Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomePremier LeagueReady for Bayern: Arsenal extend their impressive run thanks to Havertz

Ready for Bayern: Arsenal extend their impressive run thanks to Havertz

Thanks in part to Kai Havertz, Arsenal successfully completed their dress rehearsal for their clash with Bayern – and also claimed another three-pointer in the thrilling championship race with a commanding 3-0 win at difficult-to-tackle Brighton.

At Brighton, who had only won two of their last eight competitive games and had to bid farewell to their Europa League hopes after falling 14 points behind fifth place, coach Roberto de Zerbi replaced both his full-backs and almost his entire attack after the zero result at Brentford. That meant five changes: Lamptey, Estupian, Moder, Enciso and Welbeck came in for Veltman, Igor, Buonanotte, Lallana and Joao Pedro.

At the other end, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, who had picked up 28 points out of a possible 30 so far in 2024, made four changes after the 2-0 defeat to Luton Town: Jorginho, Rice, Saka and Gabriel Jesus came in for Thomas, Smith Rowe, Nelson and Trossard. The Gunners took the initiative from the kick-off, playing comfortably and moving forward – and scoring promising goals through Gabriel Jesus (2nd, 13th, 16th) and Saka (12th) – but that was as good as it got.

Brighton not without danger

Brighton, on the other hand, focused on switching play and occasionally struggled defensively with the lively and quick Londoners, but ultimately largely held their own – and also posed a threat with pinpricks (Enciso, 9th, Moder, 10th, Adingra, 17th).

However, a weak tackle then put the Seagulls behind: Lamptey was initially fooled by Gabriel Jesus in his own penalty area and then clumsily pulled the Brazilian off his feet. Saka then fired the resulting spot-kick into the left corner to make it 1-0 – the Gunners’ tenth of ten penalties they have taken this season (33′).

The goal naturally played into the visitors’ hands. The best defense in the league did not have too much trouble keeping the Seagulls at bay. However, it was also noticeable that Brighton lacked ideas, with only Enciso’s powerful long-range shot, which was well saved by Raya (44′), raising the Gunners’ spirits in the first half.

Havertz makes the difference

After the break, it was Havertz who made everything clear early on. The German international showed his assertiveness with Jorginho’s pass, beat two men and put the ball in the net to make it 2:0 (62′). Brighton, who were threatened with their first home defeat after a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions (8-6-0), did not give up and continued to fight tirelessly in what remained a fiercely contested duel – ultimately in vain.

Shortly before the end, Havertz then sent the previously substituted Trossard on his way, who thanked him and made the final score 3:0 (86′). All in all, the Gunners’ eleventh league game without defeat (10-1-0) was never really in danger. As a result, Arsenal were once again unscathed in the tight English championship race and also had a successful dress rehearsal for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against FC Bayern on Tuesday. The following Sunday, the Londoners face a tricky clash with fourth-placed Aston Villa in the league (5.30pm), while Brighton face Burnley FC the day before (4pm).

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