Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz seal Arsenal win vs Brighton but worrying theme continues


Arsenal defeated Brighton 2-0 on Sunday but their wasteful finishing will raise concerns despite temporarily going top of the Premier League table. After an opening 45 minutes where the hosts failed to make their dominance count, Gabriel Jesus nodded home at the back post early in the second half to give Arsenal the lead, though a nervy finish ensued before Kai Havertz cemented the three points with his late effort. Here, Express Sport takes a look at the main talking points from the match, including another fiery outburst from Mikel Arteta.

Wasteful Arsenal

The story of the game was largely centred around Arsenal's inability to put the ball in the back of the net despite creating a host of chances, not for the first time this season. Brighton are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season, but time and time again the Gunners were wasteful when opportunities were handed to them.

Sporting director Edu has reportedly focused on landing a marquee striker in January as the club's top priority. The display against the Seagulls showed just how vital signing a new forward could be in the title race, as the likes of Jesus, Havertz, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka missed numerous chances and the game should have been well out of sight.

In the first half alone Arsenal had 16 shots compared to zero for Brighton as the hosts dominated proceedings, but anxiety gradually began to grow at the Emirates, before Jesus provided much-needed relief with his headed finish from Saka's corner.

Arsenal should have increased their goal difference exponentially and were nearly made to pay, as Pascal Gross was given a golden opportunity to snatch a late equaliser but much to the Gunners' relief he was unable to hit the target from close range before Havertz sealed the win.

Brighton duck broken

Arsenal have a dismal record against Brighton and Roberto De Zerbi's outfit threaten to be the Gunners' bogey side, having won just one of their five previous matches against the Seagulls before Sunday's victory. The 3-0 home defeat during last season's title race was their fourth defeat to Brighton in four years.

Few Arsenal players will have positive memories of facing Brighton but they were able to put that to one side and grind out a win, going top of the table in the process before Liverpool host Manchester United later on Sunday.

Ferguson scouting mission

Brighton’s Evan Ferguson has proven to be one of the most exciting young forwards in world football and with Arsenal reportedly on the lookout for a new striker, they were able to get a close look at the Irishman.

Even though the majority of the game was spent in the Seagulls' half and Ferguson had few opportunities to showcase his talents, his hold-up play was impressive before being substituted off at the hour mark and any Arsenal scouts will be encouraged with the progress that the 19-year-old is making.

Set-piece dominance

Jesus' goal from an inswinging Saka corner was Arsenal's 10th set-piece league goal of the season, with no team managing more from corners and free-kicks than the Gunners.

It is another string to Arsenal's bow that they are able to not only create an abundance of chances from open play, but at dead balls they are equally as deadly - though Brighton will be disappointed that Jesus was free at the back post to open the scoring.

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