Duffy went down in the box and there were appeals for a penalty against Gabriel but nothing given by the referee and Var instructs Jon Moss to play on after a short delay.
90 minutes – three added minutes
Brighton snapping away at Pepe’s heels, great work from Cucurella, and Partey is booked for a foul on Trossard. The free-kick gives Brighton the chance to pump the ball into the box.
Smith Rowe knew he was running out of room in the box and went down half-heartedly under the challenge of Duffy. Never a penalty, after good work from Pepe in the build up. Saka is down and receiving some treatment which is a worry for Arsenal. Maitland Niles looks set to replace him. Looks like they are stretching his knee out.
Partey’s pass was intercepted and March had Arsenal’s back backpeddling into the penalty area but his shot was straight at Ramsdale. Mac Allister then has a shot from range blocked by Gabriel.
Great goalkeeping from Ramsdale to palm the ball away from Maupay who was about to score a tap-in. Brighton have another corner. They have not made the most of these situations, and this time Duffy’s header skews wide.
Smith Rowe almost caught dallying in his own half bu Lokonga wins a throw for his team in his own half. Another Brighton change: Gross is off for March. Saka and Smith Rowe lead Arsenal forward and they have a throw in the Brighton half.
Trossard with a tame shot at Ramsdale from distance. Then Cucarella has the Arsenal goalkeeper more stretched with a driven ball across goal and Brighton win a corner. Up come Burn, Dunk and Duffy, scary moments for Arsenal. But they clear and Lacazette is brought down to stop a counter. Veltman booked.
Arsenal win a couple of corners in quick succession, one of their better spells of the game. White tries to poke a pass through to Pepe but Brighton defend manfully. The pattern of the game has changed slightly.
Better football again from Arsenal, Smith Rowe with a nice flick, but Pepe cannot get his cross in and the ball bounces off him for a goal kick. Mac Allister replaces Moder for Brighton.
Arsenal’s best move of the match by far. An up, set and through involving Lacazette sends Smith Rowe away. He had Saka in support but not sure the pass was ever on, and he forced a save from Sanchez with a shot from a tight angle. Arsenal want handball against Dunk at the corner, but nothing doing.
Arsenal do just about enough to deal with the corner and then a flag goes up for offside against Brighton. It feels like we are in first goal wins territory. Maupay is booked for a late sliding challenge on Gabriel.
Another Arsenal sub and a bit of a surprising one: Lacazette replaces Aubameyang. He really needs to try and make it stick for Arsenal up there. Lokonga turns the ball behind for a Brighton corner.
Appeals for handball after Trossard’s strike hit Saka, but it hit him in the throat. Arsenal could do with a change in midfield but Arteta is short of options other than Maitland-Niles. Tomiyasu concedes a throw deep in his own half.
Brighton play through Arsenal with Trossard finding space behind Partey and Lokonga, and Maupay finishes the move with an overhead kick which flies over the bar. Brighton finding a second wind. Veltman wins a free kick just beyond halfway on the right.
Smith Rowe with a good pass to Aubameyang who keeps the attack alive before Tierney’s cross is turned behind for a corner. Sanchez comes and drops the ball from the second phase, and play is stopped after goalkeeper, Gabriel and Dunk collide. All look clear to continue.
Arsenal sub: Odegaard makes way for Pepe. He has been one of Arsenal’s under-par players tonight. Pepe has gone to the left with Smith Rowe into a central position. The game has been pretty even since half time, no real chances.
Partey caught on the ball by Cucurella, the midfielder has been well short of his best today. Veltman’s pass towards Gross is poor and it runs through for an Arsenal goal kick. It looks like Nicolas Pepe is about to come on for Arsenal.
Gabriel headed the free-kick clear before Arsenal cause their own problems by giving the ball away in their own half. This time Tierney was the guilty party. After some good football, Moder slashes a shot well over from 25 yards or so. Partey then sends Saka away down the right and he wins a corner. Arsenal maintain the pressure, but Partey takes another silly shot which goes over the bar. Players too anxious to test the goalkeeper.
Aubameyang thought he was clean through after a Partey pass but the flag eventually went up. Good defending in any case by Duffy to get back at him. Tomiyasu’s throw ins need some work and from the turnover of possession Trossard wins a free-kick in a dangerous area after a foul by Partey.
Odegaard’s radar off again, he has struggled to impose himself on this match. Arsenal are seeing more of the ball and making more of an effort to play through the Brighton pressure rather than kick long. Lokonga drives forward from midfield but his shot from distance was wayward.
A bit more positive from Arsenal who are enjoying most of the territory, but are struggling to evade their Brighton markers. Gabriel with a really good progressive pass into Odegaard’s feet but his touch let him down, then Moder finds space at the edge of the Arsenal box to curl a shot wide.
Tomiyasu with a foul throw which gives Brighton a chance to work their way up the left hand side. A quiet first few minutes to the second half, but Ben White carries the ball well to get Arsenal playing. Saka almost gets in behind Burn but the Brighton defender does well to defend.
We’re back under way!
Brighton start the half as they were for most of the first – on the ball.
Half time stats
Brighton have had eight shots to Arsenal’s four and have had 61 per cent possession.
HT: Brighton 0 Arsenal 0
A really impressive half from Brighton who have played almost all of the football. They have pushed Arsenal back, pressed them, and created openings with some lovely passing and movement.
Arsenal’s midfield has been largely anonymous. The only positives for them are: it’s goalless, Saka looks to have the beating of Burn and they have survived five corners.
Arsenal haven’t tested Brighton’s touch by pressing them high in the slippery conditions at all, they are dropping off behind the ball and letting them find their rhythm. The away side finally enjoy some possession in the final third, and Smith Rowe’s cross almost finds Aubameyang. The pressure ends with a heavy Saka cross.
Half a chance for Arsenal with Saka driving down the right. He slips a pass to Odegaard whose pull-back takes a deflection and runs to Partey at the edge of the D but his side-foot shot flies wide. Maupay then does well to attract Gabriel and win a foul.
Arsenal just cannot establish any control in midfield, they need to find a way to get Partey and Odegaard on the ball much more in the second half. Moder tries to find Lallana with a cut pass into the box but it runs through for a Ramsdale goal kick.
Cucurella getting some joy down the left again, and Partey turns the cross behind for yet another corner. It is Brighton’s fifth of the game, and Duffy’s header at the back post brushes the side netting.
Good throw in routine from Arsenal and Smith Rowe wins the free-kick around 35 to 40 yards out, very central. Partey is lining up like he wants to hit it, and gets it horribly wrong, shanking the shot high, wide and handsome. Rather sums up Arsenal’s half so far.
Brighton settle into another spell of possession. I think Arteta will have some choice words to say at half time, and will just be happy to get in at 0-0. Partey and Lokonga cannot get a foothold in the middle of the park. Trossard latches on to a second ball but his shot from range was wayward.
Tomiyasu caught in possession, Brighton’s pressing causing real problems. Gabriel was the defender who got a good block in when Brighton threatened to overwhelm Arsenal. From the second phase of the long throw in Maupay hooks an overhead kick wide.
Lovely Brighton move results in another corner. Maupay drops short and scoops a pass to Moder whose cross deflects off White and behind. Arsenal deal with it, but Tierney gives the ball away which lets Brighton swing another ball in which is headed wide by the unmarked Burn. Arsenal riding their luck.
Arsenal guilty of impatience in possession and Brighton come forward again. Lallana finds a pocket of space in the box and Partey stabs his low cross behind for a corner. The visitors are struggling and need to see this period out. It’s another corner to the back post, with White winning the header, before Partey goes down looking for a foul and is robbed. Maupay then shoots over from distance. Brighton on top.
Arsenal’s ball retention letting them down at the moment, Brighton are dictating the game, but the away side are on the attack now.
Tomiyasu with a simple ball forward and Saka is too quick for Burn and is away into the penalty area, he stands a cross up to the back post and Aubameyang’s header from a tight angle is headed off the line. Both teams have had chances.
Oh what a miss from Lewis Dunk and a major let off for Ramsdale! Brighton kept the corner alive and whipped a harmless ball into the box but Ramsdale dropped the slippy ball and Dunk fired over from close range. Should be 1-0 to Brighton.
Poor pass from Lokonga when Saka looked to be streaking clear on the counter, but Arsenal get back to slow the Brighton attack down. It was a fairly simple pass that he should have executed. Veltman then wins a corner off Tierney. Brighton growing into this game well now.
Brighton threatening with another early ball in behind, into the space behind Tierney, with Trossard twisting and turning before dragging his shot wide. Arsenal have lost their way a little after a fast start. Both teams look fairly open, surely there will be goals.
Slack pass from Partey in midfield but Brighton cannot make the break count with Gabriel defending well. It seems like the TV commentary has gone down. Brighton have a throw deep in Arsenal’s territory, and after a one-two Cucurella feeds a really dangerous ball across the six-yard box. Kieran Tierney was not far from turning the ball into his own net. Arsenal defend the set-piece with White winning a header.
Maupay wants a foul for a push from Gabriel but nothing doing. Ben White then with a sloppy pass to Cucurella, but his chipped pass back in Maupay’s direction ran to Ramsdale. Good reading of the game by Partey in midfield before Smith Rowe is tripped. Arsenal try to play a quick one to Aubameyang but the pass was wayward.
Brighton are trying to play balls over the top of the Arsenal defence but it is hard for them to stay in play on this greasy pitch. Saka picks up a lovely pocket of space towards the left, but Aubameyang cannot sort his feet out in the penalty area. Arsenal’s creative players enjoying more room than Potter would like so far.
Arsenal seeing most of the ball so far as you might expected and looking pretty confident and assured. It’s not an afternoon where you can feel too comfortable though, it seems like someone is guaranteed to make a mistake in these foul conditions.
Brighton’s turn to enjoy knocking a few passes about but Arsenal are organised behind the ball.
Tierney wins a foul in the Brighton half after some crisp passing from Arsenal. Then the left-back sees a cross headed away before Maupay battles well with Tomiyasu to start a Brighton break. Unfortunately for the home team the ball over the top towards Trossard skips through to Ramsdale.
Another worrying injury for Brighton with Trossard down and receiving treatment early on. It was an off the ball incident, looks like a tweak of the knee. The last thing Potter needed with Webster and Bissouma already absent today. Tierney put the ball out of play, and Arsenal are given in straight back.
Brighton win a couple of early headers and second balls, but Bukayo Saka sparks Arsenal into life with a brilliant dribble inside from the right which finishes with a shot straight at Sanchez. He left three Brighton defenders trailing there. Electric from the Englishman.
After both sets of players take a knee, Arsenal get us started on a very greasy surface.
A minute’s applause for Roger Hunt
The players are in the tunnel
Still socially distanced, of course. Jack Wilshere, in the Sky studio today, says this might even be a bigger game for Arsenal than the north London derby. The rain is still pouring down.
Arteta on Lokonga starting in midfield
He’s been terrific, the way he’s adapted, how he understands what he wants…for his age, he’s really mature.
Mikel Arteta speaks
Winning raises the confidence level and gives you some belief, but that’s it. That threshold between confidence and complacency is tricky [to manage]. Today we have to be really focused, we have a tough opponent in front of us.
Graham Potter speaks about Bissouma’s absence
He was close but we just thought with the international break coming up it gives him a bit more time to be fit for Norwich. It’s a miss but we have to find a solution together.
Some pre-match facts
- After a five-game unbeaten run in the Premier League against Arsenal (W3 D2), Brighton lost home and away against Arsenal last term.
- Arsenal are looking to win back-to-back away league games against Brighton for the first time since April 1981, following their 1-0 victory at the Amex Stadium last term.
- This is just the second time Arsenal are facing Brighton in the top-flight while below them in the table, with the previous match being a 0-0 draw at Highbury in January 1982 (Arsenal 10 th , Brighton 9 th ).
- Brighton have won three of their last four Premier League home games (L1), as many as they had in their previous 22 at the Amex Stadium (W3 D10 L9). Brighton have kept seven home clean sheets so far in 2021, with only Manchester City and Chelsea (9 each) keeping more at home this calendar year.
- Arsenal are just the third side in Premier League history to lose their opening three games of a campaign and then win their next three, after Wimbledon in 1996-97 and West Bromwich Albion 2002-03. The Dons won their seventh game in that campaign, while West Brom lost theirs.
The two teams the old fashioned way
Brighton XI: Sanchez, Duffy, Dunk, Burn, Veltman, Gross, Lallana, Cucurella, Trossard, Moder, Maupay
Subs: Lamptey, Connolly, Mac Allister, March, Steele, Locadia, Roberts, Richards, Sarmiento
Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Thomas, Sambi Lokonga, Saka, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe, Aubameyang
Subs: Leno, Lacazette, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Cedric, Pepe, Tavares, Elneny, Martinelli
A blow for Brighton to be without Bissouma but Jakub Moder is a very promising and exciting player. It looks like a 3-4-3 for Potter’s team but as ever they will be flexible.
Arteta has gone for the like-for-like option to replace the injured Xhaka, with Albert Sambi Lokonga partnering Thomas Partey. The front four is unchanged from the rousing win over Spurs, and why not?
Arsenal will be wearing their yellow away kit
Which will annoy the traditionalists out there. Red and white on blue and white isn’t a clash.
Brighton wait for the team news
A lot rests for them on whether Yves Bissouma has recovered from a knee injury to start in midfield. Arsenal’s task will look far more straightforward if Graham Potter is without his main man in the middle of the park.
Can Arsenal keep their mini-revival going?
It is a sign of how far Brighton have come that Arsenal would be bouncing if they finished the day one point behind them in the top half of the table.
Both clubs have reasons to be cheerful. Brighton missed the chance to go top of the league on Monday night, but left Selhurst Park counting their blessings after Neal Maupay’s goal pinched a point.
Arsenal have recovered from an injury and Covid-ravaged start to record three straight league wins but must avoid a post-north London derby comedown at the Amex on the eve of the international break. Since Mikel Arteta was able to select summer signings Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard – which coincided with the return from injury of 2020’s big summer buys Gabriel and Thomas Partey – things have started to click into place.
Those players at the back half of the team offer Arsenal more assured build-up play as well as greater physicality in duels, giving the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka the platform to play. Odegaard’s work rate and willingness to take responsibility has also impressed, and he might be tasked with a deeper midfield role today with Granit Xhaka’s knee injury expected to keep him out for two to three months.
In a reverse of last season, Brighton’s four wins from six have exceeded some of their underlying metrics. They will be desperate for the return of Yves Bissouma in midfield, who is touch and go for today’s game, especially with Adam Webster out and White’s summer departure to Arsenal. Graham Potter identified their ‘build up’ as a weakness at Palace, and the absence of Webster and Bissouma helps explain it.
There will be no Arsenal reunion for Danny Welbeck due to injury, but Maupay is relishing facing the team against whom he scored two winning goals in 2019-20. In the home fixture that season, he became involved in altercations with Bern Leno and Matteo Guendouzi so despite both teams’ reputation as neat footballing sides, there is potential for some needle as well.
Full team news on the way.