Mikel Arteta explains ‘superb’ Arsenal ‘understanding’ after ‘big performance’ v Brighton

News Desk
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta applauds the fans after a match
Mikel Arteta applauds the fans after a match

Mikel Arteta was a very happy man after Arsenal reclaimed top spot in the Premier League with a convincing 3-0 win away to Brighton.

The title-chasing Gunners arrived at the Amex Stadium having dropped to third place in the table following Manchester City’s 4-2 success at Crystal Palace in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

Mikel Arteta: Arsenal were ‘really good’ v Brighton

Bukayo Saka set Arteta’s men on course to return to the summit by converting a 33rd-minute penalty before second-half goals from Kai Havertz and substitute Leandro Trossard completed a comprehensive win.

The result – Albion’s first top-flight home loss in more than seven months – puts Arsenal a point ahead of both Liverpool, who play their game in hand at rivals Manchester United on Sunday, and City.

“I’m really happy, really proud of the boys,” said Gunners boss Arteta.

“They put in a big, big performance to beat this great Brighton side.

“They haven’t lost here since August and that tells you the difficulty of the task but we were really good today.”

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Fit-again Saka was recalled after sitting out the 2-0 midweek win over Luton with a muscular problem.

The England forward scored from the spot when Seagulls full-back Tariq Lamptey was penalised for bringing down Gabriel Jesus, despite brushing the top of the ball.

Havertz rewarded Arsenal’s dominance by tapping home Jorginho’s centre 28 minutes from time before substitute Trossard ran half the length of the pitch to rub salt into the wounds of his former club late on.

“The understanding between the attacking players today was superb,” said Arteta.

“They had real purpose and connection and we created many chances.”

Arsenal led the division for much of last season before falling short in the final weeks.

The Gunners, who begin their two-legged Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening, have won 10 of 11 top-flight fixtures in 2024, with seven games to go.

“We are in a really good moment,” said Arteta.

“We have the squad healthy, with a really good energy, with a lot of confidence individually and collectively because they are performing really well and we are winning a lot of matches.

“We just have to carry on doing what we’re doing.”

De Zerbi has no complaints with Arsenal penalty

Brighton dropped to 10th position, below Chelsea on goal difference, as their quest for a second successive season of European football suffered a setback.

Injury-hit Albion faded from a positive start and rarely threatened Gunners goalkeeper David Raya.

Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi had no complaints about the award of Arsenal’s penalty and urged his players to quickly move on.

“I thought it was clear but I don’t want to speak about the decisions of the referee,” he said of the spot-kick.

“We lost not for the referee’s responsibility.

“We played a good game until the second goal we conceded but we didn’t shoot enough to score. We weren’t strong enough to score.

“Arsenal are one of the best teams in the Premier League. We knew that before the game.

“We fought in a good way.

“The penalty was clear and we move on trying to work better, to improve our young players, to recover our eight injured players, and we try to compete to reach another season in the European positions.”

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