Brighton are on the brink of European qualification, at the expense of Arsenal title hopes, after soaring to a 3-0 victory at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
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The defeat leaves Arsenal (81 points – 2nd place) four points behind Manchester City, with the two-time defending Premier League champions having three games left to play, to Arsenal’s two. A home victory over Chelsea next Sunday (11 am ET) will see Manchester City make it three straight PL titles — provided Arsenal win to remain mathematically in the hunt on Saturday.
Three more points put Brighton (58 points) in pole position for 6th place and a spot in next season’s Europa League. The Seagulls are already a point above both Tottenham and Aston Villa, with two games in hand. 5th-place Liverpool sit four points ahead having played one more game thus far.
WATCH ARSENAL vs BRIGHTON FULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton were slower out of the starting gates on Sunday with just one shot in the game’s opening half-hour, before Roberto De Zerbi’s side found its footing and began to push back. The tide started to turn are the 35-minute mark, and indeed it was Brighton who broke the deadlock shortly after halftime.
For all the pretty possession on display, it was a mis-hit, bouncing cross headed home from six yards out that ultimately did the trick for Brighton. Pervis Estupinan’s cross took a big bounce to clear the near-post defender and find Julio Enciso, who had perched himself atop the six-yard, for a simple header past Aaron Ramsdale.
The second goal came on 87 minutes as Arsenal made widespread changes and pressed for an equalizer. A poor giveaway turned into a quick transitional moment for the Premier League’s preeminent transition team. In the end, Deniz Undav lifted the ball over Ramsdale and wheeled away as it fell back to earth and bounced over the goal line.
Estupinan sent the away fans into delirium once more in the 95th minute, when Undav had his initial shot saved, but the ball bounced to the Ecuadorian international, who lifted it over the flailing Ramsdale for a more emphatic final headline. Seagulls on European tour.
End-of-season collapses becoming an Arsenal theme
The Gunners held an eight-point lead on April 1, just six short weeks ago, with only nine games left to play (one more game played at the time). Since then, Mikel Arteta’s side has gone 2W-3D-2L. Last season, they were in the driver’s seat for 4th place and a return to the Champions League, before losing five of their last 10 games, including the pivotal decider away to rivals Tottenham.
There is no doubt that progress was made in terms of results this season, as they climb from 69 points to 81 (with two games left to play). But, the young side’s mentality has taken another tough hit as they watch eight months of hard work circle the drain for a second straight season. Spurs-y.
Stars of the show
Arsenal will continue their pursuit of Manchester City next Saturday (12:30 pm ET), when they visit the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest. Brighton will be back in action again on Thursday (2:30 pm ET), as they make up their postponed game away to Newcastle.
Arsenal vs Brighton, final score: 0-3
51st minute – Julio Enciso heads home from close range to put Brighton ahead
A stunned silence falls over the home fans as Brighton take the lead!
📺: @USANetwork | #ARSBHA pic.twitter.com/6vDIgGlY0Q
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) May 14, 2023
86th minute – Deniz Undav chips Aaron Ramsdale to make it 2-0, end Arsenal title hopes
Undav chips Ramsdale!
Is that it for Arsenal's title hopes?
📺: @USANetwork | #ARSBHA pic.twitter.com/OlSC2H9dPF
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) May 14, 2023
90th minute +5 – Pervis Estupinan adds goal no. 3, cherry on top
How to watch Arsenal vs Brighton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Arsenal got back to winning ways with victories over Chelsea and Newcastle last week, but not before taking just three points from four games without a win saw Mikel Arteta’s side lose its stranglehold on the title race. No other side in the Premier League has four players with double-digit goals this season, as Martin Odegaard (15), Gabriel Martinelli (15), Bukayo Saka (13) and Gabriel Jesus (10) power the Premier League’s 2nd-best scoring record.
Brighton might not have the numbers to match Arsenal’s firepower, but the Seagulls have every bit of the free-flowing swagger with which they have become synonymous under Roberto De Zerbi and Graham Potter. However, it was anything but pretty last time out, as relegation-fighting Everton put five past Brighton on their home patch in perhaps the most baffling result of the PL season.
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf), William Saliba (back), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knock)
🔴 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠𝙉𝙀𝙒𝙎 ⚪️
🧱 Tierney starts
🪄 Odegaard in the middle
💨 Jesus leads the line
LET'S GO GUNNERS!! 💪 pic.twitter.com/F7xiFXExgc
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 14, 2023
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Tariq Lamptey (knee), Solly March (thigh), Jeremy Sarmiento (ankle), Adam Lallana (thigh – out for season), Jakub Moder (knee), Joel Veltman (hamstring)
TEAM. 💙 Here's our starting XI to take on Arsenal in the #PL this afternoon! 📝
📲 https://t.co/S3j1TIedJv // #BHAFC 🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/k5sYFxt02x
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) May 14, 2023