Arsenal’s attack was too much for Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, though the Seagulls made sure to provide some fun for the home fans in a 4-2 affair at the Amex Stadium.
Martin Odegaard had a goal and an assist for the Premier League leaders, who stretched their table advantage to seven points over Man City and nine clear of Newcastle after draws for both sides earlier Saturday.
Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Eddie Nketiah also scored for the Gunners. It’s still very early days but Arsenal can, theoretically, lose both of its games to Manchester City and still win the Premier League.
Brighton never really let the Gunners enjoy their four-goal show, which came against a Seagulls side missing Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo. Kaoru Mitoma and Evan Ferguson scored in a game it trailed 3-0 and 4-1. Mitoma had a second goal taken off the board in the 89th minute.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Arsenal sends a new, threatening message to Man City, chasers
Mikel Arteta’s men will not be happy with their shakiness in hanging on to 3-0 and 4-1 leads at the Amex, but the sign they showed to the rest of the league in this six-goal thriller is loud.
Arsenal can now lose both of its Premier League matches to Manchester City and still control its title destiny, a thought that would’ve seemed farfetched before the season and insane just a year ago.
The Gunners have scored the second-most goals in the league (Man City) and have the second-stingiest defense (Newcastle).
And with all due respect to the Europa League, Arsenal will be prioritizing the title fight while City will be tempted to continue its aim of achieving Champions League victor status.
That said, Arsenal was largely overrun by Brighton late and this was a Brighton side missing huge pieces of its midfield. But there’s no question that the Gunners now must be considered a team that can win the Premier League.
Wow. Soak it in, Gooners.
Stars of the Show
Arsenal hosts Newcastle on Tuesday with a chance to essentially erase any lingering thoughts regarding the Magpies as a surprise threat to the Premier League throne room.
Brighton’s also in action on Tuesday with a visit to Everton on the agenda.
Bukayo Saka goal video: Gunners race ahead
Martin Odegaard goal video: Norwegian’s sweet strike makes it 2-0
Eddie Nketiah goal video
Kaoru Mitoma goal video
Gabriel Martinelli goal video
Evan Ferguson goal video
How to watch Brighton vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & in-form players
Adam Lallana and Leandro Trossard have been in-form over Brighton’s three wins in four, scoring in two games each. The Seagulls will need to keep finding goals because the absences of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister will give Arsenal an advantage in what it wants to do in the heart of the pitch.
Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Eddie Nketiah all scored in the win over West Ham, and Martin Odegaard continues to impress as both a playmaker and a leader. The Gunners haven’t had a player score in consecutive matches since Saka bagged three goals between an Oct. 9 defeat of Liverpool and Oct. 16 win at Leeds.
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Webster (other), Moises Caicedo (suspension), Alexis Mac Allister (late return from World Cup), Danny Welbeck (muscular).
Come on Albion! 👊💙 Here's our starting XI to take on @Arsenal this evening. 📝
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) December 31, 2022
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Reiss Nelson (thigh), Gabriel Jesus (knee), Emile Smith Rowe (groin)
⚡️ 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠𝙉𝙀𝙒𝙎 ⚡️
🤩 Zinchenko returns
💪 Xhaka in midfield
📞 Eddie leads the line
✊ Ready to go for the final time this year pic.twitter.com/gYv05vxZrw
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 31, 2022