Matchweek 32
All times shown are your local time
Sat 6 Apr 2024
Kick Off:
American Express Stadium, Falmer
Att: 31,677
Ref: John Brooks




How the match unfolded

Arsenal went back to the top of the Premier League table with a 3-0 victory over Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

Bukayo Saka’s penalty and Kai Havertz’s close-range finish put the Gunners, who had seen Manchester City join Liverpool at the top of the standings with a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace earlier on Saturday, in control on the south coast.

An emphatic victory was secured when, on his first return to the Amex, former Brighton favourite Leandro Trossard dinked home late on.

While Arsenal will hope Manchester United do them a favour by beating Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, Brighton are now in 10th, with their hopes of European qualification hanging by a thread.

Arsenal made a quick start and should have gone ahead inside 63 seconds, only for Gabriel Magalhaes to head wide of a gaping goal after being found by Martin Odegaard's free-kick.

Saka shot wide of the far corner and Gabriel Jesus was denied by a firm stop from Bart Verbruggen as Arsenal continued to probe, and the Gunners made the breakthrough shortly after the half-hour mark.

Lamptey clumsily felled Jesus as the Brazilian bustled into the penalty area, and John Brooks did not hesitate in pointing to the spot. Saka made no mistake from 12 yards, firing into the bottom-left corner for his 14th league goal of the season.

Julio Enciso went close to levelling in spectacular fashion shortly before half-time, but David Raya was able to claw his dipping strike away from the top-left corner.

Arsenal made Raya’s good work count in the 62nd minute – Jorginho getting to the byline and squaring for Havertz, who duly tucked in.

Having replaced Saka, Trossard tried his luck from distance soon after, but Bart Verbruggen was equal to the Belgium international’s low strike.

Brighton’s goalkeeper could do little to prevent Trossard from making it 3-0 in the 86th minute, though, with the winger keeping his cool in a one-v-one and lifting home a delicate finish to further compound his old club’s misery.

Verbruggen stopped Declan Rice and then Gabriel from making it a rout, as Mikel Arteta’s team continued their exceptional form.

Saka on the spot

Saka has now scored as many Premier League goals this season (14 in 29 matches) as he did in 2022-23 (14 in 38 encounters).

His successfully converted penalty here means he has now scored nine of his last 10 spot-kicks in the Premier League, including his last five in a row.

With Euros 2024 on the horizon, it is indeed timely to brush up on goalscoring output – especially from the spot. 

Brighton bereft as fine home record falls

Disappointingly for Brighton, this defeat at the hands of Arsenal ends a fine run of form on home turf.

Before this, the last defeat at the Amex came 3-1 to West Ham United in August. The clipping of the Seagulls’ wings now means that a 12-game unbeaten run, their longest unbeaten run at the Amex in the Premier League, draws to a close (W6 D6).

Conceding penalties does not help their course, mind. Roberto De Zerbi’s team have conceded six spot-kicks in the league this season, with only West Ham (10) and Everton (seven) giving away more.

Club reports

Brighton | Arsenal

Match officials

Referee: John Brooks. Assistants: Lee Betts, Dan Robathan. Fourth official: Keith Stroud. VAR: Robert Jones. Assistant VAR: Simon Long.

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Club Reports

Match officials

Referee: John Brooks

Fourth Official: Keith Stroud

VAR: Robert Jones

Assistant VAR: Simon Long

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