Arsenal were very hot favourites to get revenge on Brentford for our shock defeat at the beginning of the season, and we duly obliged with goals from our two academy heroes Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka, before Brentford added a consolation goal in the dying minutes after some fancy footwork from Norgaard had Ramsdale floundering in the box.
Arsenal started the game with intent and, as promised, Brentford were defending with their lives in the first 45 minutes to try and keep a point intact. Despite our domination, it was very frustrating to see the first half end with the score still at 0-0, but the Gunners continued where they left off after the break, and it didn’t take too long for Smith-Rowe to finally break the deadlock with a finely taken finish to put us in front at last.
The game was all but over, but you would think that Arteta would be annoyed that we didn’t have the firepower to win by a cricket score, but at least we managed to score more than once for the first time this year.
It was a vital three points in the race for the Top Four, and Arteta couldn’t have praised his young team more after the final whistle. “I’m very happy, especially with the way we started the game,” Arteta told Arsenal.com.
“We had really clear intentions, a real purpose to attack them, be consistent, take risks, be direct, have enough runs in behind and threat, put the ball in the box, arrive with numbers, counter-press, don’t allow them to make the transition that they want to do.
“We really controlled the game I think, we played really, really well, but we didn’t score the goal that for sure we merited in that period and then the game is open.
“We started the second half really well, scored a really good goal from Emile and then it was about being patient, score the second one and close the game and we’ve done that. But at the end, unfortunately, we concede a goal on a set piece.
“I think the crowd was really supportive as well because they could see the intentions of the team and what we were trying to do. One thing is to be patient, one thing is to be passive or slow and we played with the right level of urgency, determination and speed, as well as being patient to understand when we had to attack and the moment to expose certain spaces that were available.”
The only downsides were that we couldn’t quite get to the end with a clean sheet, and then we had to watch Sp*rs get an unlikely win over Pep’s Champions, but we are left just one point below 4th with games in hand, and we are still ahead of our bitter rival.
And so we now face Wolves again back at the Emirates and try to get our third win in a row. This one looks like it is going to go down to the wire!
Onwards and Upwards!
WATCH Arteta’s FULL press conference after Brentford win..