Arsenal secure win but performance far from perfect

Arsenal have won back-to-back Premier League matches thanks to their 1-0 win over Brighton this evening.

The Gunners may finally be putting their woeful form behind them, which saw them drop down to 15th in the table after picking up just two points from seven matches, but they have now won two on the bounce.

It was far from plain-sailing today however. Our side was very-much second-best in the opening half despite our team evidently working hard on-and-off the ball.

Brighton clocked up eight shots, while we could only manage one which wasn’t able to challenge the goalkeeper, although neither keeper looked like getting beat to be fair.

The most entertaining point in the opening 45 minutes was when Bernd Leno was given the ball back, and instead of hoofing it with the attacker on route, he decides to do some kick-ups before passing it over the forward to his team-mate… Phew…

Despite making no changes, the team came out in the second-half with more purpose. After just two touches in the opposition box in the entire first 45, we had already usurped that tally inside the next 10, with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang interconnecting and making runs that the Seagulls just couldn’t keep tabs on.

We really began to look dangerous, and was getting into dangerous areas rather regularly, but both the Brazilian and Auba were both struggling to keep their efforts on target.

We brought Alexandre Lacazette on for Gabi with 25 minutes to play, and he immediately brought the goal.

Bukayo Saka’s running once again earned him space, this time down the right flank, and he teed Lacazette up who takes one touch to the right and places the ball past two defenders and into the bottom corner of the goal.

We kept our composure for the remaining 25 minutes, whilst not doing anything drastic to close out the win, and we can now get back into a positive mood ahead of 2021.

Arsenal will end 2020 in either 13th or 14th place depending on Newcastle’s result against Liverpool tomorrow, but surely 2021 will bring another resurgence in form similar to Arteta’s opening months in charge.

Tags Brighton

102 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Amazing dribble by Saka and great shot by Lacazette. Saka’s weaker foot is quite adept, so it’s better to develop him as an inverted RW

  2. Hill says:

    Brighton was a hard nut to crack but finally we came out with a win.phew!

    1. Yossarian says:

      Got another win and with lots of players still due to return to being available for selection. Let’s now hope for a good transfer window and a continuation of the winning run.

  3. Eddie says:

    Good to see Martinelli come off early..
    Saka probably would end up having hunchback from carrying this football team at his age.
    I really hope he’s fine.
    Willian and Luiz resumes training on Thursday. I hope they stay the fuk away from match day lineups.
    Would’ve loved to see a partnership of Mari and Gabriel as Center backs but they’re both left footed, so it’ll likely not happen because it’ll upset the balance.
    This season is a joke and mystery.
    If Chelsea lose to City and we carry on with our winning, Arsenal would be just 3 points behind them

    1. Declan says:

      At least Saka will now get the rest you were asking for Eddie🤣

      1. Eddie says:

        I swear bro the kid has been working his ass off playing games. He deserves the rest, can’t afford any burnout.
        He needs to sit out the West Brom game…Annoyingly that means one of Pepe or William will have to replace him

        1. Trudeau says:

          Or Nelson if he still exists – not on the bench, no injury report. All very odd just when he was showing some form.

          1. Sue says:

            He posted ‘Back soon’ on insta….

        2. Where'sMyTop4TrophyGone? says:

          In all honesty, even if fit, Willian shouldn’t even be in the matchday squad for WBA. That’s what will upset the balance and chemistry.

    2. gotanidea says:

      Lampard’s tactic is lousy. Chelsea’s 200+ M purchases in this season is useless

      1. Eddie says:

        Wish Arteta had 200M to spend.
        Lampard really is a clown and is also obsessed with certain players and selections

    3. adajim says:

      eddie, luiz hasnt been part of this team for a long time. william coming back should be a plus as it should tell the players currently in the team that no one is indispasable

      1. Joe. S says:

        Especially William.

    4. Shine says:

      If Chelsea lose to man city. We carry on winning. Smile.

      We will never know. Anything can happen just like Arsenal being at bottom n Everton in top.

      Willian can be on bench for the rest of season.
      Luiz can still be useful in a way as squad player.

      Gooners now can use these to improve n gather some momentum n team chemistry n hope in Jan at least 2-3 new players can join n some players being sold fast. Fingers crossed. Board not gonna chip in n help which already given MA the notice.

  4. Declan says:

    What? It was a good performance taking everything into account. Some on here are not happy unless we play like Barca or Real. We are not the Arsenal of old and won’t be for a while. As I said before, three hard earned points so let’s all stop complaining and support the team and the manager.

    1. SueP says:

      Bring that spirit on Declan!!!

    2. Sue says:

      Yes and that includes Auba!!

      1. towny254 says:

        Sue Auba has cone nothing since signing the new contract NOTHING

    3. Eddie says:

      Declan unfortunately people will still moan and complain. Ignoring the fact we’ve not won away to Brighton for the past three years.
      I’m so glad I didn’t get the chance to online during the poor run, can’t imagine the whole lot of negativity and hatred I would’ve read.
      Good for me, soon as I came back days before to Chelsea game, we won.
      I hope we keep winning.
      What we need to do is to stay solid together, support the team and manager.
      Hopefully we move out unwanted players and bring in proper players

      1. Defund The Media says:

        “I’m so glad I didn’t get the chance to online during the poor run, can’t imagine the whole lot of negativity and hatred I would’ve read.”

        You have NO IDEA EDDIE, I’ve read more positive obituaries lol

        1. Dan kit says:

          74 posts when we win
          But over 300 when we lost last time out

          1. Defund The Media says:

            Wow… tells you all you need to know, well observed Dan!

  5. Sean says:

    7 points off top 4 now!!
    9 points away from relegation.
    2 wins back to back
    1home/1away
    Clean Sheet tonight

    Hopefully 2021 is a better year for us gunners!! Great win just what was needed to end the year in a high. Well done to the lads though Auba probably needs to give himself a shake and get back to basics and work hard.

    Happy new year everyone, finally a few wins before a complete meltdown.

    1. Sue says:

      HNY, Sean 👍

    2. Joe. S says:

      Yes, that glass is topsy Turvey,swaying daily between half full and half empty.

    3. Shine says:

      Great Ending of 2020 n Fresh Awesome 2021 stuffs coming for Gonners.

  6. McLovin says:

    BHA did the double over us.. so considering our form, this result is massive. Clean sheet as well.

    Off to WBA who just got DEMOLISHED by Leeds. I pray for goalfest because our GD is still veeery much negative.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Arteta vs Big Sam next

      1. Skills1000 says:

        It will be a tough one. Sam Aladyce sets out his team to defend. we have to be at our very best. a must win match. if we can win our next 5 matches, we will be within top 5.

        1. Sean says:

          Sam got spanked by 5 tonight!!

          1. Sue says:

            5 beauties too, even the own goal 😉

  7. Winston says:

    Glad we got the 3 points. Saka and Smith Rowe are the standout performers.

    Credit to Laca for the well-taken goal and bringing other players into play with some good linkup play.

    Let’s get back up the table

  8. Phenom says:

    I don’t agree with the title. We are finding it difficult to get points and you are talking about perfect performance. Brighton were too hard for us to handle. It’s a hard fought win and big ups to the boys for the 3pts. Saka and ESR are the future. COYG.

    1. Defund The Media says:

      I suggest you re read the title pal lol

  9. GbollyB says:

    All i want to see is 3 point which the boys did. Either beautiful or ugly, for now we should care more about points before start talking about Arsenal entertainment football.

  10. Sue says:

    Brighton and Potter were fast becoming another bogey team, so to stop the rot with a great 2nd half performance – I’m chuffed!!
    Saka… every week I love him more!! He should be the first name on the team sheet – that’s how important he is to us…
    Well taken by Laca! He’s getting back to his best…
    Nice one boys! 3 more points in the bag 🙂

    1. Skills1000 says:

      we should also rest him in some matches. we hope he does not pick up any injury.

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Don’t worry; if Lacazete runs into form like at the start of the season, when for 3 games he scored a goal a match, Arteta will drop him!
      Two wins on the trot, a clean sheet and 1 nil to the Arsenal – things are looking up.

  11. Uzi Ozil says:

    Happy for lacazette…

    Glad arteta started esr, Martinelli and saka again. They had decent games and saka did well with the assist to the goal…

    Aubameyang needs to buckle up. At the end of the day, I m delighted with the three points and yes with a clean sheet

  12. Labass says:

    Oh thank God for this win. Next year will b better by God’s grace

  13. Sid says:

    Nice win. No real negatives apart from that first half mediocre performance but even in that state, we fended of Brighton well. The second half performance was nice. I think Gabi is close to full match level, and some goal involvements too. Aubameyang was short of fitness and confidence it seemed, but made some good runs in the first half and played nice linkups with KT after Gabi went off. Laca seems to be getting close to his 2018 form maybe, and his confidence is rising. Good for us! I think we desperately need a strongman in the team. Mo is a good shield and whem his pressing A game comes out he is a real pain for the opposition, but not a strongman who bullies the opposition. Same for Xhaka who had another decent game. I liked the look of Yves for Brighton. If we can get him on the cheap it would be a great steal. The defense stayed firm and most of the times had no problems dealing with the opposition. Just hope our corners are taken better, because at the moment it seems only Willian is capable of taking a decent one. The three youngsters played really well today too. Overall nice gritty performance. Onwards and upwards.
    COYG!

    1. Sid says:

      Also hope Saka gets a good amount of rest and hopefully one of Willian or Nelson is fit enough to play. I’d rather Pepe on the left wing or more central than right. And maybe rest some players?

    2. Where'sMyTop4TrophyGone? says:

      I’d much rather see AMN be given a midfield role against WBA. Elneny is useless against negative football which big Sam will surely play.

      Generally, I’d prefer seeing AMN in place of either Xhaka or Elneny. Maybe pairing him with Partey can do us wonders.

      1. Sid says:

        Yeah another angle worth pursuing.

      2. ozziegunner says:

        👍

  14. Wale Akinlatun says:

    Who’s complaining about performance. If we’d been getting the points all along in spite of poor performance, we’d have gladly take it.
    3points or good performance, we need to choose. Gradually, we are moving outa relegation

  15. siamois says:

    I know we played Brighton but right now it is all about winning climbing up the table restoring some confidence we cannot expect too much after our winless run job done and happy with the 3pts.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

    2. Bob says:

      Solid result. The tables are turning and it’s because of youngsters, like most of us wanted many games ago.

      It’s ironic we have our worst run ever and we are still only 7 points from top 4 because of how hectic this season is in general with lots of mid table teams shining.

  16. Tojo says:

    Anyone else see sarka face when he got announced MoTm.

    1. Sue says:

      Yes!! 😍

  17. Reggie says:

    Very boring first half, where nothing at all happened, back to slow sidewards passing and negative football. Second half better but the big difference was lacca, not just for his goal but his link play and energy. 2 wins and some very winnable, must win games coming up. I thought Saka did brilliant as well as Tierney.

    1. Phenom says:

      Can’t agree more on KT Reggie…..
      He has character, mentality and a no nonsense attitude of a captain.

      1. Reggie says:

        I like his style and i like his ability. I hope the rumours about Bassouma to Arsenal are true, he ruled midfield and was mighty impressive, top talent.

  18. Thebigb says:

    The most important thing is the all important win. 3 pts in the pocket, then performance later. Ohhhhhh how i love saka, our mosf important player by far.

  19. Sid says:

    One more thing which is noticeable is Arteta’s increased reticence in the touchline. He is not constantly instructing the players now, only occasionally. I think he said in a press conference that he is adapting his approach. So that’s might be what he has discovered. That right now it is best to play with inspiration rather than instruction.

    1. Trudeau says:

      Great point. The lack of crowd noise allowed Arteta to default to his natural tendency to coach as if it were training matches. Hopefully now he’s doing the coaching on the training pitch and allowing the players to play with a bit more freedom on game days.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍 👍

  20. adajim says:

    good performance all through except , no complain except auba and Elnely who i think touch the ball too much and slow the pace even Xhaka isnt sloppy

  21. Defund The Media says:

    Moaners taking a night off now nice! 4 very winnable games now hopefully we can get a run going and start climbing up the table!! 🤞🤞

    1. SueP says:

      So quiet tonight😉

      1. Defund The Media says:

        Haha indeed sueP! The results cant always go your way I suppose 😏😂

  22. inkfight! says:

    Three points, clean sheet and (hopefully) no injuries!
    I don’t really ask for much more.

    Added bonus; created a few chances and one of our strikers scored from open play.

    Aubameyang going through a bad patch but after all the goals he’s scored for us, shocking so many people (at least online) ready to write him off!

    1. Sue says:

      👍👍👍👍 And that’s a shedload of goals!

      1. Phenom says:

        Five of our seven chances created are from Saka(3) and ESR(2).

        Six of our nine successful take-ons have been Saka(3) and ESR(3).

        ESR is better than 60m Aouar

        1. Sue says:

          Brilliant!!

  23. Shygi'Vybz says:

    It’s a win that might just turn out to be the begining..

  24. Liam Gallagher says:

    Good result but cant but think it might have been 2 or 3 had we started with Lacca, as brings the 3 players behind him into the game better. Abameyang, Willian and Pepe all seem to slow down the play.

  25. ken1945 says:

    Just finished watching all the Prime highlights and I wonder if Allardyce still sees us as relegation rivals – his team was destroyed today!!!

    ESR was great to watch again and its the creativity he gives that’s changing our play, along with the wonderful play of Saka and Martinelli.
    Bellerin and Tierney were solid again, as was our defensive play throughout the game.
    I thought Elneny had a shaky start, but grew into the game with the help of Xhaka.
    Lacs was a great substitution and should have been there from the start.
    Mikel obviously said the right thing at half time, so full marks to him also.

    My only concern was Aubameyang, but he was coming back from injury, so a little lee way for him!!!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL… COYG’S

    1. Sue says:

      Happy New Year, Ken! We’re moving up the table 😁

      1. ken1945 says:

        😀😃👍Sue

    2. lcw says:

      Happy new year Ken. See you when we are top 4. There is hope with the new formation and young blood.

    3. lcw says:

      Also I was impressed with Mari for the second game in a row. He is steady and calm plus the more he plays the more he will improve. Being lefti though makes it hard for him to play with Gabriel.

  26. KentIam says:

    Great hard-fought win! All I care about are the 3 points, at this stage I couldn’t care less how we get them. Auba a little off the pace, but what about that boy Saka??? 😃😃😃

  27. Phenom says:

    I left praise for Leno……he made a couple of decent saves. Can’t wait for my countryman Partey to join. COYG.

    1. SueP says:

      I think we all want him back, Phenom

      1. Phenom says:

        Our season is not yet over SueP. I want to see Partey and AMN behind ESR……….
        What a dynamic midfield that would be?

        1. SueP says:

          It certainly isn’t over Hopefully happier times ahead

    2. Sue says:

      It won’t be long, Phenom 😁

      1. Phenom says:

        Fingers crossed sue 😉

  28. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    For anyone who believes that after watching such a totally underwhelming performance fans should only go online if they have overly positive and unrealistic comments, think just for a minute how that unrealistic mindset has directly contributed to our current plight…of course I would like nothing more than to spend my post-game time waxing lyrically about the most recent performance, but that hasn’t been our truth for quite some time…to ignore the facts about our present realities would be akin to providing positive reinforcement for a child exhibited reckless behaviour then having the audacity to act surprised when things get exponentially worse… for far too long this club has suffered as a result of this AKB philosophy, where questioning club-related issues was frowned upon and accountability took a backseat to a sort of misplaced arrogance…this team desperately needs our critical assessments and although I certainly don’t condone threatening language, I do think we, as fans, have finally regained our voice, following years of being resigned to the peanut gallery under Wenger P.E. (post-Emirates)…this club and it’s players need to earn our respect and well-wishes through their respective hard work and relative success on the pitch…in more recent times, some individuals in the media have even suggested that negative commentaries on social media have been a key cog in our devolution,,,this is a ridiculous reach at best, as this shouldn’t be misconstrued as a classic chicken or the egg argument, because it’s not…the bad play, the mismanagement, the horribly inept ownership, the internal corruption and lies etc..all came long before the voice of the disenchanted fan took shape…the fact that this club has failed to properly address most of these areas of concern, has nothing to do with the increased negativity, but totally to do with this club’s functional incompetence…so I’m happy we got 3 points, but if you think I’m pleased with that scared performance, think again

    1. SueP says:

      At the simplest level, I craved another win. It happened; I shall go to bed with a relieved smile on my face, knowing that with this win, the confidence should start to return. I will leave any other issues for another time.

    2. RW1 says:

      Spot on … first half was among the worst 45 mins of football in our recent history of some pretty awful performances … the positives were a reasonably solid defensive performance albeit with some clownish moments … bellerin and tiernay both pushed forward well … saka was excellent and martinelli worked hard without the same impact as Saturday … midfield was poor and confirms it’s a trio that will never deliver the quality sharpness and strength we need .. if you aren’t able to dominate against bha then you will never do so … xhaka and elneny slow and clueless with a hatful of wayward passes particularly going forward … esr didn’t do much right or wrong but doesn’t find the space or execute the key pass I’m not ruling him out but anyone playing him over ceballos is simply clueless … aubemayang is inching towards sellability as has added nothing this season .. we need a different kind of attack from what we have at moment … will take a couple more windows to build a decent and balanced squad but need to start offloading deadwood from January

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Agree, midfield balance continues to be an issue; however the return of s fit Partey will make a big difference. The continuing development of Emile Smith Rowe, Saka and Tierney is a real positive, together with the successful return of Martinelli from injury. Lacazette has again shown how his contributions, even when he doesn’t score, are underrated by many. Ainsley Maitland Niles deserves an opportunity in midfield. A fit Mari and Gabriel CB partnership looks promising.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Should not forget Holding also as an improving CB option.

  29. RSH says:

    Performance was better in 2nd half. 1st half it looked like back to the struggles. But credit to players for fighting. it makes a huge difference when you have players that dont give up. Saka and Laca are those players. Auba, WE WANT MORE. If he’s going to sleepwalk through games then Laca deserves more starts. But 3 points is 3 points and it’s so nice to finally get some two in a row.

  30. Sue says:

    The Mancs are 2nd… teams with games in hand…. tight at the top…the most exciting league in the world!!

  31. Grandad says:

    Bissouma would add pace and quality to our midfield and along with Partey would improve us considerably in that area.Without selling players however, he is one for the summer transfer window.Second half performance was good and I only hope the injury to Saka is not serious.Holding is doing a very good job at the back and is becoming a “leader” .

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 Grandad, some good value midfielders around, like Bissouma and Buendia with EPL experience.

  32. Adedayo Akinwumi says:

    When driving, you don’t change gear from 1 to 5 straight away, it’s a gradual process. What matter now are the points! Later, fluency will follow.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Depends how hard you hit the accelerator to get the revs up!

  33. Iykmatt says:

    A win is a win,wether its 1-0 or 5-0,the league is not that easy to negotiate this days because each team is filled with professionals who doesn’t like loosing any match,so stop moaning&appreciate the team for winning away from home with much deserved clean sheet

  34. Kev82 says:

    Saka Laca 3 points! Can’t ask for more than that! West Brom next unless the PL isn’t cancelled, a win there and our confidence should be booming 👊🔴⚪

    1. Sid says:

      Sorry for asking, but why will the PL be cancelled? Any new protocol or something?

      1. SueP says:

        None of us know Sid who or how many players will be testing positive or isolating. The cases are rising quickly throughout the country and ManC already had to postpone thei match against Everton

        1. siamois says:

          In the latest round of testing the PL has registered 18 positive tests (staff & players)it’s highest so far, unless it really gets much worse I don’t see the break happening when will those games be re-played?must be the pessimistic in me but I’m not sure about Big Sam’s true motive for a circuit break right after West Brom loss to Leeds🤔

        2. Sid says:

          Ohh then health should always be prioritized over football.

  35. Nick says:

    Not a great performance, especially during the first half, but a win is a win. Let’s hope the team can kick on from here, and finish at the top half of the table, before making further progress next season.

    Still have my doubts about Arteta, but let’s hope I am wrong. Humble pies can be tasty, and I am willing to eat my share. Fingers crossed!

  36. Wenger91 says:

    A win is a win and we needed these 3 pts!
    Thanks MA for selecting the right players ..

  37. Havyn says:

    Great work
    This end of season will help us get rid of the following

    Ozil, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Luiz and Papa. Happy times

    We should also seek to get rid Cedrac Soares, a player we shouldn’t have signed in the first place but we must keep AMN

  38. Marty says:

    We will not get a perfect performance every game, no team can achieve that. But if we keep on picking up 1-0 wins while not playing particularly well then I’ll take that, that’s how all the best teams win things, it’s unrealistic to expect a perfect game every time.

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