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HomeNewsArsenal 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion: Gunners title challenge suffers devastating blow

Arsenal 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion: Gunners title challenge suffers devastating blow


Julio Enciso heads Brighton into the lead at Arsenal in the Premier League
Brighton have won their past three matches at Emirates Stadium in the league and cup

Arsenal’s fading title hopes were dealt a devastating blow after losing to Brighton to leave leaders Manchester City one win from a fifth Premier League title in six seasons.

The Gunners needed to respond after City’s 3-0 win over Everton earlier on Sunday left Mikel Arteta’s side trailing by four points in the race for the title.

On a deeply frustrating day for Arsenal, Leandro Trossard hit the bar against his former club while Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka both went close before Julio Enciso’s close-range header put Brighton ahead.

Substitute Deniz Undav doubled the lead after lobbing Aaron Ramsdale in the 86th minute before Pervis Estupinan added to Arsenal’s misery with Brighton’s third in the 96th minute.

City will win the Premier League title next Sunday in front of their own fans if they beat Chelsea at home (16:00 BST), even if Arsenal defeat Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday (17:30).

However, City will be confirmed champions without playing on Saturday if the Gunners lose at Forest.

In a game littered with niggly fouls, Arsenal lost Brazil forward Gabriel Martinelli to injury in the first half after a foul by Brighton’s Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo, who the Gunners tried to sign in January.

Brighton, who are chasing a place in Europe for the first time, had gone close through Enciso before the Paraguay forward stunned the Emirates with his 51st-minute goal.

The win lifted the Seagulls above both Aston Villa and Tottenham into sixth on 58 points, four behind fifth-placed Liverpool with one game in hand.

The maximum number of points Arsenal can score is 87, while City have 85 with matches against Chelsea (home), Brighton (away) and Brentford (away) to come.

Arsenal’s title challenge runs out of steam

Arsenal’s players sank to their knees after the full-time whistle, the realisation quickly sinking in that their title dream was all but over after being picked apart by Brighton.

The Gunners deserve enormous credit for the way they have pushed Manchester City in the title race but their pursuit is close to being extinguished after a highly damaging defeat at the business end of the season.

Manchester City’s comfortable win at Everton earlier on Sunday opened up a four-point gap at the top but this time Arsenal were unable to respond to the pressure heaped on them by Pep Guardiola’s Treble-chasing team.

There was still almost 40 minutes left when Enciso opened the scoring but the Gunners failed to find the net for the first time since 4 February.

Arteta sent on Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe to try and salvage a point but the Arsenal boss, who was shown a yellow card by referee Andy Madley, saw his side concede two further goals as the home side suffered a comprehensive defeat.

More to follow.

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Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
  2. Squad number21Player nameUndav
  3. Squad number40Player nameBuonanotte

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 4White
  • 15Kiwior
  • 6Gabriel
  • 3Tierney
  • 8ØdegaardSubstituted forSmith Roweat 77′minutes
  • 20JorginhoSubstituted forParteyat 60′minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 34XhakaSubstituted forNelsonat 60′minutes
  • 7Saka
  • 9Gabriel JesusSubstituted forNketiahat 77′minutes
  • 11MartinelliSubstituted forTrossardat 20′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Partey
  • 10Smith Rowe
  • 14Nketiah
  • 16Holding
  • 19Trossard
  • 21Fábio Vieira
  • 24Nelson
  • 30Turner
  • 97Walters

Brighton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Steele
  • 25Caicedo
  • 5Dunk
  • 6Colwill
  • 30EstupiñánBooked at 34mins
  • 13GroßBooked at 55mins
  • 27GilmourSubstituted forWelbeckat 60′minutes
  • 22Mitoma
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 20EncisoSubstituted forUndavat 82′minutes
  • 28FergusonSubstituted forBuonanotteat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 18Welbeck
  • 21Undav
  • 26Ayari
  • 29van Hecke
  • 38McGill
  • 40Buonanotte
  • 42Offiah
  • 49Moran
  • 51Peupion

Referee:
Andy Madley

Attendance:
60,139

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