Arsenal's title hopes are absolutely dashed after pricey loss to high-flying Brighton


Arsenal‘s Premier League title hopes suffered a probably deadly blow after they misplaced 3-0 at house to Brighton on Sunday.

Julio Enciso‘s 51st-minute header broke the impasse earlier than former Brighton striker Leandro Trossard gifted Deniz Undav the prospect to double their lead on 86 minutes. As the sport went into stoppage-time, Pervis Estupinan added a 3rd as he turned house the rebound after Gunners goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale saved Undav’s long-range effort.

Roberto De Zerbi’s facet earned a treasured win which retains their pursuit of European qualification on monitor whereas leaving the Gunners’ possibilities of toppling Manchester Metropolis hanging by a thread.

A cagey first half gave solution to a extra open, freeflowing second interval through which Brighton performed the higher soccer and Arsenal struggled to copy the shape which had launched an improbably title problem. Estupinan’s preliminary cross was intercepted by Kieran Tierney however the Ecuadorian defender scuffed the rebound again throughout objective the place Enciso was unmarked to move house.

As they chased an equaliser, Arsenal tried to play out from the again however Trossard’s first-time ahead go was intercepted by Pascal Gross and the unfastened ball fell completely for substitute Undav, who lifted a intelligent end over Ramsdale.

Arsenal stay 4 factors behind Metropolis having performed a recreation extra, that means Metropolis will likely be topped champions if the Gunners lose at Nottingham Forest subsequent Saturday.

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Fast response

1. Arsenal’s title hopes has absolutely run its course

That’s absolutely that. Arsenal play once more earlier than Metropolis however the hole seems too massive, the chance misplaced. Beating Newcastle United final weekend appeared to breath contemporary life into the title race however Sunday was absolutely the decisive day as Metropolis eased to a 3-0 win at Everton earlier than Arsenal had been crushed by the higher staff and the identical scoreline in north London.

Brighton nonetheless must play Metropolis however they’re already the kingmakers, dealing Arsenal’s title hopes the ultimate, savage blow. Mikel Arteta admitted earlier than the sport there can be no means of maintaining the Metropolis end result from his gamers and maybe the emphatic scoreline at Goodison Park contributed to a flat show through which they failed to really rouse themselves even after falling behind.

It can rankle with Arteta that they had been unable to take Metropolis proper to the ultimate week of the season however two wins from their final seven video games has proved sufficient of a wobble to permit Pep Guardiola’s facet to surge previous them right into a close to unassailable lead. There have been no boos on the remaining whistle. Hundreds of followers had left in disappointment however those that stayed cheered their staff. They know the way a lot they’ve given. However additionally they now realize it will not fairly be sufficient to win their first Premier League title since 2004.

2. Arsenal confirmed some struggle however not their soccer

Essentially the most spectacular side of final weekend’s win at Newcastle was the way through which Arsenal stood as much as the physicality and ferocity of their opponents, incomes the best to play as their high quality got here to the fore. Sunday pitched two of essentially the most aesthetically pleasing groups towards one another but the primary half was an attritional affair, exemplified by Gabriel Martinelli‘s tough problem on Kaoru Mitoma returned in type by Moises Caicedo‘s deal with on the Brazilian a couple of minutes later.

Arsenal created harmful moments as Leandro Trossard hit the crossbar, Gabriel Jesus was denied by a wise save and Bukayo Saka flashed a shot huge on the stroke of half-time. However Brighton had 62% possession — with additionally a touch larger xG of 0.50 to 0.45 regardless of having three photographs to Arsenal’s eight — and stepped it up after the interval, enjoying some luxurious soccer seemingly capable of carry out freed from the stress which maybe inhibited the house facet.

It’s testomony to Arsenal’s high quality this season that they’ve so hardly ever been outplayed. The Gunners have now misplaced 5 league video games this season. Manchester Metropolis taught them a lesson in each of their wins however Manchester United‘s 3-1 win in September was slightly smash and seize, as was Everton’s1-0 success in Sean Dyche’s first recreation in cost. Brighton deserved this, wanting shaper in possession with extra invention. They nonetheless must play Metropolis at house however sadly for Arsenal, the form of take a look at Brighton might present will virtually actually come too late.

3. Accidents spotlight Arteta’s must strengthen facet

Arsenal reacted well to accumulate Jorginho and Leandro Trossard in January when lacking out on their most well-liked targets (Moises Caicedo stayed at Brighton whereas Chelsea outbid the Gunners for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk). These two signings helped them stick with Manchester Metropolis for longer — whilst just lately as final weekend, Jorginho excelled as Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0.

However the subsequent step for Arteta is so as to add additional high quality to match Metropolis’s consistency, particularly with Champions League soccer returning to Emirates Stadium for the primary time in six years. Gabriel Martinelli was compelled off injured after 20 minutes, becoming a member of William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko on the touchline – three key absentees who had been all sorely missed.

Martinelli was seen sporting a protecting boot at full-time, suggesting he’s a serious doubt for his or her remaining two matches. These are, after all, high-quality margins given Arsenal have exceeded expectations this season but when they’re to match Metropolis throughout a number of competitions subsequent time period and maintain one other title problem, Arsenal want so as to add depth in a number of areas: centre-back, central midfield and left again most clearly.

As Rob Holding has struggled deputising for Saliba, finally dropping his place to Jakob Kiwior, Kieran Tierney faltered in Zinchenko’s absence, his meek header enabling Brighton to attain their opening objective. Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson have performed their half at instances this season however they had been ineffective off the bench right here whereas forgotten man Emile Smith Rowe‘s future seems unsure.

Within the greater image, Arsenal are forward of schedule of their squad constructing however it’s nonetheless clear what their subsequent step needs to be.

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton).
Had the beating of Ben White all afternoon with some elegant wing play.

BEST: Pervis Estupinan (Brighton).
A objective, an help and a clear sheet from the all-action Brighton defender.

BEST: Levi Colwill (Brighton).
Did a high-quality job stifling Martin Odegaard and ended with 108 touches, finishing 86.3 per cent of 95 passes tried.

WORST: Jorginho (Arsenal).
Unable to deal with Brighton’s motion in midfield and substituted for Thomas Partey on the hour mark.

WORST: Ben White (Arsenal).
Appeared misplaced within the air and all at sea on the bottom as Brighton focused his channel.

WORST: Kieran Tierney (Arsenal).
Unable to affect play like Zinchenko in possession and struggled to offer defensive solidity.

Highlights and notable moments

Already down one, a mix-up within the again put Arsenal down by two.

After the match: What the managers and gamers mentioned

Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard on the title chase, to Sky Sports activities: “Yeah it feels like that [whether the title is over]. It is going to be very difficult now we have to be honest. It is tough to take… It is not a good feeling at the moment. The way we played, particularly in the second half, I don’t know what happened to be honest. It feels like there is no hope now.”

Brighton striker Deniz Undav on the win, to Sky Sports activities: “The manager showed us a Michael Jordan video, to show us how he motivated himself each game. He showed us after the defeat by Everton and I think it was the right choice to show us the video and we showed today how mentally strong we are.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Info analysis)

– Brighton had by no means crushed Arsenal by a couple of objective, and had by no means held Arsenal scoreless in a Premier League match

– With this loss, Arsenal has 9 factors from its final seven league matches, the membership’s worst span of seven matches all season.

Up subsequent

Arsenal: Heading to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, the place a Gunners loss would hand Manchester Metropolis the title. A win or draw would maintain Arsena’s slim hopes alive however depends upon Metropolis’s end result towards Chelsea subsequent Sunday.

Brighton: A visit to Newcastle United on Thursday the place the Seagulls will look to beat one other Champions League-bound facet whereas boosting their very own hopes of European competitors subsequent season.

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