Mikel Arteta praises the “huge win” at Brighton as Arsenal extends their lead to seven points.
In 2023, Arsenal has a seven-point lead over Manchester City and a lot to look forward to. However much collateral damage the World Cup caused in the early part of the season, Mikel Arteta’s team is yet to lose its stride.
There are weak points. Brighton prevented this from turning into a new year’s parade by scoring two late goals in the second half, one of which was overturned by VAR. Arteta may soon need to find a way to disguise his own worries. There will be more nerves to deal with, starting with Newcastle on Tuesday.
Brighton defeated Arsenal 2-4 in the Premier League on that day.
Although he occasionally cut a troubled figure, there is so much more to Bukayo Saka, Martin Degaard, Eddie Nketiah, and Gabriel Martinelli than just Gabriel Jesus. Each of these players scored goals, and Degaard put up a brilliantly inventive performance. They made it difficult for us, so this is a major win, I’m really thrilled, said Arteta. “Each game is a major test,”
Brighton would ultimately contribute because they had only lost three of their previous 10 Premier League games against Arsenal, but it only took them 70 seconds to give up. After Odegaard’s rush, Martinelli retrieved the ball, and it finally deflected for Saka to score.
Robert Sánchez’s smothering when Oleksandr Zinchenko had fled down the left, where Tariq Lamptey struggled with Martinelli’s fizz, may have soon resulted in two. The Ghanaian excels at attacking, and from his overlap, Brighton’s false No. 9 Leandro Trossard saw a shot deflected. When Trossard forced Aaron Ramsdale into a high save, Arteta swore, his brogues and trouser legs muddying as he paced.
Daugaard restored his manager’s smile just before the break by setting an example of excellence rather than by blustering. The Norwegian’s errant goal was first to a second ball from a Saka corner, and it was more luck than his otherwise flawless technique that caused it to go awry. He stated, “I think it was a terrific goal. “Today, three points were crucial.”
Arteta said of his captain, “He’s doing what we want him to do, to decide football games.” “It’s fantastic news that all four front players scored today.”
Alexis Mac Allister, who is still missing but is presumably sober from Argentina’s celebrations, was not seen in Brighton. Warm applause was shown for him during the pregame introduction to the game, but the stadium announcer then reportedly asked whether anyone had the midfielder’s phone number.
The Argentinean might have taken Moises Caicedo’s place, who was suspended after receiving a booking during Southampton’s 3-1 loss. In midfield, Billy Gilmour and Pascal Gross had trouble. Roberto de Zerbi and the club’s CEO Paul Barber, who was recently honored in the King’s New Year’s Honours, may soon need more long-term options in the midfield with both Mac Allister and Caicedo at the top of January transfer wishlists. De Zerbi remarked, “I can tell you nothing more than Mac Allister is in my Brighton team.
After scoring in the first minute of the second half, Arsenal appeared to have secured their lopsided lead over City. Nketiah entered the play after Sánchez could only block Martinelli’s shot, but Saka initiated the motion first. Prior to Jesus’ World Cup injury, Nketiah did not make a Premier League start, but since then, he has scored twice in two appearances.
With the score at three, Arteta substituted Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu for Zinchenko and Ben White in order to safeguard important players. It was a reminder of how dependent Arteta has been on his starting lineup when Kaoru Mitoma cut in from the space his careless Japanese compatriot had allowed to score when Mitoma’s squad was far smaller than their pursuers.
The excellence of Andersegaard can be seen in those basic elements. His amazing raking pass set up Martinelli’s goal, and then a climactic goal by 18-year-old Evan Ferguson gave Brighton the threat they lacked in the first half.
Odegaard said, “Perhaps we need to handle the game a little bit better. They are a terrific club with good ball control, but we let them in a couple of times.
Only for technology to step in and prevent a miracle comeback when Mitoma had the ball in the goal a second time. “Martinelli’s final goal, which ended the game,” De Zerbi mumbled.
Arteta, who was agitated on the touchline during the waning seconds, pleaded for calm while his agitated demeanor did not even come close to it. He finally got a chance to breathe. His team had a better vantage point from which to observe the City.