Jesus headed at Mark Flekken. The keeper’s parry fell to the head of Trossard, who nodded in from a yard out. The goal was initially awarded on field by the referee, but VAR replays showed that Trossard was marginally offside when Jesus headed goalwards.

We came out with a bit more intent and energy at the start of the second half. But still the chances were at a premium.

It became scrappier as both teams looked for the breakthrough. Substitute Neal Maupay saw his header blocked on the line by Zinchenko, then strike the rebound wide.


Havertz stoops to conquer

Mikel Arteta sent on Eddie Nketiah and Havertz late on to inject some impetus.

Declan Rice powered a low shot just wide, via a deflection from 20 yards, and Nketiah bent a low shot too close to Flekken as we entered the final ten minutes.

It was the other substitute, Havertz, who finally netted the crucial goal late on. The build up play was patient once again, before Saka swung a deep cross to the far post where Havertz stooped to head between Flekken’s legs.

It proved to be the winner, and put us back on top of the Premier League pile.

Arteta’s 200

This was Mikel Arteta’s 200th game in charge, and his 119th win. His record is now W119 D31 L50 F358 A206.

Our former captain’s first game as boss was on Boxing Day 2019, a 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

He’s now become the 10th manager in Arsenal history to reach 200 games in charge – Arsène Wenger leads the way with 1,235.

Arteta’s overall win percentage is higher than that of any of his predecessors, at 59 per cent. His record over the second 100 games was W63 D13 L24 F195 A109, compared to 56 wins in his first 100 matches.

What’s next

We are back in Champions League action this Wednesday evening, at home to Lens, knowing that victory will guarantee top spot in the group with a game to spare.

We resume our Premier League campaign at home to Wolves next Saturday.


Stats and facts

  • We finish the day top of the Premier League table for the first time this season.
  • We are now unbeaten in our last four Premier League meetings with Brentford.
  • We extend our run to 17 games unbeaten in London derbies in the competition (W12 D5).
  • Three of our four away victories in the Premier League this season have been 1-0, as many wins by that scoreline on the road as in each of the previous three seasons.
  • We have had 10 goals scored via substitutes this season in all competitions, the joint most of any Premier League side (Brighton also 10).
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