Brighton defender reveals how they targeted Arsenal

Matt Stead

Brighton defender Liam Rosenior says they worked on exposing Arsenal’s “weaknesses” and defensive disorganisation”.

Brighton beat Arsenal 2-1 on Sunday, with goals from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray cancelling out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s consolation.

Dunk’s goal came from a corner while Murray headed the second to double the Seagulls’ lead.

Rosenior, who was not in the matchday squad on Sunday, says the club worked on highlighting Arsenal’s vulnerabilities.

“I think if you looked at the Invincibles team they had fantastic technical players but they also had players who were willing to fight, who were willing to go away and win games one-nil,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“You need that if you want to be a championship-winning team, a team that wins the league or a title, you need to have leaders in the dressing room and people who were willing to point the finger at each other and demand from each other.

“When I look at the body language today of some of the players, if I was on the pitch, as a Brighton player, I’d be really confident we could take the game to Arsenal today, because there wasn’t that kind of player in the team that was getting people together and making sure they were aggressive in their challenges.

“We won 80% of the individual duels today, and those small things in games are so important if you want to be successful.

“Without being disrespectful to Arsenal you do [sense a vulnerability]. It’s not the first time they’ve struggled defending set-pieces and we spoke about zonal marking in the week. You can talk about zonal marking or man-to-man but there has to be a determination and desire to defend.

“Manchester City mark zonal and they do that really well. I feel that when you are the manager of a football club as Arsene Wenger has been for a long time, there’s a culture and we felt that at times there was a lack of determination to really put their head in. We felt we could capitalise on that.

“I say that without being disrespectful, but you could see we didn’t have just one chance on goal. We had three or four clear headers in the first half off set-pieces and when you come up against a team and you see their weaknesses it gives you the confidence that you can go on and win the game.”


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