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Brighton held to goalless draw by unimpressive Arsenal

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Brighton’s Dan Burn (left) and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka vie for the ball during the match. PHOTO: AFP

Brighton & Hove Albion created a slew of chances but failed to get many of them on target as they were held to a 0-0 draw by a rudderless Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday (Oct 2).

On a wet, blustery evening, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka got the game off to a promising start with a raid down the right and a shot straight at Robert Sanchez in the opening minute, but it was one of few chances for the visitors in a dismal attacking performance.

Brighton defender Lewis Dunk fluffed a golden chance to give the home side the lead in the 21st minute, blazing the ball high over the bar after it was spilled by Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The Seagulls dominated the opening 45 minutes but it was Arsenal who went closest to scoring as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed against the post from a tight angle during a rare first-half attack.

The home side were sharper all over the field, their incisive passing and quick movement pulling the Arsenal defence all over the place, and the visitors’ limited attacks were short-lived as Brighton won the ball back and began again.

Named on the left of a five-man midfield, Brighton’s Spanish defender Marc Cucurella put in a superb performance up and down that flank, taking part in attacks and getting back to snuff out any counters.

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But for all their possession, Brighton struggled to get shots on target and they were almost punished when Emile Smith Rowe broke away in the 75th minute, but Sanchez was able to steer his shot behind for a corner.

With the final whistle approaching, Brighton turned the screw as they created a flurry of late chances, but the Arsenal rearguard held firm despite conceding 21 goal-scoring opportunities to claim a scarcely-deserved point.

“It was a difficult game, they made it hard and we have to give credit to them,” said Arsenal’s Ramsdale.

“We have got to get around that, we have to show more composure and intensity on the ball and make it harder for them.”

The result sees Brighton rise to fifth in the table on 14 points after seven games, two behind leaders Chelsea. Arsenal, who have only managed five goals in their opening seven league games, are ninth on 10 points.

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-Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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