Brighton beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Amex Stadium as Nicolas Pepe’s beautiful goal was canceled out by an ugly, but very important goal, from Seagulls skipper Lewis Dunk and then Neal Maupay scored in stoppage time to stun Arsenal.
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In a tight, tense clash, Bernd Leno suffered a serious injury in the first half with Maupay pushing him off balance and although Arsenal played well in the second half, Brighton snatched all three points in a massive win.
Below is the Brighton – Arsenal recap and what we learned.
Three things we learned
1. Injury woe continues for Arsenal: After losing Xhaka and Mari in the first half against Man City, they lost Leno in the first half this time to what looks like a serious knee injury and that is a bigger blow. Leno has been their star man this season and his injury was unnecessary as Neal Maupay nudged him off balance and he fell awkwardly.
2. Auba shines for dishevelled Gunners: How much longer Aubameyang remains at Arsenal remains to be seen but his quality is undoubted. Clever flicks, passes and efforts from distance, Auba tried everything to seal a Gunners win. At time he and Bukayo Saka were almost playing on their own. Arsenal need to keep Aubameyang, who has a year left on his contract, but with their Champions League hopes fading will he really stay? Probably not.
3. Brighton have grit to survive: This is a huge win for Brighton. Under Graham Potter they’ve become a free-flowing, attacking team but Brighton showed they have the grit to get themselves out of the relegation battle. There are plenty of twists and turns ahead at the bottom of the table but with Brighton having an extremely tough schedule remaining, they will have to dig deep and revert to their style under Chris Hughton to grab points.
Man of the Match
Neal Maupay – Okay, so he pushed Bernd Leno and that led to his awkward fall and injury but aside from that he was superb. A fine finish in the 94th minute and Maupay was a constant threat.
Bukayo Saka smashed the crossbar with a fine effort early on as both teams came flying out of the traps.
Arsenal started well as Lacazette and Aubameyang were dangerous, with the former having a diving header which Mat Ryan saved well.
Before half time Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno suffered a serious leg injury as he had to be stretchered off, with Emiliano Martinez coming on on his place. Martinez saved well from Aaron Mooy soon after as Brighton took the game to Arsenal.
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Arsenal had the ball in the back of the net at the start of the second half but Aubameyang was just offside as Brighton began to take more chances.
Aubameyang and Saka then linked up with passes down the pitch and that led to Ryan denying Auba at the near post as Arsenal cranked through the gears late on.
Pepe delivered the opener in fine fashion as he curled home into the far top corner to put Arsenal 1-0 up.
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Brighton equalized soon after as a short corner caught Arsenal out and Dunk scrambled home as Rob Holding failed to clear on the line.
Ryan beat away an Aubameyang strike from distance and Davy Propper then blocked another effort from the Arsenal skipper as Brighton then scored in stoppage time to secure a huge win in their battle against relegation.
A clever flick from substitute Aaron Connolly found Maupay and he clipped over Martinez and in to make it 2-1 and boost Brighton’s survival hopes and dash Arsenal’s hopes of a Champions League push.