Arsenal extended their winless run at home to four games in all competitions, following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Gunners enjoyed a pretty good start to the game and looked menacing going forward. However, their progress stalled as time wore on, ultimately giving Brighton more freedom not only in possession but also in their offensive stances. The Arsenal backline looked incredibly nervy whenever the visitors marched forward. And it was only a matter of time when Adam Webster scored the opener in the 36th minute.
Arsenal, however, roared back after the half-time break, producing an excellent display in the first 15 minutes of the second half. They eventually scored the equaliser through Alexandre Lacazette in the 50th minute. But once again, they failed to maintain the pressure as Brighton started to enjoy more possession. The Seagulls unexpectedly restored their lead in the 80th minute thanks to Neal Maupay, giving Arsenal a hammer blow.
Here is how Freddie Ljungberg’s men fared in their disappointing display against Brighton this evening.
Bernd Leno 8
Couldn’t have done anything to save either of Brighton’s two goals. He did, however, made some stunning saves and was confident when defending set-pieces. It was the defenders who deserve all the blame for not giving him enough security.
Hector Bellerin 4
A horrendous display from the Spaniard, who simply couldn’t figure out a way to get past the likes of Dan Burn and Aaron Mooy. The latter caused a lot of trouble going forward as well, with Bellerin often leaving acres of space down on the right-hand channel. Even Calum Chambers seems like a better fit at right-back at the moment.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 5
Sokratis didn’t necessarily make any notable defensive errors today. But, he should have been much more alert when defending the set-piece that led to Brighton’s opener.
David Luiz 2
A candidate for being the worst performer in this game, David Luiz was nothing more than a just a pusher in defence for the Brighton attacker. Maupay, in particular, found it rather easy to get past the Brazilian, whose poor marking led to the second goal. It was simply an unacceptable defensive display from this experienced defender.
Sead Kolasinac 6.5
By far the best Arsenal player this evening, Kolasinac showed moments of brilliance at times and linked up quite well with Mesut Ozil on the far side. He also put in a great defensive shift, minimising the influence of Steven Alzate.
Granit Xhaka 7.5
Xhaka was actually one of the best performers for Arsenal in this fixture. The Swiss looked comprehensive in his passing and threaded a few delicious long diagonal balls. He also provided ample defensive cover, though he did look tired late in the game.
Lucas Torreira 8
Put in a great shift in central midfield. The Uruguayan’s tenacity and enthusiasm was what Arsenal were really missing throughout the course of the campaign. His passing was also quite good, helping the Gunners dominate the midfield, to an extent.
Joe Willock 6
Willock lacked the composure as far as his forward passes are concerned. But, his driving runs into the final third caused quite a scare for the Brighton defenders. He was eventually taken off after half-time as the midfielder made way for Nicolas Pepe.
Mesut Ozil 6.5
Ozil looked lively during the first quarter of the game. However, his influence started to fade as time wore on, though his set-piece deliveries, coupled with his combination with Kolasinac on the far side was pretty appealing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 7
Tried to lead a dejected Arsenal side this evening. He did look very active and covered a lot of positions, often rotating down the right flank as well as moving into the central area, depending on the situation. Could have done a little better in testing the goalkeeper, at times.
Alexandre Lacazette 7.5
Lacazette’s frustration clearly reflected Arsenal’s current state as the forward was often robbed off scoring opportunities, either due to luck or some soft shirt pulling from the Brighton players. Deserves plaudits for his commitment, though.
Nicolas Pepe 7.5
Replaced Willock at the start of the second half and inspired Arsenal to make an excellent start. His pace and trickery were something the Gunners were missing in the first half. But like any other player, Pepe failed to sustain the pressure on the Brighton defenders.
Kieran Tierney N/A
Came on for Kolasinac late in the game and provided an excellent cross to Gabriel Martinelli, which could have potentially helped Arsenal score the equaliser.
Gabriel Martinelli N/A
Aside from the late header which was saved by Mathew Ryan, Martinelli provided a bit of spark going forward after replacing Lacazette in the 77th minute.
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