Late Maupay winner piles more misery on Arsenal
Arsenal suffered yet another setback after losing at home to Brighton in Freddie Ljungberg's first home game as caretaker manager. It was yet another performance from the Gunners and they were roundly booed by their own fans both at half and full-time.
Despite a bit of early pressure from Arsenal which saw David Luiz test Matt Ryan as well as a couple of other chances which were offside, the away side were on top in the first half. Connolly hit at Leno after 19 minutes after Burn's run before Connolly was inches away from turning in Maupay's cross at the far post seven minutes later.
Even though Aubameyang hit off target for the hosts, Brighton looked much more threatening and Bernd Leno had to make a very good save to deny Maupay from 25 yards out. Graham Potter's men continued to pile on the pressure and nine minutes before the break, they hit the front. Burn got his head to the corner, the ball fell to Connolly who chested down, he completely missed his kick, but Webster behind him fired home to stun the crowd.
It was a major blow for the Gunners and the odd time they did attack through a dangerous Aubameyang, they were denied by Ryan. Willock must have thought his close range header from an Aubameyang cross was going to find the back of the net, Ryan had other ideas though and made a brilliant stop. A first half which saw Brighton outshot their opponents eight to four and have five shots on target to Arsenal's two came to a close, but the introduction of Nicolas Pepe at the interval saw Arsenal improve in the second period.
Arsenal won a couple of corners and Maupay had to make a vital intervention to prevent Torreira shooting in the early minutes and then in the 51st minute, it was all square. Lacazette headed the corner at the near post and his looping header went in at the far stick. Kolasinac was in there, but did not touch the ball and Propper claimed a push on him by Kolasinac, but the officials thought otherwise. However, Arsenal failed to kick on from the leveller and Brighton came back into the game.
The visitors had a brilliant opportunity to hit the front again after Alzate's cross was headed by Mooy and Leno saved Maupay's strike from point blank range. Then Arsenal thought they had made it 2-1 when Ozil's ball in from a free-kick was headed in by David Luiz, but he and two or three other teammates were miles offside. The linesman inexplicably allowed the goal to stand, but the VAR made sure justice was done back at Stockley Park.
Ozil failed to hit the target a few minutes later and then when the game look to be heading towards a draw, Brighton went back in front. Mooy's cross in was headed in by Maupay from 10 yards out. It was a massive bonus for Brighton and Arsenal had just 10 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner.
The hosts threw everyone forward and Nicolas Pepe had a couple of efforts, but by far the best one came in the 87th minute when Tierney's ball in found Martinelli and his goalbound header was tremendously kept out by the ex-Valencia keeper. Matt Ryan was in fine form and a rather ordinary Arsenal side went away with nothing. It nearly got worse fot them as Trossard fired over in the dying seconds after a 40 yard run on the counter, but the Arsenal fans made their feelings known when the final whistle went.
The Gunners are winless in the league in their last seven games and winless in their last nine in all competitions. In fact, their last league victory came back on 6th October against Bournemouth. They remain in 10th just five points above relegation and 10 points off the top four. For Brighton, it was a massive win and they move up to 13th, four points above the drop zone. It was a fantastic night for the Seagulls, but for Arsenal, the crisis continues.