Wednesday 29 January 2020

Seagulls shoot down misfiring Gunners

Arsenal 1  Brighton 2

Neal Maupay
Neal Maupay

Neal Maupay headed home a late winner as Brighton inflicted defeat on Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg in his first home game in charge.

The 2-1 loss took the Gunners' winless streak to nine matches, their worst run in over 42 years, with Ljungberg unable to oversee an immediate upturn in fortunes.

He was placed in temporary charge following Unai Emery's sacking last week but a draw at Norwich was followed up by a poor showing as Brighton secured their first-ever away victory against Arsenal.

Adam Webster's second goal of the season gave Graham Potter's side a deserved half-time lead with Maupay then turning home in the 80th minute after Alexandre Lacazette had levelled. The Arsenal hierarchy would have hoped for a reaction to Ljungberg's appointment but, other than a spell after the interval, they were second-best against a Seagulls side which had lost three in a row heading to the Emirates Stadium.

If there is proof of the amount of work required by the Swede, or the eventual long-term successor to Emery, it was clear for all to see.

Ljungberg's Arsenal had much of the ball for the opening exchanges but the visitors found a way past Bernd Leno with nine minutes of the first half remaining, Dan Burn and Republic of Ireland international Connolly combining from a corner to tee up a chance which Webster swept home.

Ljungberg introduced club-record signing Nicolas Pepe at the break and his side were soon level as Lacazette flicked Mesut Ozil's corner goalwards and it looped in over Mathew Ryan.

Unperturbed by the equaliser, Brighton continued to press and it was the Seagulls who were celebrating when Maupay stole a yard on Luiz and converted Aaron Mooy's cross, with Ryan then on hand to save brilliantly from substitute Gabriel Martinelli.

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