Match Reports

Report: Albion 2 Arsenal 1

By Alex Stedman • 04 March 2018

  • Lewis Dunk heads Albion ahead
  • Glenn Murray scores fifth goal in as many top flight matches
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores for Arsenal
  • Seagulls into top half of the Premier League 

Brighton & Hove Albion climbed to tenth in the Premier League table after a superb 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Amex Stadium.

First-half goals from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray were enough for the Seagulls to claim their third successive home win in the top flight and move the Seagulls into the top half of the table. It was also the Albion's first win over the Gunners since 1982. 

Chris Hughton named the same side that defeated Swansea City 4-1 eight days ago while Arsene Wenger made three changes to the Arsenal team that fell to a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Thursday, with Jack Wilshere, Callum Chambers and Alex Iwobi all recalled. 

Mesut Ozil curled over from the right-hand side of the area with four minutes on the clock as he fashioned the game’s first chance before Albion responded. Ezequiel Schelotto got to the byline and won Albion their first corner of the game but Shkodran Mustafi hooked the defender’s cross behind.

Albion took the lead from the resulting set-piece, as Dunk notched his first goal of the campaign. 

Pascal Gross delivered the corner from the left-hand side, Shane Duffy beat goalkeeper Petr Cech to the ball and headed back across goal, leaving Dunk on hand to volley his knockdown into the net and hand the hosts an early advantage.

The Seagulls were visibly lifted and they countered well again soon after as Gross drew Cech into a smart stop down to his right-hand side, before Jose Izquierdo cut inside and saw a fierce drive deflected over – Dunk heading the subsequent set-piece over the bar after he found space inside the visiting area once more.

Anthony Knockaert forced Iwobi into surrendering possession before the Frenchman exchanged passes with the ever-influential Gross – but Cech blocked the winger's shot from close range and Duffy headed another corner over the bar after 23 minutes.

But Albion would soon have the two-goal lead their fantastic first-half showing deserved with 26 minutes on the clock – as Murray scored his fifth goal in as many Premier League matches.

Gross was once again the architect when his pinpoint cross found the in-form striker who made no mistake, heading past Cech and into the net. 

Maty Ryan was alert to parry Henrik Mkhitaryan’s powerful cross behind at his near post in a rare foray forward from the visitors, before Wilshere scythed down Knockaert as Albion looked to counter and he went into referee Stuart Attwell’s notebook. 

Arsenal got back into the game five minutes before the break when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned home Granit Xhaka’s low ball into the area, before Laurent Koscielny headed against the post just before the break as the Gunners finished the half strongly.

The second half began cagily with the first meaningful action coming when Xhaka’s foul on Gaetan Bong earned the Swiss midfielder a yellow card on 54 minutes.

Cech had to be on his toes to turn Schelotto’s cross over from the right, and Knockaert then volleyed over from the corner as Albion fashioned their first chance of the half. 

Ryan parried Ozil’s shot away from danger as the visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure before the hour mark, but Hughton’s men withstood a succession of crosses and stood firm in their final third.

Sead Kolasinac’s heavy challenge on Schelotto drew a stoppage in play as the Arsenal defender crashed into the Seagulls’ full-back. Despite already being on a yellow card, the defender escaped a caution but the Albion right-back fared much worse and was forced to leave the field of play after lengthy treatment, to be replaced by Bruno.

Izquierdo got the home fans on their feet when he fizzed an effort narrowly wide of Cech’s right-hand post, then Knockaert was replaced by Solly March in the hosts’ second change as the game entered its final ten minutes. 

Murray had the ball in the back of the net on 83 minutes after a free-flowing move from the Seagulls – but the flag was up for offside, and Beram Kayal then came on in place of Gross with five minutes left on the clock.

Albion had to negotiate seven minutes of stoppage time but did so intelligently, getting men behind the ball when Arsenal threatened and restricting them to one sight of goal – a shot by substitute Eddie Nketiah which Ryan saved.

By then most of the 30,620 crowd were on their feet willing the final whistle to blow, which was greeted with a massive roar. It was Albion’s first win over a top-six side this season and will give them a massive boost in confidence for the remaining games. 

Albion line-up: Ryan; Schelotto (sub: Bruno 69), Dunk ©, Duffy, Bong; Knockaert (March 77), Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo; Gross (Kayal 86); Murray.

Subs not used: Krul, Goldson, Ulloa, Locadia.

Arsenal line-up: Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny ©, Chambers (sub: Bellerin 83), Kolasnic, Xhaka, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan (Nketiah 83), Ozil, Iwobi (Welbeck 74), Aubameyang. 

Subs not used: Ospina, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Elneny. 

Man of the match: Lewis Dunk


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