Unai Emery picked a very attacking side, although his defensive line-up looks worrying with Koscielny left on the bench as a precaution, and his choice seemed to be working when Mhkitaryan hit the bar after just two minutes. Arsenal looked fully in control and it was little surprise when Jahanbakhsh stuck out a leg and tripped Monreal right on the corner of the box. He looked like he missed the ball it was an obvious penalty, although there were a few doubts from the pundits. Aubameyang converted this one and we looked like we were in for an easy evening anyway.
Brighton didn’t really threaten at all until the 17th minute when a long range free kick gave them calls for a handball and penalty, but the ref wasn’t interested. The Gunners then decided to sit back and bore our opponents to death with the sideways passing until the Seagulls started giving Leno a little work to do. But the last 15 minutes of the half saw Arsenal, and especially Lacazette, going full pelt for a second goal, but Ryan was playing a blinder and we went into the break with a slender 1-0 lead.
The second half started with Arsenal coming close a few times a few times in the first ten minutes, then calamity! Xhaka decided to trip up March as he bombed towards Leno’s goal and Anthony Taylor points to the spot. Murray makes no mistake and we go into the last half hour with it all square at 1-1. We should have been out of sight by now.
Arsenal go all out for a second with some urgency and both Aubameyang and Lacazette came close, but we were leaving more gaps at the back as Brighton tried for a breakaway and a shock away win. It wouldn’t have been a surprise but even the draw feels like a loss today.
Oh well at least we are guaranteed a Europa League place again next season!