Arsenal took three points from Brighton on a sleepy Sunday afternoon in London.
Alexandre Lacazette nearly opened the scoring in the second minute, with his long-range shot careening off the post and Alexis Sánchez unable to get the rebound down and into the net. Arsenal spent the next fourteen minutes pressuring Brighton and testing goalkeeper Mat Ryan, until Lacazette won a free kick a few yards in front of the corner flag. Granit Xhaka provided the cross, and after several seconds of ping pong, Nacho Monreal slotted home.
Monreal opens the scoring against Brighton. 1-0 pic.twitter.com/tj1jfuMvME— Terje (@xArsenalTerje) October 1, 2017
Brighton forward Pascal Gross was shown a yellow card for arguing after the goal, as was Shane Duffy for a challenge on Alexis in the 39th minute.
Brighton threatened a little during the middle of the first half, with Solly March hitting the post, but the Gunners absorbed the pressure and kept Brighton from scoring. Arsenal then nearly doubled their tally in the 42nd minute after a strong counterattack, but Ryan made a great save to deny Aaron Ramsey.
The second half started more slowly. Ramsey had a few chances—lofted the first into the stands and had the second snatched away before he could get his head on it—and then in the 56th minute, Arsenal scored their second. Alexis got the ball from Ramsey and flicked it on with a beautiful backheel for Alex Iwobi, who powered his shot past Ryan into the top corner.
Iwobi makes it 2-0 Arsenal. Brilliant assist by Alexis pic.twitter.com/2aRziht2zd— Terje (@xArsenalTerje) October 1, 2017
Arsenal continued to test Ryan and Brighton’s defense, and in the 71st minute Olivier Giroud came on for Lacazette and Theo Walcott replaced Iwobi, followed ten minutes later by Mohamed Elneny for Xhaka. Despite having Giroud and Walcott on the pitch, both of whom scored against BATE Borisov on Thursday, Arsenal couldn’t put a third one past Ryan, and they had to defend a series of goalside throws and corners from Brighton with four minutes to go. Brighton kept the pace up right through the end of stoppage time, but the game ended without any more scoring.
The Gunners had a full twenty-five shots against Brighton, and despite a few chances for their opponents, they took a rather comfortable win, moving up to fifth in the table. This is a game they were expected to win, and they head into the international break on a positive note, with a clean sheet and three points.