Arsenal 1-2 Brighton: No win in nine leaves free fall Gunners in crisis
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Freddie Ljungberg’s first game as interim Arsenal boss ended in defeat as the Gunners lost 2-1 to Brighton at the Emirates on Thursday night, leaving them without a win in nine games and on their worst run of form since 1977.
Adam Webster put the visitors ahead on 36 minutes from close range after a scramble in the box, but Alexandre Lacazette's looping near post header levelled the score on 50 minutes.
Arsenal thought they had won it when David Luiz volleyed in Nicolas Pepe's free-kick on 63 minutes, but VAR ruled it our for offside. The Brazilian was then to blame for Brighton's winner as he lost Neal Maupay with 80 minutes on the clock, as he scored with a well-placed header.
Without a win in nine, this is Arsenal worst run of form since 1977.
Ljungberg made three changes to the side that drew with Norwich City on Sunday, as Lucas Torreira, Sokratis and Hector Bellerin came into the team.
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Calum Chambers and Matteo Guendouzi dropped to the bench, while Shkodran Mustafi missed out on the 18-man squad.
The Gunners started positively as they pushed forward and penned the Seagulls in their own half, with David Luiz the first to test Matt Ryan with a low shot.
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Brighton had chances of their own in the opening 25 minutes though, with Bernd Leno forced to make saves from both Aaron Connelly and Adam Webster.
Arsenal's promising early signs started to fade as the half went on, with Neal Maupay inches away of opening the scoring on 26 minutes as he controlled a cross and flashed a shot across the face of goal from a tight angle.
Brighton had been by far the better side and took a deserved lead on 36 minutes as a corner led to a scramble in the box, with Webster turning the ball home to the delight of the travelling support.
Ljungberg's men should have been level just minutes later after good work from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the right, but Joe Willock could only head straight at Ryan from close range.
Despite a dreadful first-half, it didn't take long for Arsenal to come back after the break.
A corner with 50 minutes played found Lacazette at the near post, and his header sailed to the far post and in, with no one getting a touch despite a scramble on the line as the Frenchman made it 1-1.
The game was now end to end with both sides fighting to go in front in a high-intensity affair.
The hosts thought they had done just that on 63 minutes when Luiz brilliantly volleyed home Nicolas Pepe's free-kick, but a VAR check correctly ruled the goal out for offside.
It was Brighton who struck the winner though as poor defending cost Arsenal again.
Maupay escaped the attention of David Luiz far too easily from a cross into the area and he headed past Leno to win the game, condemning the Gunners to their worst run of results since 1977.