Brighton condemned Arsenal to a fourth defeat in a row to put the Gunners into crisis mode and mount great pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.
Brighton & Hove Albion were on hand to condemn Arsenal to yet another defeat, making it four in a row with a stirring 2-1 victory at the Amex Stadium. The loss certainly puts Arsenal into crisis mode with their top-four hopes as good as gone and manager Arsene Wenger’s future up in the air.
Lewis Dunk opened the scoring in the 7th minute, and Glenn Murray ably doubled it at the 25th-minute mark. Arsenal though, pulled one back just before half-time with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring a fine goal. Many did believe that the Gunners could turn it around with an entire half left, but it wasn’t the case as Brighton held on to win a massive game.
Here’s how we rated Arsenal’s fading stars against Brighton & Hove Albion
Petr Cech – 4/10
Not a great night for the veteran goalkeeper who had a bad time between the sticks as he was responsible for the first goal, and the blame could be pinned upon him for the second as well. Mishandled the ball for the first and bundled Chambers in the process, giving Dunk an easy tap-in. Apologised later on Twitter, but it won’t change anything.
If you want to win a game away of home in the best league in the world your GK can’t concede 2 goals like I did today … it’s simply not possible … The team fought back but the damage was done .
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) March 4, 2018
Calum Chambers – 5/10
Chambers started the game at right-back, surprisingly in place of Hector Bellerin. Arsene Wenger tried to do something different to change things around, but it backfired in a way. Chambers bossed the aeroal route on his side but could not defend as well as he has as a centre-back. At right-back, he was regularly exposed for pace, and Brighton led many attacks from his side of the pitch.
Shkodran Mustafi – 5/10
Moments of good play during the game might have undone the glaring fact that Arsenal’s defence needs a change of sorts and Mustafi has played a big part in this decision for the future. As has been the case recently, there were several instances of a lapse in concentration. But more importantly, time and again this season due to both of Arsenal’s central defenders holding a high line, the team has suffered, something reminiscent in the Brighton game.
Laurent Koscielny – 3/10
Was Sunday’s performance Koscielny’s worst in an Arsenal shirt? Possibly so. The fact is that Koscielny just couldn’t cope with whatever was thrown at him by the Brighton attack. His sloppy passing led to the start of counter attacks and the Frenchman was often left exposed due to a lack of positional awareness as well as his apparent miscommunication with partner Mustafi.
Sead Kolasinac – 4.5/10
In the forced absence of Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac was expected to take his chances and make the position his own, but the progress hasn’t been that great compared to what was expected of him. The Bosnian looked quite comfortable on the ball many times nut he gave away possession too many times. Could have seen a second yellow for his challenge midway through the second half but shockingly escaped. Arsenal need him to get back to the early season promise he displayed.
Granit Xhaka – 7.5/10
In light of the recent downward spiral that Arsenal are on currently, Granit Xhaka may be the only positive thing to come out of this particular situation. He was Arsenal’s standout players during both the City games, as well as against Brighton. The Swiss showed a different side to his game, marshalling the midfield area while also getting into defensive positions. Got an assist for his hard work.
Jack Wilshere – 5/10
Wilshere’s tendency to drive from the midfield with the ball into attacking areas has entirely become the norm, and the opposition defenders somehow can stop these runs from becoming productive. Controlled the midfield alongside Xhaka, but was appallingly inconsistent in attacking positions as well as with his passes into the final third.
Alex Iwobi – 4/10
As has oftrn been the case in Alex Iwobi’s Arsenal career so far, the word ‘inconsistent’ rings a lot of bells. He showed again why Wenger dropped him for the City clash in the midweek. Offered close to nothing to create chances, although he was a presence in attack when Arsenal had the ball. Iwobi needs massive improvements in his game, especially decision making in the final third.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7/10
Had a good game, showcasing good work rate and a drive to get back the goals, but it all went unnoticed due to the poor form of others around him. Always tried to create something, it looks like he was taking over from Ozil with creative responsibilities. Got a few shots but those were, in the end, fruitless.
Mesut Ozil – 4/10
His dip in form has become quite visible from the last few games, and the fact that he couldn’t boss the Brighton defence sums it all up. Ozil tried to hit the target with a few shots of his own, especially one in the first half, which was saved quite well. But his passing, which used to be neat and precise, has become his problem and that part of his game was missing from his arsenal on Sunday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 6/10
Aubameyang’s performance symbolises the problems in attack. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but the poor service behind him is causing him problems to make a mark on the team and score goals. He did score Arsenal’s only goal on the night though, with a cheeky finish.
Danny Welbeck – 5/10
Came on in place of Alex Iwobi, but as has been his problems of late he was highly ineffective. This is where Arsenal miss Olivier Giroud, who could be banked upon to score from the bench.
Hector Bellerin – 4/10
Came on late in the second half but could do nothing to change the scoreline.
Eddie Nketiah – 5/10
The idea of pulling another goal to steady matters on the pitch might have sought Arsene Wenger to send in another striker on the pitch. Nketiah worked hard and got into dangerous positions, but like Aubameyang, he got little to no service to complement his efforts.