Spirited Albion beaten by Arsenal

Brighton & Hove Albion suffered a Premier League defeat at Arsenal this afternoon.

Sunday, 1st October 2017, 3:23 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:32 am
Bruno battles for the ball during Albion's defeat at Arsenal. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Goals in each half from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi saw Arsenal run out 2-0 winners at the Emirates.

Albion, who've picked up a point on the road so far this season - scoring just once - fell behind early in the first half as Monreal put the home side in front.

Winger Solly March thundered a 25-yard effort off a post, following a well worked free-kick routine, to leave Brighton trailing at the break.

Arsenal forward Iwobi then added a second ten minutes after the restart to seal victory for his side.

Albion, who started the day in 14th, remain in the same position heading in to the international break.

Brighton made three changes from the team that beat Newcastle United last time out. Tomer Hemed, serving his first of a three-game suspension, Anthony Knockaert and Markus Suttner made way for Gaetan Bong, Jose Izquierdo - handed a first Premier League start - and Isaiah Brown.

Arsenal were out of the traps quickly, coming within an inch of taking the lead inside two minutes. Forward Alexandre Lacazette played a one-two with Alex Iwobi, before the former saw his thunderous 25-yard strike come back out of a post and Alexis Sanchez fired the rebound over.

The home side were seeing a lot of the ball in the early exchanges, but failing to pierce through Albion's backline. Shane Duffy's scuffed clearance fell to Iwobi, he linked with Sanchez, then curled a shot which was saved down to his left by Mat Ryan after 12 minutes.

Arsenal didn't have to wait much longer to break the deadlock, though, as they went in front five minutes later. Shkodran Mustafi's fierce drive was cleared off-the-line by Shane Duffy - after being picked out by Lacazette's header from a Granit Xhaka free-kick - before Hector Bellerin had a shot blocked but the ball eventually dropped to Nacho Monreal to fire home.

Albion so nearly levelled things up through Solly March six minutes later. A clever free-kick routine saw the ball rolled in to March's path, only for his 25-yard effort to cannon back out of a post, with Petr Cech well beaten.

Brighton began to gain a foothold as the half went but were giving the ball away too cheaply in and around their own box. Pascal Gross' misplaced pass found Lacazette, who fired straight at Ryan from the edge of the box just after the half-hour.

Arsenal goalkeeper Cech was fortunate after missing an Albion corner three minutes prior to the break, which lead to a quick counter from the home side. Sanchez broke away, eventually finding Sead Kolasinac, whose cross picked out Ramsey but he was superbly denied by the feet of Ryan.

A superb move ten minutes after the restart saw Arsenal double their advantage. Ramsey, Lacazette and Sanchez were all involved - with the latter's exquisite reverse backheel pass - finding Iwobi who crashed a strike past Ryan.

Brighton were finding it difficult to retain possession, nearly falling further behind on the hour. Kolasinac sent Sanchez away but Dunk's superb recovery allowed him to clear the Chilean's curled effort on the line. From the resulting corner, Kolasinac had a header from Ramsey's corner cleared off-the-line.

Substitute Glenn Murray powered above Mustafi to meet a Gross cross, only for his header to find the side-netting eight minutes from the end as Brighton ended the stronger.

No goal came, though, to ensure Arsenal made it three wins in just six days.

ALBION: Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Stephens, Propper; March, Gross, Izquierdo; Brown. Subs: Krul, Knockaert (Izquierdo, 76), Murray (Brown, 76), Goldson, Schelotto (March, 72), Suttner, Molumby.

ARSENAL: Cech; Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Iwobi, Lacazette, Sanchez. Subs: Ospina, Mertersacker, Walcott (Iwobi, 71), Wilshere, Giroud (Lacazette, 71), Maitland-Niles, Elneny (Xhaka, 83).