Post Match report for the Arsenal game - Thursday, 5th December 2019

PREMIER LEAGUE: Arsenal v Brighton - 5/12/19, P15.


VENUE: the Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 - eighth away match of fifteen fixtures to date.
RESULT: 1-2 ~ Webster, Maupay . (h-t 0-1) . SHAPE: 4-4-2 .
REF: tolerant to a degree, presumably content with VAR backup.

PRE-KICKOFF: reality for Brighton fans was that Albion were currently one point above the eighteenth placed club and had been beaten in their last four away fixtures, scoring two single goals but conceding nine times in total. A positive result here would therefore be nice.
GATE: 60,164 . WEATHER: mild winter night.

GRAHAM POTTER was beforehand talking up all manner of psychological opinions and approaches to visiting Gunners venue on a winter Thursday evening ahead of a demanding December PL schedule.
He elected to field an attacking line up, making two changes to the starting eleven at Liverpool on Saturday.
Alzate & Maupay were now chosen in lieu of Montoya & Bissouma. Bernardo was at last passed fit enough to sit among subs.

TEAM . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Ryan
. 46 Alzate, 15 Webster, 5 Dunk, 33 Burn
. 13 Gross, 6 Stephens, 24 Propper, 18 Mooy
. . . . . . . . . . . 7 Maupay, 44 Connolly

BENCH: 27 Button, 22 Montoya (76), 30 Bernardo, 4 Duffy (88), 8 Bissouma, 11 Trossard (80), 17 Murray.

GOALS: 36 - 0-1. Travellers were well forward and Connolly got into the mix. The ball popped up and WEBSTER took a dig.
50 - 1-1. A scrambled attempt in the away area is confirmed by VAR as defenders fail to act positively and concede a soft goal.
80 - 1-2. Good build up by Mooy immediately after Trossard arrived saw MAUPAY take a chance in poacher style.

INCIDENTS: the game was littered with pauses for infringements and eventually VAR got involved at a clear offside decision to chalk off a possible winning second home goal.

YELLOWS: 61 - Gross with handball.

SUBS: 76 - Connolly withdrawn for Montoya, with a reshuffle in defence & midfield. 80 - Gross comes off and Trossard went on. 88 - Alzate is replaced by Duffy.
Potter managed excellent late changes to shore up defence but increase intentions to keep going forward.

ANALYSIS: visitors put pressure on the home defence for much of the first half and created a series of opportunities but the final ball often went awry. With the interval moments away Seagulls took a deserved lead against lacklustre hosts. Home support boos accompanied their team leaving for the coffee break. Brighton fans were singing in unison.
The anticipated local reaction after turnaround was not dealt with satisfactorily by visitors and Gunners equaliser soon resulted from hosts improved offense. The away performance deteriorated as per seasonal record when everything reduced to a mean average. They lost control of open play, allowing Seagulls defenders to work harder than their attackers who became mere spectators from long distance.
Long before the death the game appeared well & truly up during predictable countdown while trying to hang on for a point. But late subs & reshaping changed the game again quickly, tipping balance back toward Brighton & Hove Albion.
MoM - Alzate, a class act from one so inexperienced at this level.

NUMBERS: poss 49%-51%, on target 5-9, off target 7-11, corners 9-9, fouls 10-11, yellows 3-1, subs 3-3.