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Premier League | Gameweek 32
Apr 6, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
The American Express Community Stadium

0 - 3

Balepa (76')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Saka (33' pen.), Havertz (62'), Trossard (86')
Saliba (79'), White (90+5')

Clinical Arsenal return to summit with three-goal Brighton & Hove Albion win

:Headline: Clinical Arsenal return to summit with three-goal Brighton & Hove Albion win:
Arsenal go top of the Premier League with an impressive 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Sports Mole

Arsenal will spend the evening at the top of the Premier League table thanks to a hugely impressive 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Bukayo Saka's penalty, Kai Havertz's ninth goal of the league season and Leandro Trossard's cheeky chip against his former club sealed a 10th success in 11 top-flight games for the clinical Gunners, who had their fair share of defending to do but did it with vigour, while overcoming early wastefulness to cruise to an emphatic win.

While Mikel Arteta's men have now risen one point above Liverpool into first place, the Seagulls - who were simply outplayed on the night - were left to dissect their first home defeat in any competition since September, having gone 14 without a loss before Arsenal showed up.

Among four changes to the Arsenal XI was the return of Saka from a minor concern, while erstwhile Gunners striker Danny Welbeck was promoted back to the Brighton XI as part of five alterations on the hosts' end.

Arsenal's set-piece threat has diminished slightly in recent weeks, but the visitors should have been ahead in the first minute as a delightful Martin Odegaard free kick found the run of Gabriel Magalhaes, but the Brazilian headed wide with most of the goal at his mercy.

Chances continued to come thick and fast for the men in yellow, but profligacy was seriously harming them, as Saka held his run to meet Ben White's ball, cut inside and fired beyond Bart Verbruggen's far post from inside the box in the 12th minute.

Just one moment later, Verbruggen made a strong one-handed save to keep out Gabriel Jesus's first-time effort from the edge of the box, and the Brazilian attacker should have made more of a header from a Havertz cross in the 15th minute, attempting to go for the far corner but getting his effort all wrong.

However, the Gunners were offered a helping hand from Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey just after the half-hour mark, as the ex-Chelsea youngster tripped Jesus just inside the box, and John Brooks pointed to the spot straight away.

Penalty aficionado Saka stepped up and coolly sent Verbruggen the wrong way to propel Arsenal into the lead, and the 22-year-old's spot kick saw him reach 30 goal contributions - 17 of his own and 13 assists - in a stellar individual campaign.

While surviving a couple more scares of their own making, having been caught a couple of times while playing out from the back, Brighton came agonisingly close to levelling the match in the 44th minute, as Julio Enciso's stunning curler was bound for the far corner before David Raya magnificently tipped the ball behind at full stretch.

Attacking the goal in front of their travelling fans in the second half, Arsenal let a couple of opportunities for goal number two pass them by, as Jesus's header into the ground bounced wide in the 48th minute, before Verbruggen awkwardly tipped Odegaard's right-footed drive over the top in the 54th minute.

The two-goal cushion would arrive for the title chasers in the 62nd minute, though, as Jorginho ran onto Odegaard's slick through ball, got to the byline on the right-hand side and cut back for Havertz to tap home at the near post.

Displaying exceptional movement to fool Lewis Dunk and work the space, Havertz's strike was his ninth of the Premier League season - a personal best - and Trossard nearly got in on the act in the 71st minute, bursting forward and attempting to find the bottom corner, but a sprawling Verbruggen denied the ex-Brighton man.

De Zerbi's men were the ones doing most of the probing as the clock ticked down, but they were being marshalled expertly by Arsenal's notoriously rigid defence, and the result was put beyond any doubt in the 86th minute.

Trossard had endured a frosty reception upon his return to the Amex, but the Belgian had the last laugh, stealing the ball from Gross and linking up with Havertz, before running the length of the Brighton half and delicately lifting the ball over Verbruggen's futile reach.

Taking a break from the Premier League title race, Arsenal host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their tantalising Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, while Brighton - who drop to 10th below Chelsea on goal difference - have a week to recuperate before heading to Burnley next Saturday. body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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