Arsenal edged past Brentford in the third round of the Carabao Cup with a narrow 1-0 victory thanks to a first-half strike from Reiss Nelson.
Having dropped points at home to Tottenham at the weekend, despite twice taking the lead, the Gunners needed to return to winning ways in this fixture, and thanks to an impressive first-half display, Mikel Arteta’s men were able to do just that.
Brentford struggled to get any further than the halfway line for large portions of the first period and were helplessly pinned back in their own box as Arsenal flowed forward. In truth, a defensive error from the Bees essentially gifted Arteta’s side their goal – but they fully deserved their lead.
In the second half, Thomas Frank’s side grew in confidence and tested Aaron Ramsdale multiple times, forcing the 25-year-old to make one excellent save in particular. However, Arsenal stood firm and left west London with their one-goal lead intact.
Here are three positives and negatives from the game…
3 positives and negatives from 1-0 Brentford win
Positive #1: Debut for Charles Sagoe Jr
A standout positive from the match is the fact that Arteta handed Sagoe his full first-team debut for Arsenal, and even more importantly, the 19-year-old looked fairly bright before his 68th-minute substitution.
There were flashes of what we can expect from the winger as the Englishman displayed excellent dribbling and close control skills in the first half. He will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka and become the latest Hale End academy product to take the Emirates by storm.
Negative #1: Lost control in the second half
Despite dominating in the first half, we lost control of the second half almost as soon as it began, and our inability to control the entirety of a match is beginning to become a real cause for concern.
We became the side pinned back in our box and had it not been for a string of smart stops from Ramsdale, Brentford would have scored the goal that their second-half display deserved.
As it stands, we progressed which is the important thing, but Arteta must find a way to allow the team to begin controlling matches for 90 minutes, rather than just 45, again.
Continued on the next slide…