Arsenal go top after comfortable Brighton win

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  • Post published:April 6, 2024

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League standings following their comfortable 3-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at the American Express Community Stadium in Falmer.

At the top of the league, Mikel Arteta’s team pulls one point ahead of champions Manchester City and Liverpool, who play Manchester United on Sunday.

Saka scored the first goal from the penalty spot, and Havertz added his fifth goal in his previous nine Arsenal appearances after that.

For the third five minutes of time, Leandro Trossard came off the bench and haunted his old team by chipping in a slick one over Bart Verbruggen.

In ideal condition for their Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Arteta could even afford to substitute Saka shortly after the hour mark.

Since September, Brighton had won 14 of their previous home games in all competitions; however, throughout that streak, Brighton had not faced a team as good as Arsenal.

They are now in position to win their first Premier League title in 20 years after winning 10 and drawing one of their past 11 league games—away to Manchester City.

Arsenal has made extensive use of set pieces this season, and in a matter of seconds, Gabriel headed Martin Odegaard’s tempting free kick wide, almost giving the team the lead.

After receiving a rest for Wednesday’s 2-0 success against Luton, Saka ought to have opened the score before breaking the deadlock, as the England international missed with just Verbruggen to beat.

Gabriel Jesus was then denied by the Dutch international custodian with a spectacular save, and the Brazilian headed another excellent chance over from Havertz’s tempting cross.

However, on minute 33, Arsenal’s pressure paid off.

Tariq Lamptey tripped Jesus inside the area, and the defender’s claims that he touched the ball were dismissed.

Saka grabbed ownership of the situation right away, sending Verbruggen the wrong way to score his 17th goal of the year.

Arsenal has now maintained five straight Premier League away clean sheets, and they were seldom challenged by Brighton’s lacklustre attack.

The closest the Seagulls had to a reply was Julio Enciso, who attempted a curling shot outside the box, which David Raya did a good job of blocking.

After the break, Arsenal looked less dangerous, but Havertz’s tap-in at the near post from Jorginho’s cross gave them the crucial second goal.

The German international then provided the third, setting up Trossard to score on his first visit back to the Amex since moving to the Emirates in January 2023 by racing away in behind Brighton’s defenders.

Following City’s 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace earlier on Saturday, Liverpool must now answer their championship rivals when they return to Old Trafford in search of retribution.

Three weeks ago, in an exciting FA Cup quarterfinal, United defeated Jurgen Klopp’s team 4-3.

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