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Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal

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Arsenal players don't listen to Wenger any more - Shearer

Brighton beat Arsenal for the first time since 1982 to increase the pressure on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Lewis Dunk put Brighton ahead when he hooked the ball home from a corner after it dropped to him inside the six-yard box.

The Seagulls added a second when Laurent Koscielny's misplaced pass was intercepted and Pascal Gross teased a high cross into the box for Glenn Murray to head past Petr Cech.

Arsenal pulled a goal back when Brighton failed to clear their lines. Granit Xhaka fed the ball into Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who cleverly flicked the ball home with the outside of his boot.

Arsenal dominated possession in the second half and had a late chance to equalise through Aubameyang but he could only shoot straight at Mathew Ryan.

The Gunners were also fortunate not to have Sead Kolasinac, who had already been booked, sent off for a challenge that ended Ezequiel Schelotto's involvement.

Under-fire Wenger loses four in a row

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Brighton 2-1 Arsenal: Arsene Wenger says Gunners struggled to recover from Man City defeats

Arsenal were meek in back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley last Sunday and at the Emirates in the Premier League four days later.

Losing to Pep Guardiola's irresistible champions-elect is one thing, but to a Brighton side battling relegation will not be so palatable for Arsenal fans growing increasingly tired of Wenger's reign.

It was the first time the Gunners had lost four consecutive matches since October 2002 in a run that saw them beaten by Everton, Auxerre, Blackburn and Borussia Dortmund.

They were defending champions that season and ended the campaign as runners-up to Manchester United but retained the FA Cup.

Over 15 years later and things are not quite so rosy for Wenger with the club seemingly in terminal decline.

Wenger, initially at least, did not look like a man under pressure at the Amex as he warmly embraced Brighton counterpart Chris Hughton and shared a joke with a photographer.

However, by early in the second half with his side 2-1 down his mood darkened and he nervously pulled apart a coffee stirrer as he sat on the bench.

The travelling fans, who held up 'Wenger out' banners at the final whistle, will want the Arsenal board to wake up and smell it.

Has Wenger lost the dressing room?

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has been charge of Arsenal since October 1996

Wenger's side had breezed past Brighton with a comfortable 2-0 victory when the two teams met at the Emirates in October.

On that day the Frenchman celebrated the 21st anniversary of his arrival at the club and his side were level on points with Chelsea, and a point behind bitter rivals Tottenham.

After a bleak winter they find themselves eight points behind the former club, 13 points behind the latter and pinning their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League via the Europa League.

Unlike the defeats to City, Arsenal had at least shown a bit more fight against Albion but were still well below their best.

Wenger's side have now lost eight matches in all competitions in 2018 - more than any other Premier League team - and the level of performance from his players begs the question of whether they have simply lost faith in Wenger's managerial ability.

The chorus of disapproval from ex-Arsenal players grows louder by the week and if that is a barometer for the existing squad then the end of Wenger's tenure is surely drawing closer.

Pointedly he said "no" when asked after the match if he was in any way considering his future at the club.

The 68-year-old signed a two-year contract in May but even winning the Europa League may not be able to grant him a stay of execution into the 2018-19 season.

Brighton-Arsenal heatmap
Arsenal's heat map, right, shows how much time they spent in Brighton's half of the pitch although they only managed seven shots on target - just one more than their opponents

Impressive Brighton edge closer to safety

Arsenal's travails should take nothing away from Brighton, who are now unbeaten in five matches and have moved a step closer to Premier League survival.

They matched their top-flight record of three consecutive home victories, last set in September 1982 when that run included a 1-0 victory over Arsenal.

Hughton's side were quickly out of the blocks, clinical in key moments and possessed the workrate and organisation to see the game out.

The victory moves them up to 10th place in the table - and gives them a seven-point cushion over 18th-placed Crystal Palace, who face Manchester United on Monday.

If the Seagulls can reproduce displays of this ilk from now until the end of the season, then top-fight survival should be a formality.

Man of the match - Jose Izquierdo (Brighton)

Jose Izquierdo
The Colombia winger has taken his time to settle in at Brighton but he is finally showing the kind of quality that prompted the Seagulls to make him their record signing. This was a performance brimming with pace, skill, creativity and goalscoring threat.

'We were worthy winners' - what they said

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Brighton 2-1 Arsenal: Hughton delighted with 'big' Arsenal result

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "We have to get over this period, recover mentally and physically and we have another game on Thursday against AC Milan and then on Sunday.

"It's the first time its happened in my whole career and it's not easy. I have enough experience and desire to turn things around.

"When the team struggles for confidence it's even more difficult."

Brighton boss Chris Hughton: "We are in good form. My biggest disappointment of the game was conceding just before half time because at any level that gives the opponent a lift going into the second half.

"The fact we got the two goals early gave us that buffer that we could hang onto but over the 90 minutes I felt we were very worthy winners.

"Our intent at the beginning of the game was very good. No complaints with that first half except the goal we conceded before half time. And then we showed the other side of our game - the ugly side - and you need that."

Arsenal's away day woes - the stats

  • This was Arsenal's first defeat in 35 Premier League games against a newly promoted side, since losing 2-1 at QPR in March 2012.
  • Arsenal haven't kept a clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games, their joint-longest run in the competition.
  • Arsenal have just 13 points from their 15 away Premier League games this season - their worst return in the top flight since 1989-90.
  • Pascal Gross has assisted Glenn Murray four times in the Premier League this season - only Cesar Azpilicueta (six for Alvaro Morata) and Kevin de Bruyne (five for Sergio Aguero) have assisted a player more.
  • Murray has scored six Premier League goals in 2018 - only Sergio Aguero (9) and Mo Salah (7) have scored more.
  • Brighton have won three consecutive Premier League home games for the first time.

What's next?

Arsenal travel to Italy to face AC Milan in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday (18:00 GMT) before they host Watford in the Premier League on Sunday at 13:30. Brighton travel to struggling Everton on Saturday, kick-off at 15:00.

Line-ups

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 21SchelottoBooked at 64minsSubstituted forBrunoat 69'minutes
  • 22Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 3Bong
  • 11KnockaertSubstituted forMarchat 77'minutes
  • 6StephensBooked at 60mins
  • 24Pröpper
  • 19Izquierdo
  • 13GroßSubstituted forKayalat 87'minutes
  • 17MurrayBooked at 78mins

Substitutes

  • 2Bruno
  • 7Kayal
  • 16Ulloa
  • 18Goldson
  • 20March
  • 25Locadia
  • 26Krul

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 21ChambersSubstituted forNketiahat 83'minutes
  • 20Mustafi
  • 6Koscielny
  • 31KolasinacBooked at 28mins
  • 10WilshereBooked at 40mins
  • 29XhakaBooked at 54mins
  • 7MkhitaryanSubstituted forBellerínat 83'minutes
  • 11Özil
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forWelbeckat 74'minutes
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 13Ospina
  • 16Holding
  • 23Welbeck
  • 24Bellerín
  • 30Maitland-Niles
  • 35Elneny
  • 62Nketiah
Referee:
Stuart Attwell
Attendance:
30,620

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home13
Away15
Shots on Target
Home6
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away11
Fouls
Home13
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Arsenal 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Arsenal 1.

Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).

Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt saved. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Bruno.

Attempt blocked. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sead Kolasinac.

Hand ball by Beram Kayal (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt saved. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sead Kolasinac with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Beram Kayal replaces Pascal Groß.

Foul by Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal).

Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Pascal Groß tries a through ball, but José Izquierdo is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Héctor Bellerín replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah replaces Calum Chambers.

Attempt blocked. Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan with a cross.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Gaëtan Bong.

Attempt blocked. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Booking

Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Solly March replaces Anthony Knockaert.

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Danny Welbeck replaces Alex Iwobi.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Glenn Murray tries a through ball, but José Izquierdo is caught offside.

Attempt missed. José Izquierdo (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Anthony Knockaert.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bruno replaces Ezequiel Schelotto because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ezequiel Schelotto (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Gaëtan Bong (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Booking

Ezequiel Schelotto (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City29253183206378
2Liverpool29179367323560
3Man Utd28185553203359
4Tottenham29177555243158
5Chelsea29165850262453
6Arsenal291361052411145
7Burnley29101092426-240
8Leicester29910104142-137
9Watford29106133947-836
10Brighton29810112838-1034
11Everton2997133349-1634
12Bournemouth2989123444-1033
13Swansea2986152542-1730
14West Ham2979133654-1830
15Huddersfield2986152550-2530
16Newcastle2978142740-1329
17Southampton29513112941-1228
18Crystal Palace2869132543-1827
19Stoke2969142854-2627
20West Brom29311152243-2120
View full Premier League table

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