Brentford hosted Arsenal at the Gtech Community Stadium and the Gunners sealed a crucial victory to get a point clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.
Arsenal edged out the Bees away from home as Kai Havertz scored his first open-play goal for the club to win it for the visitors. Arsenal had the momentum advantage right from the beginning of the game.
Aaron Ramsdale, on his return, had a bit of an unlucky moment as he nearly gave away a goal right at the beginning of the game. Declan Rice, however, came to the rescue as he cleared off a shot from Bryan Mbuemo right at the goal line.
Arsenal created many chances in the first half but were unlucky not to take the lead. Oleksandr Zinchenko was a key influence and did extremely well to set up multiple chances for the Gunners. The Ukrainian finished the game with an impressive 93% pass accuracy, creating two big opportunities.
However, it was man of the moment, Kai Havertz who sealed off the game for Mikel Arteta’s side ten minutes after coming off the bench, heading home at the back post. Mikel Arteta even took the German international for a round of applause around the stadium after the game ended. It has been a while since Havertz has seen the best of himself. Confidence is a key aspect for any player, let alone Havertz, who has not had the form of his career since joining Chelsea.
Kai Havertz must take boost from Brentford winner to ignite Arsenal career
Arteta surprised a lot of fans and pundits alike by choosing to pay £65m for the German player. Knowing the Spanish managers’ track record in terms of talent identification, many Arsenal fans trusted the manager’s decision and welcomed the player with open arms.
This could have been a massive influence as to why Havertz is motivated to get back to his peak form. Over the international break, the German was experimented in the left-back role and scored from that position.
That, paired with the backing of many Arsenal fans, may have been a key factor in helping Havertz find his goal-scoring form. Since the 24-year-old joined Arsenal, as mentioned before, has received a good reception from the fans despite being a former player for London rivals Chelsea.
Speaking to the official Arsenal website in an interview, Havertz said: “It’s very important to feel trust from the fans. It’s always tough when you come from Chelsea, because they are big rivals, so it can take weeks to get some trust from the fans.
“But goals and good games can help me to get it and I will always give 100% in the games and training sessions. I think they will recognise this as well, which is very important. I’m really happy to be here,” he added.
This series of goals for club and country hints at a possible return of Havertz to fulfil his foreseen potential from the Bayer Leverkusen days. Although he played for only ten minutes, the man-of-the-match had a total of 11 touches, one of which proved decisive.
There were many scenarios in the Gunners’ previous games where Havertz got close to scoring, but he couldn’t quite find the back of the net. In this game, that has changed and we are possibly witnessing a return of the Kai Havertz the football world once knew.
To the satisfaction of all Arsenal fans and pundits alike, it seems like the attacking midfielder is adjusting to his new role (in the midfield) quite well and has a lot more to give to his club. I’m sure a lot of fans are far more satisfied that Havertz scored the winning goal to help Arsenal take the lead of the Premier League title race.
It’s still a long way for the Gunners to go and this game has to be a reminder of what is needed from the Arsenal side to be able to emerge victorious in the title race.