Arsenal 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League – 23/05/2021

Thank God, the season is over. A truly disappointing campaign can only be offset by the news that Arsenal, for the first time since 1995, will not play any kind of European football next season.

A truly drab campaign did have the silver lining of allowing fans back into stadiums to watch the final two games of the season and for once, Arsenal fans were treated to a display of the highest quality from Mikel Arteta’s side.

Sunday’s match was seen as a farewell for some players, whether they were picked or not and as a chance to start next season off with a good win at the end of the season.

Nicolas Pépé caps off a stunning performance.

Arsenal started the match at a truly blistering pace. Attacks flew in from all around and Brighton were unable to hold back the tide. The free-flowing movements of Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Ødegaard and Nicolas Pépé proved to be too much.

In fact, Arsenal were exceedingly unlucky not to have a goal in the first-half. Rob Holding managed to scramble the ball over the line, but the goal was disallowed owing to a foul in the build-up.

From there, Arsenal seemed to lack a little more intensity and seemed happy to play the game at a walking pace, which is perhaps why half-time beckoned with the score at 0-0.

However, the second-half saw a more resurgent Arsenal as they began to finally put Brighton to the sword. A low, but powerful cross from Calum Chambers was deftly controlled with the left foot of Nicolas Pépé, before being fired home with his powerful right to give Arsenal a well-deserved lead.

Togetherness and cohesion for Arsenal as they hit Brighton for two.

It didn’t take too much longer before they added a second. A brilliant move from Arsenal saw Pépé once again in an advanced position and ignoring the cries of his colleagues for him to pass, the Ivorian hitman placed his shot into the far corner to cap off an impressive Arsenal performance in style.

However, the result was dampened by the news that Tottenham Hotspur had managed to overcome their result at Leicester and had won, which left Arsenal without European football.

It was a tough pill to swallow, but Arsenal will now have a summer to prepare the players, sign some exciting new ones, jettison some unwanted ones and to really try and make a push for next season.

Thank God the season is over.

Arsenal team:
  1.) Bernd Leno
21.) Calum Chambers
16.) Rob Holding
  6.) Gabriel Magalhães
  3.) Kieran Tierney
34.) Granit Xhaka
18.) Thomas Partey
19.) Nicolas Pépé
11.) Martin Ødegaard (Martinelli 86’)
32.) Emile Smith Rowe (Saka 74’)
14.) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (c) (Lacazette 79’)

Arsenal subs:
13.) Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson
22.) Pablo Marí
17.) Cédric Soares
25.) Mohamed Elneny
  8.) Dani Ceballos
  7.) Bukayo Saka
35.) Gabriel Martinelli
  9.) Alexandre Lacazette
30.) Eddie Nketiah

Brighton & Hove Albion team: 
26.) Robert Sánchez
  3.) Ben White
  4.) Adam Webster
  5.) Lewis Dunk (c)
33.) Dan Burn
13.) Pascal Groß
  8.) Yves Bissouma
15.) Jakub Moder
16.) Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Lallana 45’)
10.) Alexis Mac Allister (Alzate 66’)
11.) Leandro Trossard (Connolly 45’)

Brighton & Hove Albion subs:
23.) Jason Steele 
61.) Tom McGill
  6.) Michał Karbownik
25.) Moisés Caicedo
17.) Steven Alzate
14.) Adam Lallana
22.) Percy Tau
  7.) Aaron Connolly
29.) Andi Zeqiri

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