Freddie Ljungberg took charge of the touchline for the first time at the Emirates stadium since being appointed Arsenal manager a week ago. However, I think it is safe to say there will be no honeymoon phase for the Swedish manager. Freddie’s focus was getting the Gunners back into relevancy after a [disappointing] away tie against Norwich over the weekend. The last time the Gunners won a Premier League game was the 6th of October against Bournemouth.
When the lineups came out, Arsenal social media were a bit displeased to see Tierney and Pepe still on the bench. Other changes from Norwich included Bellerin returning to right back as well as Torreira working with Xhaka in the midfield.
Arsenal seemed to be revitalized in terms of pressing at the beginning of the game. But that did not last long...
Brighton started to feel confident in their game about 20 minutes in, when they began to make more advanced runs and were passing out of the back with ease. Mooy sent a blistering cross that just missed a couple teammates as it skipped past the Arsenal goal mouth. The passing from Arsenal became dismal and unimaginative at this point. It started to look too familiar.
By the 37th minute, Brighton had 54% possession in an away match against Arsenal and punished the Gunners dearly. A poor passage of play led to the Gunners to give up a corner - where a team like the Seagulls thrive. A goal mouth scramble followed the cross in, and the ball finally fell to Adam Webster - who banged into the back of the net to put Brighton ahead. It was the same story, different day [again] at this point for Arsenal.
Brighton lead over Arsenal! pic.twitter.com/NP7KQ62KCo— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 5, 2019
Brighton were creating chances and running rampant on an unmotivated, zero-confidence Arsenal side. The Seagulls out-shot Arsenal 8-4 and would take the 1-0 lead into the break. Yuck.
Freddie decided to get proactive at the break and substitute Pepe on for Willock, finally giving the Arsenal fans their front four of Pepe, Aubamayeng, Lacazette, and Özil. Pepe made a few immediate impacts with his combinations with Özil and his darting runs onto the touchline. It was exactly what the Gunners needed.
Following a pretty Pepe and Bellerin build-up, Arsenal were given a corner on the 50th minute. Özil sent in a cross at the front post to Lacazette who scored with a high-lobbing header to the opposite back corner of the Brighton goal. It was not pretty, but it was needed. Up until this point, I had forgotten Laca was on the pitch with how little he did in the first half. The score was even at 1-1.
On the 62nd minute, Arsenal thought they took the lead through a sublime David Luiz volley from a set piece. Arsenal finally had their swagger back... Until VAR turned it’s ugly head. Video review showed the Brazilian offside by a few yards, and the go-ahead goal was rescinded.
David Luiz volleys in Ozil's free-kick...— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 5, 2019
But after a VAR check, his strike is ruled out for offside.#ARSBHA 1-1 (63)
80 minutes in and it officially became a nightmare. Brighton’s Aaron Mooy took the ball down the left and cut it back. A cross to Brighton’s Neal Maupay was too easy as the striker nodded it into Arsenal’s goal. Arsenal went down 2-1 to the Seagulls at home - and that would be the final scoreline.
Arsenal continue their atrocious run of seven straight Premier League games without a victory. The club is winless in nine games in all competitions, their longest such streak since a run of 10 in March 1977.
HAVE BRIGHTON WON IT? pic.twitter.com/SswwbwIKks— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 5, 2019
Arsenal will face West Ham next on Monday (12/9) in the Premier League, if you dare to watch this dumpster fire.
Please make it stop.