Enock Mwepu scored one and set up another as Graham Potter’s Brighton & Hove Albion battled to an unlikely 2-1 away victory over Arsenal. While the race for a top-four finish heats up, Mikel Arteta’s side will be bitterly disappointed by the result given that the ‘Seagulls’ had failed to win any of their past seven games.
With Arsenal holding the lowest goal tally in the top-seven and Brighton the third-lowest in the entire division, those at the Emirates predictably had little to do other than enjoy the London sunshine during a dreary first 25 minutes. Gabriel Magalhães’ woodwork-bound header then sparked life into the tie, however, and the ‘Seagulls’ retaliated with a perfectly-timed ambush. Lewis Dunk’s hopeful long ball found Mwepu, who pulled it back for Leandro Trossard to slot into the top corner for just the visitors’ second Premier League goal in almost two months.
The ‘Gunners’ seemed to have dented Brighton’s brimming confidence when Gabriel Martinelli nodded home in first-half stoppage time, but an agonising four-minute VAR consultation went against the hosts thanks to a marginal offside. The decision halted any hint of momentum Arsenal had threatened to work up in the first half, and Brighton capitalised by clinically adding a second when Moisés Caicedo found Mwepu on the edge of the box and the midfielder, who played with freedom and athleticism in north London, dispatched a measured volley past Aaron Ramsdale. Martin Odegaard’s deflected long-range strike made Potter sweat for the three points, but Brighton rallied again to keep the hosts at bay.
The Emirates was an unlikely venue for Brighton to cast aside a dismal run of form and hop into 11th place. Meanwhile, Arsenal fluffed the chance to leapfrog local rivals Tottenham into fourth and full-back injury issues are set to limit Arteta’s options with which to rediscover top gear before the end of the campaign.