Arsenal go top after Brentford win

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  • Post published:March 9, 2024

Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League standings after claiming a 2-1 victory over Brentford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.

Yoane Wissa’s equaliser was handed by Gunners goalie Ramsdale, bringing Mikel Arteta’s team dangerously close to a tie.

Declan Rice gave Arsenal the lead early in the first half, but Wissa took advantage of Ramsdale’s tardiness in clearing the ball just before halftime and stopped it from entering the goal.

Just four minutes before the final whistle blew at a joyous Emirates Stadium, Havertz made sure Arsenal would not miss their opportunity to go up into first position with a brilliant header.

With their eighth straight league win, the north Londoners moved one point clear of the previous leaders, Liverpool.

If second-place Liverpool and third-place Manchester City tie in their thrilling match at Anfield on Sunday, Arsenal will maintain their lead on goal differential.

The much-maligned Havertz’s eighth goal since leaving Chelsea to join Arsenal highlighted their desire to atone for their previous season’s title-winning collapse, which saw them blow an eight-point advantage.

Arsenal’s hopes of winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004 and their first Champions League victory are in the balance right now.

Their next Premier League encounter is at Manchester City on March 31. They will attempt to overcome a 1-0 disadvantage against Porto in the Champions League last 16 second leg on Tuesday.

The Gunners’ impressive winning run has seen them score 33 goals and give up only four goals, thanks to a January training camp in Dubai that gave them new life.

Arsenal’s impressive run was sustained on Monday with a 6-0 thumping of Sheffield United, and they wasted little time in attacking Brentford.

Arsenal took control of the game and controlled it masterfully, gradually squeezing Brentford until they took the lead in the nineteenth minute.

Rice shot high to beat Brentford keeper Mark Flekken with a header from ten yards out after Ben White whipped over a brilliantly weighted cross from the right.

The goal marked the ex-West Ham midfielder’s sixth of an outstanding debut year with the Gunners.

Flekken did a good job stopping Leandro Trossard’s long-range bomb, but Arsenal were playing so effectively that it felt like they would score again soon.

Instead, in stoppage time in the first half, Ramsdale’s error shocked the Emirates into quiet.

The Arsenal custodian ought to have dealt with Gabriel’s back pass, but he took too long to clear the ball within his six-yard box, giving Wissa the opportunity to close him down and make a sliding stop that diverted it into the net.

As he collected the ball, Ramsdale appeared upset, and his teammates went out of their way to console him as he walked slowly towards the tunnel for halftime.

Since Arsenal’s first-choice keeper David Raya was ineligible to play against his parent club on November 25, Ramsdale was starting for the first time in the league.

When the England international returned for the second half, Arsenal fans cheered him on.

When Vitaly Janelt mishit a shot after Ramsdale’s tense punch, it did not appear as though that faith would be rewarded.

However, Ramsdale made a great save to deny Ivan Toney’s daring attempt, which was going into the top corner from thirty yards out. This allowed Ramsdale to partially redeem himself.

Ramsdale produced yet another excellent save to deflect Collins’ header from close range as the tension built.

With a curler that struck the bar from the edge of the area, Rice came within inches of giving Arsenal the lead again.

In the 86th minute, Havertz scored with seconds remaining.

With Arsenal’s title hopes still alive, he found space in the six-yard box to meet White’s cross with a strong header that caused Arteta to celebrate wildly on the touchline.

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