Arsenal’s title hopes were dealt a massive blow as Brighton sealed a commanding 3-0 win at the Emirates.
The result means that reigning Champions Manchester City have a four-point lead at the top of the table with a game in hand. Pep Guardiola’s side could retain their title with a victory over Chelsea next weekend.
Brighton entered this game after a shock loss to Everton at home last weekend. In his pre-match conference, Manager Roberto De Zerbi claimed that his side will show their true mettle against the Gunners. And the Seagulls delivered in stunning fashion.
The visitors were the better of the two sides right from the whistle. The Gunners were dealt an early blow when striker Gabriel Martinelli had to be taken off due to injury, and the hosts didn’t create any clear-cut openings in the opening few minutes.
Brighton effective in midfield
Alexis Mac Allister, Pascal Gross, Bily Gilmour and Julio Enciso held the fort in the middle of the park with astute passing and dominating possession, making Arsenal work hard even to get hold of the ball.
Karou Mitoma got the better of Ben White time and again in the left wing while Pervis Estupinan and Moises Caicedo both had brilliant outings playing as wingbacks on either side.
Leandro Trossard’s deflected effort shaved the crossbar on its way out in the 31st minute but it was all the hosts had to show for at the first-half whistle.
Brighton took the lead in the 51st minute when Enciso headed home from close range following Estupinian’s cross from the left wing.
Arsenal’s title hopes evaporate
Despite taking the lead, De Zerbi’s side never sat back, rather creating several opportunities to double their lead. Arsenal, on the other side, were guilty of a disjointed performance, hardly showing any intent coupled with poor all-round play.
Substitute striker Deniz Undav made it 2-0 in the 81st minute with a dinked effort over Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal goal after the Trossard gave the ball away cheaply under pressure from the Brighton midfield.
Estupinan then made it 3-0 in the sixth minute of stoppage to cap off a brilliant performance from the travelling side.
The result sees the Seagulls almost certain of European football next season as they sit in 6th place with 58 points with 4 games left.
Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images
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