Promotions

Arsenal player ratings vs Brighton: Bukayo Saka is electrifying! England winger shines as Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz goals secure vital victory for wasteful Gunners

Arsenal players

Considering the amount of time the ball seemed to spend careering menacingly across the Brighton penalty area, it was pretty startling that Arsenal only managed a 2-0 victory over Roberto De Zerbi’s side on Sunday.

On an afternoon where Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus were electrifying at times, the closing stages really should have been a more relaxing watch for Mikel Arteta. But the Spaniard would have had his heart in his mouth when Pascal Gross’ potential equaliser eight minutes from time only tickled the side-netting. Fortunately for the north Londoners, Kai Havertz made sure of the result shortly afterwards.

Brighton did not muster a single shot on goal in the first half, with the electric Saka setting up Martinelli for the Gunners’ best opportunity, cutting the ball back to the Brazilian after a mazy run, only for his team-mate to fluff the finish.

Early in the second period, the goal that had been coming duly arrived, with Jesus nodding home at the back post after Saka’s fierce corner was only half dealt with by Jan Paul van Hecke. How Arsenal did not extend their lead before that toe-curling Gross chance is a mystery. However, in the end, the catalogue of near misses did not matter as the Gunners doubled their advantage through Havertz late on.

The three points puts Arsenal top of the Premier League at least for a few hours, a position they’ll be looking to retain control of over the hectic Christmas period.

GOAL rates Arsenal’s players from the Emirates Stadium…

Gabriel Magalhaes arsenal

NAPOLI - BARCELONA