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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Gtech Community Stadium

Brentford outclassed as Arsenal stroll back to the top

By Yann Tear at the Gtech Community Stadium






Brentford (0) 0

Arsenal (2) 3 Saliba 17, Jesus 28, Vieira 47

What a difference a year makes.


From a raucous, red-blooded Friday night under the lights when the Bees launched their arrival on the Premier League stage to a subdued early Sunday kick-off in the wake of the Queen’s death.


This season's Brentford v Arsenal was as different from last season as it was possible to be.


There was no Hey Jude before the start to gee up the normally vociferous crowd and the home team’s performance was nowhere near normal levels as Arsenal strolled to a win which returns them to the summit of the early-season table.


At times, the Bees were merely chasing shadows and there was none of that in-your-face approach which characterised last season’s epic 2-0 win.


For Mikel Arteta, this was a significant moment, given his admission that last season’s chastening defeat had led him to doubt his out abilities to lead Arsenal back to greater heights.


The Bees are normally the ones creating havoc at set pieces but this time it was the Gunners finding joy from a dead ball.


Bukayo Saka’s inswinging corner from the right was glanced in off the far post by the head of William Saliba, who got in front of defenders at the near stick.


And Arsenal’s tidy play brought a second not long after as Gabriel Jesus powered in a perfect header after a delicate chip from Granit Xhaka.


The second half had barely begun when the Gunners strolled into a 3-0 lead, the Bees failing to close down newcomer Fabio Vieira – an instant hint because of that name – and the Portuguese measured a curling shot in off a post which beat David Raya’s left hand.


Brentford must have been hoping Ivan Toney – buoyed by this week’s England call-up – would get them back into it, but from a central free-kick, his attempt went just too high.


The damage could have been more pronounced for Thomas Frank’s men as it needed a fine stretch from Raya to keep out another Saka effort following more patient build-up.


Arsenal were so comfortable they were even able to bring on a 15 year old in Ethan Nwaneri, who at 15 and 181 days beats the lowest age for a Premier League player - eclipsing the previous record holder Harvey Elliott.



Bees: (3-5-3) Raya – Ajer, Jansson, Mee – Hickey, Janelt (Onyeka 63), Jensen (Baptiste 68), Henry – Mbeumo (Wissa 77), Toney, Dasilva (Damsgaard 63). Subs not used: Canos, Zanka, Ghoddos, Strakosha, Roserslev

Gunners: (4-3-3) Ramsdale – White (Tomiyasu 86), Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney – Vieira (Nwaneri 9), Partey (Sambi Lokongo 78), Xhaka – Saka (Marquinos 90), Gabriel Jesus, Martinelli (Nketiah 78). Subs not used: Turner, Holding, Smith,, Sousa

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