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  • By Alessandro Schiavone at AMEX Stadium

Arsenal round off 2022 in spectacular style after 4-2 win over in-form Brighton at the Amex

From Alessandro Schiavone at AMEX Community Stadium, Brighton

Arsenal dealt Man City a huge blow in the title race after a devastating display saw them brush Brighton and Hove Albion aside in a 4-2 win at the AMEX.

And high-flying Arsenal only had one mission ahead of today’s trip to the South coast: win. No matter how, but get the three points against Roberto De Zerbi’s hard-to-beat Seagulls to go seven clear heading into 2023. Boosted by Man City’s surprising home draw with Everton, their statement of intent was made after only 66 seconds when Bukayo Saka picked out the far corner.

Thomas Partey caught Tariq Lamptey in possession, quickly spread play towards Gabriel Martinelli whose initial shot was thwarted before Saka kept his calm to fire where it was impossible for Robert Sanchez to get his outstretched palms to.

The early setback was a real culture shock to the Seagulls’ system as the Gunners, who came out all guns blazing from the dressing room, smelled blood.

Belgian attacking midfielder Leandro Trossard took aim at Aaron Ramsdale’s goal following a poor William Saliba clearance, only for his travelling effort to lack placement. But that was a flash in the pan as Arsenal continued to let their exciting brand of football loose on the hosts. So, they went down the other end and made it 2-0 thanks to Martin Odegaard’s miscued but angled strike.

That said, the result today was never really in doubt as everything Arsenal turned into gold everything they touched. And their powerful blend of smothering press and effortlessly fluid attacks should be shown in football academies around the country.

Shortly after the restart Nketiah, donning Thierry Henry’s iconic No 14, pounced to all but kill off the game for the North Londoners after Gabriel Martinelli saw his angled drive parried by Sanchez.

The home side pulled one back with little over an hour played when Pascal Gross, in Messi-esque style against Holland at the World Cup played a no-look pass to Kaoru Mitoma who copied Montiel to give the home supporters hope.

If on one hand the shot-shy Seagulls had the talent to cancel out a two-goal lead despite the absences of Moses Caicedo and World Cup winner Alexis Mac Callister, they did not have the morale. And Arsenal were never going to drop points.

So their hopes died out when Norwegian Odegaard emulated Kevin De Bruyne with a lovely-weighted ball into space. And Martinelli, in full flight, finally got his rewards with a well-taken effort.

Evan Ferguson and goal after a rare howler from Saliba was merely cosmetic. Arsenal held on for a 4-2 win.

Bring on 2023. The wait for a Premier League trophy may be about to end.


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