Brighton v Arsenal

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Interview

'We fight… and we’re going to keep fighting’

Calum Chambers battles for possession with Glenn Murray

Calum Chambers came into our starting line-up at Brighton on Sunday with Hector Bellerin on the bench.

Our right back was deeply disappointed after our 2-1 defeat and here’s what he said about the game.

on the result…
We’re very disappointed with that. We’re going to keep fighting until the end of the season - we know it’s not acceptable and we need to step up our game.

on what’s been going wrong away from home…
I don’t know, I think we’ve just got to stay positive. Games just haven’t gone for us - we’ve just got to keep going, keep our heads up and keep fighting until the end of the season.

on if there was enough fight and spirit…
Listen, we fight. We don’t go into games with our heads down. We go in fighting and look to win every game. It’s always been the same here. Things just haven’t been going for us at the moment. We know that, the fans know that. We’re as disappointed as them. We’re going to keep fighting, we know we need to turn it around and we need a positive reaction.

Quotes

'We need everyone to be together and to fight'

After four straight defeats, confidence levels are understandably low.

Laurent Koscielny captained the side as we lost 2-1 at Brighton on Sunday, and he says that now is the time for everyone to pull together.

"We know we're in a bad situation, a bad period," he said. "We tried but nothing is with us. We tried to fight [at the Amex Stadium] and play football but you could see the confidence is very down. 

"It will come back slowly. It is a bad period but we need everyone at this club – players, staff and fans – to be together and to fight to stay the highest we can. 

"It is very difficult but football is like this. Now you focus on the next game, to prepare well. You need to put your head down and work.
 
"It will be very hard to finish in the top four. We've had a bad period and have not had the results we wanted. We lost our confidence a little bit and on the pitch we didn't have the confidence we need to push ourselves more and to play well with the ball.

"We miss a lot of passes but we need to stay together, to fight together. We need to win to have more freedom on the pitch and we need to stay together. It is important to have everyone behind us."

Press conference

‘Cech’s message to fans deserves a lot of respect’

Arsene Wenger dissected our performance - and responded to a tweet from Petr Cech - when he sat down to face the media after Sunday’s defeat at Brighton.

Here’s what he said:

on the game…
We had difficulty to get going and we suffered a lot physically in the first half. After that, mentally as well I believe that the lack of confidence, linked with the physical aspect, made us lose some balls where they took advantage of it. Overall, on top of that, we made some defensive mistakes, where they took advantage of it as well. In the second half, it was all us. But we lacked a bit of sharpness and freshness physically, to make the difference. At the moment, we play too many games and are charged negatively on top of that because we lose them. So it’s difficult.

on how to get out of this situation…
Nothing is permanent. We have to continue, first to recover now, because we played Thursday, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday. It’s nearly physically impossible for some players who have played all of the games. So we have to first recover and prepare for Thursday night.

on the fans in the stadium today…
Look, I can understand the frustration. What can I say, I think the League Cup being situated in the middle of the season is always very difficult when you don’t win it. It brings a lot of negative waves. We were four times in the last five years in finals, we won three and lost one. But it brings a lot of negativity and on top of that, the game that was rearranged on Thursday night did not help us to compete today. The negativity of having lost the final, plus the fact that we are not in a fantastic position in the league, of course it hits us hard.

on whether he can solve this situation…
Yes, because I have done it before and it’s the first time I lose so many games on the trot in my life. I believe in our quality. Until now, I always managed to do that [solve problems] and I still believe that I can do it.

on why we keep starting slowly when so much attention has been paid to our slow starts…
Because, when you play many games, it takes you time sometimes to get into the rhythm of the game. You have a bit heavy legs and many times you suffer in the first half. They were sharper than us in the first half, you could see that. In the second half, we came back into our pace and dominated well in the game. But we still lacked a bit of zip to make the difference and come back to 2-2.

on Cech being honest about his performance and apologising to the fans on Twitter…
I think it deserves a lot of respect, because it’s his assessment of his own performance. I think he’s a very intelligent guy, a very professional guy. He’s saved us on other occasions, today he cost us [with a mistake], but as a manager and as a club, we have to live with that. When the players do well, you take the credit. When the players don’t do well, you have as well to live with it.

on the team’s body language - and if Arsenal lack leaders…
That’s always what you get when you don’t win. You can say maybe it’s true or not, I think at the moment it looks more obvious that the team looks for confidence. In the last two games especially we gave a lot and we were 3-0 down at half-time [on Thursday]. That’s difficult to take. Today, after 20 minutes, we were down 2-0 again. The disappointments, plus the fact that we made defensive mistakes, at the moment it looks like we lack leaders. I don’t believe that - I just believe that we have to remain positive in a negative environment and show that we have character and that we have leadership.

on his future and uncertainty…
I must tell you, honestly, at the moment my future is not my main worry. My worry is to get Arsenal to win football games, and then we see where we go from there. I will try to give my best as long as I am here, and do everything to get the team back to more confidence. We need to recover physically first. The program we have is at the moment a bit too demanding.

on if the uncertainty is impacting on the players…
No. There’s no uncertainty, I told you many times. What is the uncertainty is at the moment the quality of our performance. When you go through a difficult patch, uncertainty before the game is the quality of the performance we can give.

on if he’s certain he will stay…
Look, I don’t want to talk about my future today. I’m long enough in the job to know what’s going on and I’m long enough in the job as well to know that what’s most important is to make sure you focus on what’s important, that you give absolutely your best with full commitment.

Interview

How Milan game influenced Brighton team selection

Arsene Wenger had our crucial Europa League trip to Milan in the back of his mind when he picked his team to face Brighton on Sunday.

Aaron Ramsey was rested completely and Hector Bellerin was named on the bench for our game on the south coast.

Danny Welbeck - likely to lead our attack at the San Siro - was also among the substitutes.

“Especially with Aaron rested, yes [I had the Milan game in mind],” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “I didn’t want to have a setback with him. Welbeck as well.

“Aubameyang will not be there [in Milan] and Lacazette is not there, so of course that plays a part in my selection decision.

Aubameyang scores at Brighton

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored at Brighton

“It’s a massive game in Milan, but we have to focus on it. Hopefully we’ll recover physically and will not suffer too much from Sunday’s game. After that, we will prepare well.”

As for Sunday’s game - our fourth straight loss in all competitions - the manager admits that the damage was done before we really got going.

“The damage was done in the first half because we struggled to find our legs,” he said. “We struggled with confidence. You could see that [there was] a combination of these two factors. After that, we still gave everything in the second half and unfortunately we couldn’t find the second goal.

“The decision-making is linked with confidence as well, so it’s very difficult to measure. It’s a combination of both.”

 

 

Video

Brighton v Arsenal: Match video

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's second Arsenal goal wasn't enough as we were beaten 2-1 at Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray put Chris Hughton's side in control, before our No 14 pulled one back just before half-time. We created chances thereafter, but didn't take any of them.

Press the 'play' button above to watch extended match video, or scroll down for the following:

  • A bitesize cut
  • The full match replay
  • Aubameyang's goal
  • Shane Duffy heading against his own post

 

The Breakdown

Analysis: What went wrong against Brighton

Our poor form continued on Sunday as we were beaten 2-1 by Brighton & Hove Albion.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke examines the match in detail, focusing on:

  • How individual errors proved so damaging
  • Why we should have targeted more fast overloads out wide 
  • How Brighton's structure made them hard to break down
  • The positive impressive Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made

 

Press conference

Why didn’t Aaron Ramsey play against Brighton?

Aaron Ramsey was not included in our squad for Sunday’s Premier League at Brighton. But why?

Arsene Wenger explained his selection after the game.

“I left him at home because I played him in the two games against City, without a lot of training in behind,” said the boss.

“I didn’t want to gamble today for a physical setback, so I left him completely out of the squad.

“Yes [it’s a sign of the Europa League’s importance], because we have to be realistic. We need two teams to collapse [in the Premier League]. I can’t see that at the moment, because two teams to drop so many points is very difficult to imagine. 

“But we have to give our best for as long as we can. Of course the Europa League becomes important.”

 

Post-Match Report

Brighton 2-1 Arsenal: How it happened

Jack Wilshere and Hector Bellerin react to losing against Brighton

WHAT HAPPENED

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his second goal in an Arsenal shirt but that was scant consolation on a miserable day on the south coast.

We started brightly enough but the gloom descended when Shane Duffy beat Petr Cech to a deep corner to send a header back across goal, and Lewis Dunk poked in the loose ball.

It went from bad to worse when Laurent Koscielny gave possession away with a wayward pass out of defence. Brighton worked the ball to Pascal Gross and he crossed for Glenn Murray to bury a downward header.

Cech kept the score down with a vital stop from Anthony Knockaert but Brighton looked dangerous every time they came forward and were dominant in the air.

Things looked bleak, but we dug deep and grabbed a lifeline just before the break.

Alex Iwobi was first to a loose clearance and kept his head to pick out Granit Xhaka inside the box. The Swiss midfielder's driven low ball found Aubameyang, who stuck out a leg to flick the ball beyond Mathew Ryan.

How Aubameyang scored against Brighton

How Aubameyang scored against Brighton

We almost drew level before the break when Henrikh Mkhitaryan curled in an inviting cross and Duffy, under pressure from Koscielny, powered a header against his own post.

That was bad luck. Nonetheless, there was now an urgency and intensity about our play - and that continued after the break.

Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang and - most spectacularly - Ozil forced saves from Ryan as we forced Brighton back.

But the home side held firm to condemn us to a fourth straight defeat in all competitions.

Aubameyang scores at Brighton

Aubameyang scores at Brighton


WHAT IT MEANS

We’re in sixth place in the Premier League - 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

The Premier League table after our defeat at Brighton

The Premier League table after our defeat at Brighton


WHAT’S NEXT

Our final chance of silverware is the Europa League and we head to the San Siro this week for the first leg of our last-16 clash with Milan.

CHANCES AT THE AMEX

Aubameyang scored his second goal for us since his record move from Borussia Dortmund. This is how close we came to a second goal on the south coast:

3 mins - Iwobi’s shot is blocked by a sliding Duffy, but Aubameyang seizes on the loose ball and finds Ozil for a curler that goes just over

40 - Mkhitaryan makes a run in behind the Brighton defence and Chambers finds him, but Ryan saves from a narrow angle

45 - Mkhitaryan’s corner is cleared back to him and his second cross is headed against the post by Duffy, under pressure from Koscielny

49 - Mkhitaryan takes aim from 20 yards out but Ryan gets down to save

51 - Iwobi finds space for a shot but he can’t get enough power on it and Ryan gathers comfortably

58 - Ozil surges through the centre, finds Aubameyang, collects the return pass and sends in a fierce shot that Ryan pushes around the post

89 - Wilshere has space on the edge of the area after a corner is half-cleared, but his shot bounces wide

90 - Aubameyang strikes a firm half-volley from 12 yards but Ryan is equal to it

Eddie Nketiah reacts after his header is saved against Brighton

Eddie Nketiah reacts after his header is saved against Brighton

Attendance: 30,620

Fixtures

Premier League
Ticket Info
The Emirates FA Cup
Ticket Info

Results

Premier League
The Emirates FA Cup