Post-Match Report

Report: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-3 Arsenal

Declan Rice and the team celebrate scoring against Brighton

Brighton -

The American Express Community Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
0 3
                  Saka (32 pen)
                   Havertz (61)
                   Trossard (85)
Saka (32 pen)
Havertz (61)
Trossard (85)

Goals from Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard gave us a highly impressive win on the south coast that put us back on top of the Premier League table.

Brighton were unbeaten in their last 12 league matches coming into the game, but from the first whistle we created chances, and were rewarded when Saka converted a penalty after Gabriel Jesus was fouled.

Havertz finished from Jorginho’s cross in the second half to double our advantage before Trossard added gloss at the end with a breakaway third.

Missed opportunities

We set about the hosts early. Gabriel would have been disappointed not to at least test Bart Verbruggen in the Brighton goal in the very first minute, when he met Martin Odegaard’s inswinging free-kick flush on his head, but directed it the wrong side of the upright.

Bukayo Saka also fashioned a glorious chance for himself after being released by a defence-splitting pass from Ben White, who was making his 100th Premier League appearance against his former side. He burst into the penalty area and cut the ball onto his left foot before curling wide. You expected the net bulge when he saw the whites of the goalposts.

The chances kept coming. Moments later Gabriel Jesus drew a spectacular save from Verbruggen with a 20-yard drive, before the Brazilian seemed to be caught in two minds with a header at the far post, that drifted harmlessly wide.

Brighton retained a threat on the break. Julio Enciso and Simon Adingra both missed the target after promising-looking attacks.

Saka on the spot

Our build-up play was effective, but the finish was lacking. Just after the half hour though, we made the breakthrough.

Jesus superbly controlled a long pass on the left flank, burst into the box and forced a clumsy tackle from Tariq Lamptey. Referee John Brooks was well-positioned and immediately pointed to the spot. 

Up stepped Saka, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, and tucking the ball expertly inside the upright. It was the winger’s 14th Premier League goal of the campaign, matching last season’s tally.

The game remained open, and David Raya had to be at his best to superbly turn away Enciso’s curling, dipping effort from outside the area. The ball was heading into the top corner before the Spaniard flung himself to his left and push it away for a corner.

Defensive hesitation between Lewis Dunk and Verbruggen almost let Kai Havertz nip in just in front of the line, but the German couldn’t get his boot to the ball.

In first-half stoppage time, we went from back to front in the blink of an eye, with William Saliba starting the move in our own box, but the ball wouldn’t quite fall for Havertz at the end of the attack.

Havertz scores again

Enciso had a low shot saved before Jesus headed wide in the early exchanges of the second period, and then. Martin Odegaard had a right-footed shot tipped over as the chances kept coming.

It was an open game, but a moment of incisiveness in the final third gave us the second. We knocked the ball around patiently, looking for the opening, and Jorginho provided. Running into the space usually occupied by Bukayo Saka on the right, he cut the ball back right into the path of the onrushing Havertz, who netted from close range. It was the German forward’s ninth league goal since his summer switch from Chelsea.

We were in control now, and Mikel Arteta brought on Gabriel Martinelli and Trossard on the wings, with the latter wrapping up the points late on. The Belgian raced through one on one from his own half, and showed great composure to lift the ball over Verbruggen to seal another superb away day.

That’s now five consecutive clean sheets in away games, and just four league goals conceded since the start of the year, but more importantly it’s three more points in the title race, with seven games now remaining.

Facts and stats

We won both Premier League meetings with Brighton in 2023/24 without conceding a goal; the first time the Seagulls have lost and failed to score home and away against an opponent in the Premier League under Roberto De Zerbi, having last done so in 2021-22 against Aston Villa (under Graham Potter).

Brighton suffered their first home defeat in the Premier League since August (1-3 v West Ham), ending what was their longest home unbeaten run in the competition (12 games). Indeed, this was their heaviest home defeat to nil in the top-flight since February 2022 (0-3 v Burnley).

We currently have a goal difference of +51 in the Premier League; our highest in the competition since the final day of the 2004/05 season (also +51).

We have kept five consecutive clean sheets away from home in the Premier League for the first time since April 1997 (5), while we’re the first side to do so in the competition since Manchester City in April 2022 (also a run of five).

Since keeping consecutive clean sheets at home to Wolves and Manchester United in April/May last year, Brighton have only managed two clean sheets in their last 18 home matches in the Premier League.

Bukayo Saka has scored 14 goals in 29 Premier League appearances this season, equalling his most in a single campaign in the competition in nine fewer appearances (14 in 38 games in 2022-23).

Kai Havertz netted his ninth Premier League goal of the season, as well as his sixth away from home – both of which are now his most in a single campaign in the competition (scored eight for Chelsea in 2021/22, with five of those in away games).

Ben White made his 100th Premier League appearance for us, while he’s ended on the winning side in 66 of those matches – only Sol Campbell and Lauren (both 68) have won more of their first 100 appearances for us in the competition.

What’s next

Attention switches to the Champions League, and the first leg of our quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich, at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. The Premier League campaign continues next Sunday, at home to Aston Villa.

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