Arsenal celebrate in style as win expands lead to 7 points


Arsenal beat Brighton & Hove Albion 4-2 on Saturday as objectives from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli despatched the Gunners seven points clear on the high of the Premier League.

Saka scored the opening aim after simply 66 seconds earlier than Odegaard doubled the guests’ lead in the thirty ninth minute on a rainswept evening on the Amex Stadium.

Nketiah poked residence a 3rd simply after the restart earlier than Kaoru Mitoma briefly raised Brighton’s hopes 18 minutes later, just for Martinelli to strike in the 71st minute.

Substitute Evan Ferguson, 18, scored his first league aim with 13 minutes remaining and Mitoma thought he had introduced Brighton to inside a one-goal deficit however his 89th-minute effort was dominated out on VAR overview for offside and Mikel Arteta’s facet held on for a deserved victory.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, extra (U.S.)
– Premier League desk | Upcoming fixtures

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid response

1. Arsenal seize on City, Newcastle misses to lengthen Premier League lead

The Gunners already knew they’d finish 2022 on the high of the Premier League however outcomes earlier on Saturday made this an surprising golden alternative to lengthen their benefit.

Manchester City’s shock 1-1 draw at residence to Everton mixed with Newcastle United being held 0-0 by Leeds United meant a seven-point lead was the prize for victory on the south coast. It was one other take a look at of their resolve in the pressurised setting of a title race, in opposition to a gifted Brighton facet (albeit bereft of World Cup successful playmaker Alexis Mac Allister) who had already thrashed Chelsea at residence and received away at Manchester United this season.

Yet slightly than be inhibited by the raised stakes, they excelled and grasped the possibility offered to them with each palms. From the second Saka gave Arsenal a second-minute lead, the Gunners performed with a combination of authority and composure for lengthy durations earlier than surviving a late Brighton rally in a fashion which bodes nicely for the challenges forward.

They have been comfortable to concede possession (they’d simply 32% of the ball) and keep compact to decide their opponents off on the break, demonstrating a versatility which is able to please supervisor Mikel Arteta.

No facet has ever been seven points (or extra) clear on New Year’s Day and never received the Premier League. This explicit season is skewed in that context given the midseason World Cup means fewer video games have been performed to this level. Nevertheless, the Gunners are in an especially thrilling place.

2. Like Haaland, Odegaard benefiting from Norway’s World Cup miss

Much was manufactured from Norway’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, which means that Erling Haaland may get pleasure from 5 weeks resting up earlier than persevering with his devastating type with Manchester City. However, the identical is true of Martin Odegaard. After a man-of-the-match show in opposition to West Ham United on Boxing Day, Odegaard was as soon as once more closely influential right here.

He produced a jaw-dropping second of ability which just about led to beautiful aim for Gabriel Martinelli earlier than scoring Arsenal’s second aim himself, albeit with a scruffy left-footed end. There was nothing scruffy about his elegant help for Martinelli in the second half, steering a superb first-time via ball for the Brazilian to web Arsenal’s fourth.

Odegaard now has seven objectives and 5 assists from 15 league matches this season, greater than his tally for the whole thing of the earlier marketing campaign. Made captain aged simply 24 in the summer season, Odegaard just isn’t probably the most vocal presence on the pitch however Arteta desires him to lead by instance and that’s exactly what the midfielder is doing at current.



Don Hutchison and Julien Laurens clarify what Mykhailo Mudryk may deliver to Arsenal.

3. Are you watching, Mykhailo? Transfer targets will like what they see

For the second time in lower than every week, Mykhailo Mudryk made it clear he was watching. Arsenal’s high January switch goal used his Instagram account to seize a tv display screen displaying this recreation. The picture confirmed Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi (Mudryk’s former coach at Shakhtar Donetsk) alongside Arteta with the caption ‘Two high coach[es]” and so the message was clear.

Mudryk is keen on a move to North London but the two clubs are yet to agree a fee with Shakhtar insisting they want a fee in the region of €100 million for the 21-year-old. Results like this will only reinforce the view that Arsenal are going places under Arteta, making them more attractive when the transfer window officially opens tomorrow.

The Gunners are thought to be considering a move for a striker, possibly on loan, following a knee injury to Gabriel Jesus which will rule him out for three months. Top of the league and playing such good football, why wouldn’t a top player want to be part of something with this much potential?

Player ratings

Brighton: Robert Sanchez 6, Tariq Lamptey 7, Lewis Dunk 6, Levi Colwill 6, Pervis Estupinan 6, Billy Gilmour 6, Pascal Gross 7, Solly March 7, Adam Lallana 5, Kaoru Mitoma 7, Leandro Trossard 6.
Subs: Jeremy Sarmiento 6, Evan Ferguson 7. Julio Enciso 6.

Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale 6, Ben White 7, Gabriel Magalhaes 7, William Saliba 6, Oleksandr Zinchenko 7, Martin Odegaard 9, Thomas Partey 8, Granit Xhaka 7, Bukayo Saka 8, Eddie Nketiah 7, Gabriel Martinelli 8.
Subs: Takehiro Tomiyasu 6, Kieran Tierney 6, Mohamed Elneny 6, Rob Holding 6.

Best and worst performers

Best performer: Martin Odegaard, Arsenal.

Ran close by several teammates including Saka and Martinelli, but Odegaard’s superb assist for their fourth goal settled the contest.

Worst performer: Adam Lallana, Brighton.

Completed just eight of his 14 passes and failed to make an impact before being substituted on 61 minutes.

Highlights and notable moments

The easiest way to control a game is to score early, which Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka did within two minutes.

Saka and the rest of Arsenal’s front line has really stepped up with the absence of striker Gabriel Jesus due to injury.

After the match: What the players/managers said

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka on being top of the table, to Sky Sports: “Amazing. Of course initially of the season for those who requested us if we wished this we’d chunk your hand off. We are actually comfortable.”

Saka on his early goal, to Sky Sports: “There was large emphasis. We know the way onerous it’s to come right here and the climate as nicely — it wasn’t straightforward. That aim good and early set us up. I could not imagine it fell for me. I simply had to attempt to present some composure.”

Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard on the Premier League race, to Sky Sports: “We do not care in regards to the different groups. Three points was every part right now and we did it. Maybe we want to management the sport a bit higher, we allow them to in a few occasions, however they’re an excellent staff, good on the ball.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)

– Bukayo Saka’s early rating was the second Arsenal aim in the primary two minutes of a league match this season (Gabriel Martinelli scored in the primary minute in opposition to Liverpool on Oct. 9). The final time Arsenal had two such objectives in a Premier League season was 2013-14.

– Martin Odegaard has seven Premier League objectives this season in simply 16 video games, tying the profession excessive he set in all the 2021-22 marketing campaign.

– At the age of 18 years and 74 days, Brighton’s Evan Ferguson turns into the youngest participant from the Republic of Ireland to rating a Premier League aim.

Up subsequent

Brighton: A go to to Everton subsequent Tuesday on Jan. 3 earlier than a visit to Championship facet Middlesbrough in FA Cup motion on Jan. 7.

Arsenal: Back on the Emirates on Jan. 3, the place Newcastle will await for a conflict between top-three sides. Then to third-tier Oxford United on Jan. 9 for a FA Cup conflict.


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