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Full-time: Arsenal 2-0 Brighton

  • Arsenal move up to fifth in the Premier League table and level on points with Chelsea after maintaining their perfect home record in 2017-18 with a routine win over Brighton
  • Nacho Monreal scores his first top-flight goal since 2013 after Alexandre Lacazette hits the post inside two minutes
  • The returning Alex Iwobi notches a second goal after a wonderful backheel from Alex Sanchez
  • Solly March rattles the woodwork for the visitors, who sit 14th and remain without an away win this season
  • The two teams went head-to-head in a league match for the first time since February 1983 on the 21st anniversary of Arsene Wenger's appointment as Arsenal manager
  • The Gunners are now unbeaten in their last 32 matches against newly-promoted sides - a run that stretches back to 2012

That is all for this particular blog, thanks for following along and stay with IBTimes UK as we bring you live coverage of today's late kick-off between Newcastle and Liverpool at St James' Park.

Goodbye for now.

It's a fourth defeat in seven Premier League games for Brighton, who remain winless on the road and 14th in the table, two points clear of the relegation zone.

However, they played well in patches and obviously aren't completely out of their depth at this level. Everton visit the Amex in two weeks time.

So Arsenal remain perfect at home after celebrating Arsene Wenger's 21st anniversary as manager with a sixth win in seven matches across all competitions.

They really seem to have turned a corner after that embarrassing performance at Liverpool and now draw level on points with fourth-place Chelsea in fifth, one adrift of north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and four behind the Manchester clubs.

They visit Watford after the international break.


Arsenal 2-0 Brighton

Chances at either end as Propper curls a shot narrowly wide and Dunk does just enough to force Giroud into heading over the crossbar after Sanchez drives an effort into the turf.

Three minutes of added time are signalled by the fourth official. Brighton finishing strong but will go home empty-handed.

After appearing to be in damage limitation mode for much of this second half, Brighton are turning up the heat in the closing stages.

They win a succession of throw-ins and Mustafi makes a crucial intervention to take the ball off Murray's head.

Murray comes within a whisker of reducing the deficit for Brighton with just minutes of this contest remaining.

The substitute gets across both Monreal and Mustafi before heading Gross' left-wing cross agonisingly wide.

Elneny, who impressed against West Brom and started in Belarus, comes on for Arsenal.

Xhaka is the man to make way.

Poor decision making from Walcott, who passes straight to Bong after good interplay between Ramsey and Giroud.

Hughton makes a double change of his own, with Knockaert and Murray replacing Izquierdo and Brown.

Xhaka's deep ball to the back post is too high for Kolasinac to make contact.

Arsenal win a free-kick when Sanchez's latest mazy run is unceremoniously ended by the comparatively hulking figure of Dunk.

The Chilean tries to get his effort up and down but clears the crossbar by some distance.

Lacazette will not score in a fourth successive home match for Arsenal as he is replaced by Giroud. Iwobi makes way for Walcott.

Hughton withdraws March and sends on Italian winger Ezequiel Schelotto.

A great last-ditch tackle from Dunk, who is making his 200th appearance for Brighton this afternoon, prevents Lacazette from adding a third Arsenal goal.

Walcott and Giroud are preparing to come on for Arsenal. The latter scored his 100th goal for the Gunners against BATE Borisov on Thursday night.

Arsenal look rampant now as a last-gap touch from Dunk deflects Sanchez's goal-bound low shot wide after an initial save from Ryan.

Kolasinac's header from a Xhaka corner is then cleared off the line by March.

Brighton clear another dangerous Sanchez cross and Ramsey kills Arsenal's latest attack with a curious pass towards Iwobi.

Ramsey also looks to find Kolasinac, but the offside flag is raised as Ryan gathers.

A hammer blow for Brighton as Arsenal double their lead in the 56th minute.

A delightful passing move involving Ramsey and Lacazette ends with Sanchez releasing Iwobi with a wonderful backheel. The Nigerian midfielder, whose finishing is often subject to criticism, makes no mistake on this occasion as he thrashes the ball past Ryan.

A long way back for the visitors now.

Alex Iwobi

Goal: Arsenal 2-0 Brighton (Alex Iwobi)

Sanchez's inviting chipped cross towards Ramsey is headed back to Ryan in the nick of time by Duffy.

Further up the pitch, Dunk stops a pass from reaching Lacazette and barrels forward before testing Cech with a shot from distance.

Iwobi strays offside and Sanchez's low pass down the right channel drifts harmlessly out of play.

Brighton captain Bruno, who celebrates his 37th birthday today, concedes a corner. Sanchez's floated ball to Ramsey on the edge of the box is blasted over by the Welsh midfielder.

Sanchez lofts the ball out of play and Cech intervenes to stop Izquierdo from collecting Gross' through pass.

Duffy then produces a fine block to deny Lacazette.

The second half is off and running. No changes from either manager just yet.


A rare strike from Monreal separates the two sides at the break. Arsenal have largely dominated the game, but Brighton initially responded well to that setback and struck the woodwork with a vicious effort from March.

They are not out of this yet by any means, although need to take better care of the ball.


Arsenal 1-0 Brighton

Bong and Izquierdo combine to good effect down the Brighton left and Mustafi is unable to contain the latter.

He feeds the ball back for Propper, who tries to curl an effort into the top corner but gets far too much on it.

One minute of added time to be played at the end of this first half.

Arsenal turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye as Sanchez leads a swift counter before finding Bellerin.

Kolasinac receives the ball on the overlap and tees up Ramsey for a close-range shot that is saved by the leg of Ryan. That's a fine stop.

Xhaka concedes a corner with a well-timed sliding challenge on Bong, who delayed his cross after being released by Gross.

Cech looks to completely miss the ball before Arsenal clear their lines.

Duffy hacks at the back of Sanchez's leg after being outwitted by the Chilean's pace and sheer speed of movement.

That's a deserved yellow card. Sanchez clearly in some discomfort.

Shane Duffy

The game now settling down into a familiar pattern after Brighton responded well to going behind.

The visitors have become too sloppy in possession and Arsenal are dictating the tempo once more.

Duffy concedes another corner and Brighton initially clear their lines before the latest wave of Arsenal attack.

Dunk is unable to control a really poor pass from Gross and that opens the door for Lacazette, whose low shot draws a simple save from Ryan.

Brighton invite pressure with some panicky passing and Lacazette is then fouled by Dunk.

Xhaka cannons his effort into the wall after risking a caution during some petty bickering with the referee.

Iwobi shows good strength to see off Dale Stephens, but again his eventual finish lacks power and accuracy.

A woeful effort from Izquierdo draws ironic cheers from the home supporters.

Brighton really applying some pressure now as they earn a couple more corners and Cech is at full stretch to tip away a cross under serious pressure.

Kolasinac fouls Davy Propper and a well-worked Brighton free-kick routine results in Solly March arrowing an excellent strike against the woodwork.

Dunk turns the rebound wide. So unlucky.

Shane Duffy makes a crucial header to clear another dangerous cross from Bellerin.

Brighton fail to make use of a corner and Cech is blocked off unfairly by the retreating Dunk.

Lacazette stoops low to keep Xhaka's free-kick in play and Mustafi's deflected shot is then cleared off the line.

Bellerin also sees an effort blocked before Monreal takes a touch and coolly fires beyond Ryan.

Brighton complain bitterly to the referee as they feel the ball went out of play before Lacazette's header. The goal stands and Gross picks up a yellow card for dissent.

Nacho Monreal

Goal: Arsenal 1-0 Brighton (Nacho Monreal)

Izquierdo brings down Lacazette just outside the penalty area and Arsenal have a free-kick in a useful position out on the right.

Iwobi shoots tamely at Ryan after some intricate Arsenal build-up play in the Brighton box creates an opening.


A couple of passes towards Kolasinac go astray as Arsenal struggle to break down Brighton's compact defensive unit. Plenty of yellow shirts behind the ball shutting down space, as you might imagine.

Alert defending from Lewis Dunk to repel Bellerin's cross from the byline that was intended for Lacazette.

Sanchez then looks to test Matthew Ryan's reflexes with a long-range attempt that is easily gathered by the Australian goalkeeper.

Some strong tackling from Brighton on the edge of their own penalty area keeps the hosts at bay.

At the other end, Brown wins a free-kick off Mustafi and flicks Pascal Gross' left-wing delivery wide after easily beating Xhaka in the air.

Arsenal dominate possession straight from the first whistle and Lacazette, 25 yards from goal, crashes a powerful right-footed effort against the post with only 67 seconds on the clock. Sanchez is unable to deal with the rebound.

What a start that would have been. The Gunners' record signing is enjoying playing at the Emirates.

Referee Kevin Friend gets proceedings underway. Arsenal, kicking from left to right in this first half, are wearing their familiar red and white home strips.

Brighton are all in yellow.

We are almost ready for kick-off at the Emirates. Will Arsenal stroll to another home win or can Brighton spring a shock and battle to a point or, better still, record a maiden away victory over the Gunners?

"I think it will be difficult to break them down because they are very well organised, they are very disciplined as well," Wenger, who believes Hughton has done an exceptional job on the south coast, said of Brighton. "Their team keeps the ball well and from what I've seen they have a good technical quality, they try to play everywhere and it is a different challenge for us.

"But we came back from a good experience away from home. We have done very well at home until now, so we know that it is absolutely vital for us."

On his team's stellar record against newly-promoted sides, he added: "I don't look at that. When you play a football game in the Premier League today, you can win, lose or draw. Just before the game you prepare the team to focus on that test and to have a good performance and to win the game."

It's 21 years to the day since Wenger began work at Arsenal. He could celebrate that milestone by moving clear of Sir Alex Ferguson and recording victory over a 45th different Premier League team.


Reflecting on that 2010 win and addressing the significant challenge his men face this afternoon, Hughton, a former long-serving player, coach, assistant and caretaker manager at Tottenham Hotspur, said...

I remember it well, an Andy Carroll header. That's what the challenge is for us. There can't be anywhere in this division that you can afford the feeling that you can't get anything.

What we know is, on a day like Sunday, we will have to have things go our way, we will have to play to a really good level and probably face an Arsenal team who don't play at their best.

Probably there is more pressure on Arsenal to win the game than on ourselves - most people wouldn't expect us to get anything but that's the great opportunity we have.

An Andy Carroll header was the difference on a day when Cesc Fabregas and Walcott hit the woodwork and Koscielny was sent off late on. Brighton reserve stopper Tim Krul kept goal for Hughton's Newcastle.


Brighton make three changes, with Brown starting for the first time since sustaining a hamstring injury on his debut against Manchester City in August. Murray is deemed fit enough for a place on the bench.

Gaetan Bong is preferred to Markus Suttner at left-back and Anthony Knockaert is only named as a substitute as Hughton hands record signing Jose Izquierdo his full Premier League debut.

Connor Goldson and teenage midfielder Jayson Molumby also make the matchday squad. Murphy, Liam Rosenior and Uwe Hunemeier do not.

Izzy Brown

Rob Holding starts in place of Koscielny for Arsenal, while Mohamed Elneny drops to the bench to accommodate the returning Iwobi. Ramsey reverts to a deeper midfield role as Ozil, who did appear as a late substitute against West Brom, obviously drops out altogether.

It's nine changes altogether from Belarus, with only Holding and Shkodran Mustafi retaining their starting berths.

Alex Iwobi
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

David Ospina, Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere, Elneny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud all revert to their usual role as substitutes, while young crop Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Chuba Akpom, Josh Dasilva, Vlad Dragomir, Charlie Gilmour, Matt Macey, Marcus McGuane and Edward Nketiah make way.

After equalling Brian Marwood's fast start on Monday evening, another goal for Lacazette today would see him become the first Gunners player to score in each of his first four home appearances since Jackie Henderson all the way back in 1958.


Hemed begins a three-match suspension after failing in his appeal against an FA charge of violent conduct handed down after his coming together with DeAndre Yedlin during last weekend's win over Newcastle that was sealed by his own early second-half goal.

As a result, Hughton will have to decide whether to risk Glenn Murray - who only returned to training on Friday following an ankle injury - or else deploy Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown or perhaps even Jamie Murphy as a makeshift forward. Sam Baldock is out with a calf problem.

Experienced campaigner Steve Sidwell is still recuperating from minor back surgery and fellow midfielder Beram Kayal broke his leg during pre-season.

Tomer Hemed

The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette, Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal and Granit Xhaka should all return for Arsenal today after being left out of the travelling party for Borisov.

However, Mesut Ozil, omitted from the Germany squad for World Cup qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan, is still not available after a bout of knee inflammation and an ongoing achilles issue means that centre-back Laurent Koscielny is considered as a real doubt.

Mesut Ozil
Getty Images

Sead Kolasinac is expected to play despite experiencing unspecified injury problems of his own, while Alex Iwobi could also feature after recovering from a thigh strain.

Danny Welbeck (groin), Francis Coquelin (hamstring), Calum Chambers (hip) and long-term absentee Santi Cazorla all remain sidelined.

After a highly-entertaining 4-2 Europa League victory over BATE Borisov that resembled more of a five-a-side contest for the most part, Arsenal return to domestic duty today as they look to equal a club record by notching their ninth successive Premier League win at the Emirates Stadium against a Brighton & Hove Albion side who are hoping to record back-to-back top-flight triumphs for the first time since 1982.

While Arsene Wenger has lamented his side's "cruel" schedule after they played on both Monday and Thursday nights, fatigue should not be much of an issue with so many key first-team players rested for that long trip to Belarus.

The Seagulls, without suspended striker Tomer Hemed, are on a high after a narrow, hard-fought defeat of Newcastle - the team that pipped them to the Championship title in dramatic fashion last term - but will be only too aware that not since a 2-1 loss at QPR in 2012 have Arsenal been bested by a newly-promoted outfit. That's a run that stretches back 31 games.

Emirates Stadium
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Gunners have kept three successive clean sheets since that embarrassing hammering at Liverpool, although did live very dangerously indeed for stretches of last week's win over West Brom. Chris Hughton also knows what it takes to win with an underdog on this ground having masterminded Newcastle's first league success in north London for nine years back in 2010.

These two teams have not even been in the same division since 1983. Arsenal won their last league meeting in February of that year and have also emerged victorious from all three subsequent FA Cup ties, the last two by a 3-2 scoreline. Brighton have only managed to beat today's opponents twice in 16 attempts and are yet to win a game away from home in 2017-18.

Stay tuned for all the latest team news and confirmed line-ups. There are three Premier League matches on the docket for this afternoon, so kick-off is at the much earlier time of 12.00 BST.