Brighton’s determination is too much for toothless Arsenal.

 

 

 

 

If we are being completely honest, Arsenal should have been comfortably ahead by three goals going into half time and that would have been due to an Aubameyang hat trick.

The second half was the complete opposite, with the North London contending instead of competing and always second best in every department.

 

 

 

Arsenal started the match with purpose and energy going forward but it’s at the other end where the concerns are. Lichtsteiner, Kolasinac, Sokratis and Koscielny were the latest combination due to injury and it was Lichtsteiner, who would cause the most problems in the most negative sense.

He lacked control going forward, appearing to have the touch of a rhinoceros in ballet pumps and in defence he was a yard off the pace.

 

 

 

It all started so well , with Lacazette and Aubameyang looking for a feast of goals between them and Aubameyang scored a scorcher, after Lacazette did all the spade work whilst completely surrounded by defenders.

He turned, he twisted and somehow ignored the attentions of at least five defenders to poke the ball to Aubameyang. 

 

It was expected, it was inevitable and it had all the trademarks of the world class player that he clearly is.

 

 

 

At this point, Brighton seemed like a coach load of wedding guests that hardly knew each other, they were disjointed and clueless as Arsenal prodded and probed.

Aubameyang had another two efforts denied by Brighton Keeper Matt Ryan.

Yet, even that didn’t stop the feeling that Arsenal would add more to their tally.

 

 

 

Around 16 minutes, Brighton couldn’t buy a touch of the ball but that was about to change, suddenly the Seasiders took control and Arsenal looked decidedly jittery.

Murray’s shot in the 25th minute was blocked and Leno went to ground to smother semi successfully.

 

 

Both Murray and Gross proceeded to kick the ball out of his hands in a synchronised mugging for Murray to somehow roll it over the line but justifiably, no goal was given.

Ten minutes later, a more legitimate chance came from a Kolasinac corner, which spiralled out and was hoofed up field as nothing more than a hopeful punt.

It found the head of a fully stretched Lichtsteiner, who pushed the ball into the path of Locadia.

 

 

 

 

Leno had been left with no other option than to attack the ball but was left with too much to do.

After that, it was Arsenal who looked out of salts and found it difficult to respond.

Brighton found space and time, all the things that Arsenal love and suddenly the ‘possessionometer’ swung in Brighton’s favour.

 

 

The second half and Ozil was replaced by Iwobi, which was a surprise.

I would have opted for Ramsey to replace Guendouzi and Maitland- Niles to replace Lichtsteiner.

Even with the substitution, Brighton had the lions share of the game and the better chances.

 

 

 

 

 

The gunners couldn’t find their ‘A’ game or the killer pass and flirted with defeat over and over again.

It was hard to recognise the team that thumped Spurs so impressively at the Emirates or the one that ground out a win against Burnley. 

 

 

Locardia could have and should have put the game to bed but he pulled his shot and it went wide of the Arsenal goal.

The gunners had been victims the ball over the top all day long and failed to close down or look enthusiastic when out of possession. 

With ten minutes left, a draw was the minimum Brighton deserved and for anyone thinking that Arsenal could go higher than slots five or four, need to think again. 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s not to say that it’s been a horrible season, expectations and reality need to converge and the final product needs to be realistic.

So far, for a first season, Arsenal have overachieved.

They need at least another season and a few new faces to put the final touches to the developing artwork.

 

 

The stats tell their own story, Brighton had 12 shots on target to Arsenal’s 7.Yet Arsenal had 68% possession, to Brighton’s 32%.

 

So. creatively, after Ozil was withdrawn, it got a whole lot worse, with zero clear opportunities being created. 

Although it’s a disappointing result , you only have to look at what’s happening at both Manchester Clubs to see that nothing is ever going to be as easy as it appears.

 

 

 

 

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