Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion

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Press conference

The latest on Ozil, Koscielny and Welbeck

We’re six points behind the leaders as we head into the next international break, but there’s no doubt we have momentum after six wins in seven games.

Arsene Wenger was asked for his thoughts on the title race, our win over Brighton and our injured players when he sat down to face the press after Sunday’s game. Read on for some of the key quotes:

on the performance…
I would say that we kept a clean sheet, we got the points and offensively we were certainly not ruthless enough. Our focus and the pace in the game was a bit in and out, we had good moments and as well moments where we lost a bit our concentration in balls that we usually don’t lose, but we got what we wanted and [it was] just before the break. Our last international break was a nightmare, this one is a bit better.

on the international break…
Yes I would have loved to continue to play, but we cannot do anything about that and let’s hope that the players come back in good shape. Some players will not go on the international break. Laurent Koscielny, because he has an Achilles problem, Mesut Ozil because he has an inflammation of his knee and Danny Welbeck as well because he’s not fit.

on going into the break level with Spurs on points…
I knew that after the game at Liverpool everybody did write us off, I knew that it just depends on us, on how much we respond. Nothing is permanent, you are not bad in a permanent way if you can do something about it and you’re not good in a permanent way if you don’t keep your urgency, so we responded in a united way and we could put some wins together and some good performances as well.

on catching United and City…
It’s too early [to draw conclusions]. It’s very early, seven games played and 31 to go. Last year after six games Man City was top with 18 points, so let’s not go to pick conclusions. They played outstanding yesterday, but there’s a long way to go.

on Arsenal For Everyone…
It is vital, I think it is one of the responsibilities of sport and of football. Personally I preach sometimes in the desert a little bit because, for me, when you listen most of the time to people it’s just about winning, only about buying, but for me a football club is first about values. If I’m 21 years at this club it’s because this is one of the values that we rate and I’m very proud of that.


Crucial goals, big tackles and one cheeky backheel

We continued our fine home form by racking up our sixth consecutive win at Emirates Stadium.

Nacho Monreal was our unlikely opening goalscorer, before Alex Iwobi latched onto Alexis’ cheeky backheel to secure all three points.

Re-live an action-packed game featuring goals, skills, big tackles and more in our special edit above, and then don’t forget to check out the following:

The Breakdown

Analysis: How mobile Iwobi led the charge

We extended our unbeaten run at Emirates Stadium to 11 games with a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke examines our performance and also focuses on:

  • How Alex Iwobi influenced the game with his off-the-ball movement
  • The defensive issues we experienced on our left-hand side
  • How Alexis is returning to his best form after coming back into the side

Click the ‘Play’ button above to watch the latest episode of ‘The Breakdown’ and then check out the following:


The key to Alexis and Lacazette’s understanding

Neither Alexis nor Alex Lacazette got on the scoresheet on Sunday - although they both went remarkably close - but their understanding was one of the highlights of our performance.

Alexis brought the best out of Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan while Lacazette beat him all ends up with a thumping shot that cannoned off the post, and the Chilean and Frenchman did as much as anyone to unlock a massed Albion defence.

Alexis and Lacazette’s short, slick passing and quick movement just outside the box created openings for teammates as well as each other, and Arsene Wenger sees bags of potential in their partnership.

“I feel that they combine well together and overall it’s a promising combination,” he told Arsenal Player. “There are some goals in there and with the providers around I believe we can score more goals.

“To adapt to each other [on the pitch], first of all you need the desire to adapt to each other, to make each other better. It’s always the same, I think great players together with the right attitude, they make each other better. 

“If they have not got the right attitude of course then it is a problem but the two of them look to have the right attitude.”


‘Alexis’ assist was a thing of beauty’

Arsene Wenger has described Alexis’ assist for Alex Iwobi on Sunday as “a thing of beauty”.

The Nigeria international’s first Premier League strike since January was a splendid team goal that started with goalkeeper Petr Cech and then swept upfield where a slick exchange of passes between Aaron Ramsey and Alex Lacazette left Alexis on the ball on the edge of the area.

The Chilean was surrounded by defenders but played in Iwobi with a superb backheel, and his teammate did the rest.

No wonder Arsene Wenger was gushing afterwards.

“It was a real thing of beauty,” the boss told Arsenal Player. “Alexis gave some great balls today and that was one of them.

“I like the fact that we didn’t concede goals, that we got the three points, that we played the third game in a row in six days and won the game, that’s what I liked. What I liked less is that on the focus sometimes I feel we eased off a bit and missed some passes that we are not used to missing because our concentration was a bit in and out. 

“It’s important to be imaginative [against a defensive team], and as well to move the ball quickly, but sometimes I felt with the desire to speed the game up we confused [ourselves] a bit, rushing the game and moving the ball quickly. 

“We rushed and wanted to go directly to the decisive ball, we were not patient enough and we lost some balls because of that. Overall we need creativity and the best example is certainly our second goal.”


'I don't even know if Alexis saw me!'

No one played better against Brighton & Hove Albion than Alex Iwobi.

The Nigeria international put the seal on our 2-0 win with a powerful finish at the end of a classic team move, and he spoke to us straight after the game.

Here's what Alex said:

on the result…
Yes, we’ve been doing well, it’s been nice to win again and keep the momentum going and everyone’s confident. Also to get a clean sheet is an extra bonus for the team.

on our good form…
Obviously we had a heavy defeat against Liverpool, but ever since then we’ve reacted  well, we’re going on strong and yes everyone’s just proving to the Premier League, to the teams, to everyone around, that we’re able to contend for the title.

on Alexis and Lacazette…
To have such world class players in the team, they bring a lot to the team and they’re always going to create chances, always going to create goals. For those two to play with each other is just an extra, it’s special for us.

on his goal…
Well I don’t know if Alexis saw me, but if he did and he meant that, that was a special pass, like I didn’t know he was going to see me and find me. I’m just grateful for the opportunity, I just got my head down and had a shot and luckily for me it went in.

on his performance…
Well the thing with me, when I get an opportunity I just give 100 per cent. Obviously we’ve got a lot of great players in the team so I’ve had to be patient and I’m still young, but whenever I get the opportunity I always give my best and like today I was able to do that.

on challenging for the title…
Yes we’re always up for the challenge, we just have to be consistent, which is the key thing in the league. It’s no sprint, it’s a marathon, so we just have to keep on going and see where we end up.


‘We feel like we’ve won the fans back’

Petr Cech

Petr Cech believes that the players have got our fans back on side since our defeat at Liverpool last month.

Since that 4-0 loss we’ve won six out of seven matches and kept five clean sheets, including one in our 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

“We said after the Liverpool game that the only way to bring everybody back on board was to work hard and show our attitude and work ethic through our results and performances,” said Cech. “We’ve been doing so, especially at home. We feel like we’ve won the fans back to our side, and hopefully we can keep them happy as long as we can.

“Every fan has the right to say if they’re not happy, but as players we lead the way and our fans are supporting us home and away. This is great to see.

“It would have been nice to score more goals [against Brighton] and have the last part of the game a bit quieter, but everybody did their job and I thought that we had the right attitude to defend the clean sheet and play until the last second,” the goalkeeper added. 

“As a team, we’re playing really well at the moment. You can see that everybody is doing the job. You can always improve, though, and today we gave away too many balls. We made some rushed decisions, so we can obviously improve that, but as a team the courage is there, the defensive attitude, the offensive work. This is the way to go forward.”


‘We talked after Liverpool… and we rallied’

Nacho Monreal celebrates with his team-mates

Our goalscorers against Brighton & Hove Albion faced the media shortly after the final whistle blew at Emirates Stadium.

Nacho Monreal had just scored his first Premier League goal since March 2013 while Alex Iwobi netted in the top flight for the first time since January.

Here’s what they said.

on the game…
Iwobi: I wouldn’t say it was comfortable but we made it as easy as we could for ourselves. Brighton are a very good team and they made it difficult for us, but it’s a great result to win the game and come out with a clean sheet.

on it being important to get the early breakthrough…
Monreal: I was really lucky to score today. We knew that it was going to be a difficult game because they defend with a lot of players and it’s not easy to break them down. I was lucky to be there. I scored my second Premier League goal for Arsenal and I was happy to help the team with my goal. The most important thing was that we got the three points and we have to keep going like that.

on Alexis’ assist…
Iwobi: It was great team play and great play from Alexis as well. I’m grateful for the opportunity to come my way. I was able to take it and get a goal.

on whether the defeat at Liverpool was a wake-up call…
Monreal: After Liverpool, we talked because we couldn’t play like we did that day. We lost 4-0 and the image of the team and the club was really poor. From there, the team rallied and we started to play more compact and defended well with everyone in the next few games. We kept a clean sheet in the next game as well and that was important for us because we know we have top players up front who are going to score goals. If the defenders can help the team with a clean sheet, it’s much better for us.