Premier League
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion0ArsenalArsenal1

Brighton 0-1 Arsenal: 'It's a different world,' says Mikel Arteta after back-to-back wins

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette scored the quickest goal by a substitute in the league since Bernardo Silva scored after 17 seconds for Manchester City against Brighton in 2019

Arsenal are now in a "different world", according to manager Mikel Arteta, after they recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time since September by beating Brighton.

Before Christmas, Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer was among those to question whether the Gunners had what it took to retain the place in the top flight they have held since 1919.

Defeat at Everton on 19 December left them only four points above the relegation zone after 14 games - their worst start to the season since 1974-75.

But fortunes changed with a surprise 3-1 victory over Chelsea last weekend, which has now been followed up by this latest success.

"In this period, we know how much we needed the wins," Arteta said.

"We had a really tough week and it wasn't that much about the performance, it was about the result.

"You need the results to start confidence and now with two wins, I think everyone is in a much better mood.

"The best medicine is wins - it's a different world and a different story. The picture looks much better at the moment. We need that more consistency and try to win again."

Arteta, in charge of Arsenal since December 2019, said he had suffered "in some moments" this year, but had the support of the club.

The Spaniard, 38, added: "Considering the context we're in now, the pandemic and the problems we've had recently, it's been quite a challenge.

"I'm enjoying and suffering in some moments, but I have great people around me and a great organisation."

Tuesday's display lacked the fizz of that 3-1 win over the Blues, and they were particularly sluggish in the first half when they only managed one effort on goal.

However, the tempo and urgency was turned up a couple of notches after the break, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli going close before French striker Alexandre Lacazette fired home in the 66th minute.

The second-half substitute had only been on the pitch 29 seconds when he swept in Bukayo Saka's ball for his third goal in three games.

Brighton boss Graham Potter left forwards Neal Maupay and Danny Welbeck on the bench - two of six changes made to the starting XI. His side once again looked comfortable and composed on the ball but it was a frustrating story in attack.

The closest the home side came to scoring was when Alireza Jahanbakhsh forced a sharp save from Bernd Leno at his near post.

Arsenal climb up to 13th and now have 20 points, while Brighton remain two points above the drop zone in 17th.

Second-half revival benefits Arsenal

Winning is the best medicine for Arsenal - Arteta

Did Kieran Tierney give Arsenal's half-time team-talk?

The Scotland full-back was adamant that the emphatic victory over the Blues was partly due to the side starting on the front foot, so it came as a slight surprise that the Gunners retreated into their shells during the first half against Brighton.

Aubameyang replaced Lacazette in the starting XI, but he was left chasing scraps as his team-mates failed to provide him with adequate service. Thankfully for the club's fans, it was a match of two halves - their team looked rejuvenated after the break.

Aubameyang went close soon after the restart when he attempted to turn home Saka's cross but was thwarted by the knee of Robert Sanchez. His side then broke through.

Saka, exceptional on the flanks, this time set up Lacazette, who barely had time to get his studs dirty as he fired his shot past the Seagulls keeper.

The display was in stark contrast with that shown against Chelsea, but the result is the same and will give Arsenal and their fans heart as they head into 2021.

Brighton fall short again

Brighton home record not good enough - Potter

Seagulls supporters might question why their manager chose to leave two of his potent forwards out of the line-up.

Had Maupay, their leading scorer this season, and Welbeck been involved in the first half, then would Brighton have made more of their first-half dominance?

Jahanbakhsh was competent in leading the attack, but only had two efforts on goal. He was wild with one strike from Bernardo's cross and saw another snap-shot saved by Arsenal's German stopper Leno.

Potter brought on Maupay, along with wingers Leandro Trossard and Solly March, but by this stage Arsenal were 1-0 up and had seized the initiative - which they were not going to relinquish.

The Brighton boss remained in good spirits, despite his side having last won in the league on 21 November.

"There was lots to be positive about, certainly first half," he said.

"I thought we did well in the game against a team that has some good attacking players.

"It's just frustrating that we're not winning or picking up the points we'd like to.

"We're doing some things well but we need to carry on improving. This league is so demanding, so punishing. These things can happen and we have to stick together as a group."

Arsenal defence shine again - stats

  • Brighton have won just one of their past 14 Premier League games, drawing seven and losing six.
  • Arsenal have won back-to-back league games this season for the first time since their opening two games back in September.
  • Brighton end 2020 with just one Premier League home win (17 games), the lowest total of victories on home soil in a calendar year in the history of the competition (excluding promoted and relegated teams, who did not complete a calendar year in the top flight).
  • Arsenal kept their fourth away clean sheet of the season in the Premier League, a figure only Aston Villa can better in 2020-21 (five).
  • Lacazette has scored in each of his past three games for Arsenal in all competitions, after netting just once in his previous 12.
  • He scored 29 seconds after entering the field, the quickest goal by an Arsenal substitute in the Premier League since that data was first recorded at the start of the 2006-07 season.
  • Since the start of last season, Bukayo Saka has registered 15 assists in all competitions for Arsenal, more than any other player for the club.

What's next?

Brighton host Wolves on Saturday (17:30 GMT) and Arsenal are at struggling West Brom on the same day (20:00 GMT).

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Player of the match

SakaBukayo Saka

with an average of 8.24

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating

    5.37

  2. Squad number26Player nameSánchez
    Average rating

    5.12

  3. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating

    4.76

  4. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating

    4.68

  5. Squad number20Player nameMarch
    Average rating

    4.49

  6. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    4.45

  7. Squad number30Player nameBernardo
    Average rating

    4.44

  8. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    4.37

  9. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    4.32

  10. Squad number24Player namePröpper
    Average rating

    4.28

  11. Squad number16Player nameJahanbakhsh
    Average rating

    4.17

  12. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    4.13

  13. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister
    Average rating

    4.07

  14. Squad number9Player nameMaupay
    Average rating

    4.04

Arsenal

  1. Squad number7Player nameSaka
    Average rating

    8.24

  2. Squad number9Player nameLacazette
    Average rating

    8.06

  3. Squad number3Player nameTierney
    Average rating

    7.95

  4. Squad number32Player nameSmith Rowe
    Average rating

    7.62

  5. Squad number35Player nameGabriel Martinelli
    Average rating

    7.27

  6. Squad number1Player nameLeno
    Average rating

    7.24

  7. Squad number16Player nameHolding
    Average rating

    6.96

  8. Squad number22Player nameMarí
    Average rating

    6.91

  9. Squad number2Player nameBellerín
    Average rating

    6.84

  10. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating

    6.48

  11. Squad number15Player nameMaitland-Niles
    Average rating

    6.39

  12. Squad number25Player nameMohamed Elneny
    Average rating

    6.27

  13. Squad number8Player nameDani Ceballos
    Average rating

    6.16

  14. Squad number14Player nameAubameyang
    Average rating

    5.81

Line-ups

Brighton

Formation 3-5-2

  • 26Sánchez
  • 4Webster
  • 5DunkBooked at 59mins
  • 33Burn
  • 34Veltman
  • 24PröpperSubstituted forMarchat 68'minutes
  • 8Bissouma
  • 13Groß
  • 30Bernardo
  • 16JahanbakhshBooked at 65minsSubstituted forTrossardat 75'minutes
  • 10Mac AllisterSubstituted forMaupayat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3White
  • 7Connolly
  • 9Maupay
  • 11Trossard
  • 18Welbeck
  • 20March
  • 23Steele
  • 29Zeqiri
  • 49Molumby

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Leno
  • 2Bellerín
  • 16Holding
  • 22Marí
  • 3Tierney
  • 25Elneny
  • 34Xhaka
  • 7SakaSubstituted forCeballosat 81'minutes
  • 32Smith RoweSubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 89'minutes
  • 35MartinelliSubstituted forLacazetteat 66'minutes
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 8Ceballos
  • 9Lacazette
  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 19Pépé
  • 20Mustafi
  • 28Willock
  • 30Nketiah
Referee:
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away4

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Arsenal 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Arsenal 1.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Dani Ceballos (Arsenal).

  7. Post update

    Adam Webster (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Ainsley Maitland-Niles replaces Emile Smith Rowe.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Dani Ceballos replaces Bukayo Saka because of an injury.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal).

  16. Post update

    Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leandro Trossard replaces Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Granit Xhaka.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kieran Tierney.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Solly March replaces Davy Pröpper.

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