Things did not come easy for the Gunners as they battled to a dramatically late 1-0 win away to Brentford. While it wasn’t a blockbuster performance or game in general, it was a key result which saw them climb to the top of the Premier League table.
Arsenal spent much of the game struggling to break down a very strong and spirited Brentford low block. Leandro Trossard thought he had found an opening on the stroke of half-time, but saw his goal disallowed for a marginal offside.
The second half saw much of the same as Arsenal continued to be frustrated by the Bees’ defence but, just as the game looked to be drawing to a dull conclusion, substitute Kai Havertz dispatched a heroic header from a Bukayo Saka cross to give Mikel Arteta’s side a vital lead.
The importance of this result cannot be understated as, following Man City’s draw against Liverpool, Arsenal are now a point clear at the top of the table, with favourable fixtures in their immediate future too.
3 talking points from Arsenal’s hard-fought win away to Brentford
While the game may not have been the most entertaining, there were still plenty of hot topics throughout it, so here are the main talking points.
1. The goalkeeping dynamic is unsustainable
Much has been made of the intriguing goalkeeping situation at Arsenal in recent weeks and months, with fans of all clubs divided on the matter. Given that David Raya is on loan from Brentford, he was ineligible to play, meaning that Aaron Ramsdale played his first Premier League game since the start of September.
We have all seen time and time again that Ramsdale is a tremendous goalkeeper, and the 25-year-old has singlehandedly won, and kept us in, games on numerous occasions during his two full seasons at the club. But yesterday he looked like a player with absolutely no confidence, terrified of making a mistake which is, no doubt, down to his current circumstances at the club.
With that being said, it seems impossible that this situation can continue for much longer – not just for Ramsdale’s sake, but also for the club’s. A backup goalkeeper must be able to perform to a high level despite only playing sporadically – which clearly Ramsdale is struggling with.
While it would be a real shame, after everything he has done for us, to see him depart the club in January, especially if yesterday proves to be his last game in an Arsenal shirt, it feels like the only logical outcome to a situation that has offered little benefit to the club so far.
Continued on the next slide…