Arsenal have put in an astonishing performance to beat Brighton 4-2, and increase their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
The Gunners went into today’s game in the knowledge that both Newcastle United and Manchester City had dropped points, therefore opening the door for us to build on our lead at the head of proceedings.
That didn’t prove to be a distraction however, as within 70 seconds of play we had found the lead. Gabriel Martinelli attempted to curl an effort in on goal, and after two deflections fell kindly to Bukayo Saka in the box, and after the perfect takedown, he placed his effort straight into the net.
We continued to dominate the match throughout, with the Seagulls allowed to dominate the possession but without being allowed space to get into any dangerous areas. Ramsdale had very little work to do of note, and shortly after Bukayo Saka should have found a team-mate in the box, the Englishman’s corner was knocked out to Martin Odegaard to smash it home from just inside the box.
Our goalkeeper was then seen to be struggling with what appeared to be his hamstring, and we fretted about asking for him to be get some attention, but he ended up seeing out the half, and seemed fine after the break.
The second-half looked set to just be more of the same after Eddie Nketiah moved to triple our lead less than two minutes into the new half, with him punishing the goalkeeper’s failure to deal with Martinelli’s strike. We wasn’t to have it all our own way this time around however.
The home side managed to pull one back just after the hour-mark, with Japan midfielder Kaoru Mitoma scoring a neat effort to give his side a glimmer of hope of a result. That feeling was short-lived however after a monster long ball into the path of Gabriel Martinelli split open the home side, and the Brazilian finally got the goal that his efforts deserved.
Brighton didn’t give up however, as they did manage to strike the next blow, with youngster Evan Ferguson becoming their club’s youngest ever goalscorer after slipping in behind William Saliba before touching it over the English shot-stopper in goal.
They did threaten to make it interesting late on however, after Mitoma had looked to have found another which would have made it 4-3 before going into injury time, but the Japanese was deemed to have come back from an offside position and was ruled out (to a massive sigh of relief in my camp).
We may have been lucky not to have been penalised by a Gabriel Magalhaes shirt pull in the box in injury time, but otherwise were fully deserving of the win over today’s tough opposition, and will now go into the new year with a huge seven point lead at the top of the table.
Happy New Year fellow Gunners.