Thursday, 21 October, 2021
E-paper

Arsenal's momentum halted by Brighton in stalemate

Brighton brought Arsenal's Premier League winning run to a halt as the teams played out an uninspiring 0-0 draw at a rain-drenched Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Graham Potter's men enjoyed the upper hand for large parts of the game but lacked a killer touch as the Gunners failed to build on last weekend's impressive north London derby win over Tottenham.

Albion fans will be encouraged as their team climbed to fifth spot, two points behind leaders Chelsea, while Arsenal moved up to ninth.

Mikel Arteta accepted his team's below-par performance only merited a point, with Arsenal's tally of five goals from their opening seven league games their lowest total since the 1986/87 season.

"I was more concerned about the way we played. We didn't make enough right decisions," he told the BBC.

"Every time there was a duel where we could escape pressure and attack open spaces, we came up short and against this structure we had to do better.

"I don't think we deserved to win the game. We have to take the draw with the performance we had and improve."

The Seagulls had made their best start to a Premier League campaign after winning four of their opening five games and hosted the Gunners while above them in the table for the first time since 1982.

But Arsenal had won their previous four matches in all competitions after their worst start to a league campaign for 67 years and started brightly.

Bukayo Saka threatened in the first minute, embarking on a mazy run and working goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, but Arsenal faded in a half Brighton dominated.

Leandro Trossard flashed a shot wide after beating the offside trap and cutting inside from the right.

Aaron Ramsdale -- selected by Gareth Southgate for England's World Cup qualifiers this month -- almost cost his team when he dropped Neal Maupay's cross, but Lewis Dunk blazed over.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post with a header in the 23rd minute but the more energetic hosts continued to impress.

Trossard went close again as his deflected shot narrowly cleared the crossbar following Adam Lallana's cross.

Emile Smith Rowe had Arsenal's clearest chance in the second half after being released by Thomas Partey but ignored teammate Saka and fired straight at Sanchez from a tight angle.

Marc Cucurella forced Ramsdale into an awkward save in the 81st minute as the ball skimmed the slick turf and bounced in front of Arsenal's goalkeeper.

Ramsdale intervened again to deny Maupay a tap-in following Solly March's header across goal, while Shane Duffy went close with a header from a corner, but neither team could find a way through.