We fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Brighton on Saturday at Emirates Stadium, with goals from Leandro Trossard and Enock Mwepu handing The Seagulls all three points despite a wonder-goal from Martin Odegaard late on.
After defeat last time out to Crystal Place and injuries to key players, it was crucial we got off to a good start against Brighton in north London, but it wasn't to be.
Chances were few and far between for the Gunners in the opening exchanges, with Bukayo Saka's back-post cross to Gabriel Magalhaes representing our best move in the first 25 minutes.
Three minutes later, though, we were behind. Brighton played a long clearance upfield into the right-hand channel towards Mwepu who picked out Trossard inside the box. The 27-year-old forward only needed a touch to bend the ball past Aaron Ramsdale and into the top corner to give Graham Potter's side the advantage.
We upped the tempo after falling behind as we looked to get back on level terms. Granit Xhaka slid in Emile Smith Rowe as our No. 10 went in search of his 11th goal this season, but with the angle tight, his shot couldn't beat Robert Sanchez at the near-post.
As the half drew to a close, we fashioned our best moment. Bukayo Saka's late corner picked out Gabriel at the far post whose towering header found Gabriel Martinelli unmarked on the goal line. Our young Brazillian duly headed in to level the scores, but after a lengthy VAR review, it was ruled out for offside.
We looked a different side after the break, with Cedric's blocked free-kick the result of a renewed spirit following the restart. A period of domination followed, but tenacious work from Brighton at the back kept the busy Smith Rowe and Odegaard at bay.
Mikel Arteta was soon forced to turn to his bench as the clock ticked past the hour mark with Smith Rowe making way for Eddie Nketiah upfront.
We kept on coming as Saka's driven effort blazed over the bar, before there was to be further anguish for Mikel Arteta's side. Brighton worked a rare spell of second-half possession into a good chance. Moises Caicedo pulled it back to Mwepu on the edge of the box, who smashed it beyond the outstretched right-hand hand of Ramsdale to double the visitors' lead in the 67th-minute.
The final few minutes of the game burst into life as Martin Odegaard's late free-kick was parried into the path of Nketiah who hit the bar from close range. Odegaard then picked the ball up moments later and fired into the top corner from 25-yards to get us back into the contest.
With six added minutes, we pushed and pushed but couldn't quite find enough to level the game.
The final whistle was greeted with disappointment from the N5 faithful, as we were forced to leave the game empty-handed once again in the Premier League.
WHAT IT MEANS
We stay fifth in the Premier League after 30 matches, three points behind Tottenham with a game in hand on our north London rivals.
The games keep on coming for us as we head to St Mary's to face Southampton in the Premier League next Saturday, before we hit the road again to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, April 20.
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