Arsenal 2-0 Brighton: 3 takeaways from Gunners' win

  • Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League with win over Brighton
  • Gunners produced controlled display in Sunday's win
  • Mikel Arteta's team were wasteful in front of goal

Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
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Arsenal faced Brighton & Hove Albion and fought well to earn their victory as they took the three points home.

This fixture was a tactical battle between two managers who are up there among the smartest midns in the game. Arteta’s Arsenal, however, emerged victorious in this matchup against Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls. 

Right from the beginning of the game, it was the Gunners who had all the momentum. The first half saw them have 58% of the possession and a total of 15 shots. However, the north London side failed to score before the end of the half.

It was later in the second period that the goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz saw Arsenal seal all three points. The victory stemmed from the tactical strength displayed by Arteta's squad.

Here are the 3 key takeaways from the game:

1. Arsenal crucially need a lethal #9

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus did get on the scoresheet in the second half / Robin Jones/GettyImages

The Gunners had a total of 26 shots of which nine were on target and two converted into goals. While the statistic shows how much Arsenal dominated the game, it also exposes their lack of clinicality.

The north London side had five big chances and missed three of them. This is again a worrying stat as there are games where you can simply not afford to fail to convert such opportunities into goals.

This is yet another game that shows us how crucially Arsenal need a striker who can poach the box well and have a lethal conversion rate. While Gabriel Jesus is a brilliant centre forward, his inefficiency in front of goal is a concern.

Eddie Nketiah is rumoured to leave the club, and Arsenal are reportedly targeting Dominic Solanke and Ivan Toney. Both of those players fit the traditional #9 profile and will excel with the Gunners.


2. Arteta’s tactical knowledge will always give Arsenal an advantage

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta's side were dominant / Robin Jones/GettyImages

This game had a major tactical implementation when considering it was Arteta going up against Roberto De Zerbi. The way Arsenal were set up in different scenarios of the game, the discipline in the players' positioning in and out of possession, and the organised press were key in emerging victorious in this fixture.

Arteta’s men perfectly executed what they were trained to, and as a result they dominated their opposition right from the beginning. The only flaw was their clinicality and that is something they must improve on soon.


3. Kai Havertz has been unleashed

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz's rich vein of form continued / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Having struggled in his initial days at Arsenal after his move from London rivals Chelsea. However, a majority of the club's fanbase and important figures within the club continued to show Havertz boundless support which has helped him regain his confidence and work his way back to his best days.

The German international has now scored his fourth goal for the Gunners and is seeming back to firing on all cylinders. His performances have immensely improved and he is becoming a tough player to be up against. 

After winning the club's November Player of the Month award, he continued his rich vein of form on Sunday. It looks as though those Bayer Leverkusen days are after all not a blurred memory. 

Another noteworthy takeaway from the game is how well Declan Rice is continuing to be for Arsenal. It was yet another brilliant display from Rice. Every game proves that he was worth far more than ₤100m and that he is a crucial player to this Arsenal side. 

Arteta has a big test coming up as his side take on Liverpool next, on 23rd December. This game is a potential decider for who will be at the top of the Premier League table. The Spanish manager will have to ensure that his side have their shooting boots on for this one.