Premier League: Arsenal move to top with dominant win over Brighton

London, Dec 18 – Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz sent Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League table as they clinched a dominant 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Arsenal, who were unchanged in the Premier League for the first time this season, started brightly, with Bukayo Saka taking every opportunity to run at the 37-year-old James Milner, who was facing the Gunners for the 40th time in his career.

It was Saka, who had Arsenal’s first shot of the match, but his effort was saved by Bart Verbruggen, before Martin Odegaard’s left-footed strike curled the wrong side of a post, Premier League reports.

Brighton were dealt a blow just before the half-hour, when defender Joel Veltman limped off with what appeared to be a knee injury. Odegaard and Saka then combined brilliantly, but the latter’s cutback was fired over by Gabriel Martinelli.

Martinelli then had a shot kept out by Verbruggen, before Jan Paul van Hecke blocked from Havertz as Brighton were able to somehow repel Arsenal’s continued pressure at half-time.

After the break, Brighton’s willingness to play out from defence would prove costly and ultimately resulted in a deserved lead for Arsenal on 53 minutes.

A poor pass from Verbruggen fell to Rice, who passed to Saka, who then tried to find Odegaard but it was cleared for a corner by Van Hecke. From that set-piece, Saka’s inswinging corner was flicked on by Van Hecke for an unmarked Gabriel Jesus to head in his third league goal of the campaign at the far post.

Soon after Arsenal almost had a second, but Ben White’s header was cleared off the line by Lewis Dunk. However, Brighton came close to equalising against the run of play late on when a low cross from Kaoru Mitoma was met by the outstretched Pascal Gross, but the German could only hit the side-netting from close range.

With three minutes remaining, Arsenal finally added a second. Substitute Eddie Nketiah made a driving run and put in Havertz, who shot past Verbruggen.


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