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Brighton 2-4 Arsenal result & highlights

Arsenal will start 2023 with a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League after a thrilling 4-2 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium.

Buoyed by Manchester City’s earlier draw with Everton, the Gunners cruised into a 3-0 lead early in the second half and withstood the threat of a Brighton comeback to claim a 14th win in 16 league games this season.

Arsenal seemed in a mood to celebrate the new year on the south coast, Bukayo Saka giving them the lead inside just two minutes. It was the Gunners’ earliest away goal in the Premier League since a Theo Walcott strike against QPR back in 2013.

Six minutes before halftime, Martin Odegaard bounced in a shot following a corner to give the visitors a comfortable lead, with Brighton having struggled to pose a persistent threat to Aaron Ramsdale in the visiting goal.

Brighton vs Arsenal final score

1H 2H Final
Brighton 0 2 2
Arsenal 2 4 4

GOALS:

ARS — Saka — 2nd min

ARS — Odegaard — 39th min

ARS — Nketiah — 47th min

BRI — Mitoma — 65th min

ARS — Martinelli — 70th min

BRI — Ferguson — 77th min

Eddie Nketiah pounced on some loose goalkeeping from Robert Sanchez to make it 3-0 just after the restart, but although the game looked to be over, Kaoru Mitoma converted from just inside the box at the end of a good passing move to give Brighton some hope.

Gabriel Martinelli, who had the beating of Tariq Lamptey throughout the contest, raced onto a stunning first-time pass from Odegaard to finish below Sanchez and restore the two-goal cushion, yet Brighton would not give in.

Teenage substitute Evan Ferguson pounced on some errant defending from Gabriel to poke the ball beneath Ramsdale, and Mitoma struck a deflected shot into the bottom-right corner only for a VAR check to penalise him for a narrow offside.

That disallowed goal seemed to deflate the Brighton players, allowing Arsenal to see out what could be a hugely valuable win in what looks increasingly like a strong challenge for the title.

MORE: Watch every Premier League match live with fuboTV in Canada

Should Arsenal fans start believing?

Arsenal have taken 43 points from their opening 16 games of the Premier League season. Only four other teams in English top-flight history have managed that before in the three-points-per-win era… and they all finished the season as champions.

After Man City dropped points to Everton, this was a significant opportunity for Arteta’s men to lay down a marker, but they were facing a Brighton side who had won the previous two meetings, most recently in the League Cup in November. After just 66 seconds, they were ahead. After 47 minutes, they were 3-0 up. Talk about a performance of champions.

Granted, they were far more shaky in the final half-hour than Arteta would have liked, and only Mitoma’s rear heel stopped Brighton from making it 4-3 with around seven minutes to play, but make no mistake: this was a statement win from genuine title contenders.

Odegaard swaggers into 2023

Odegaard seemed to slightly mishit the shot that made it 2-0 to Arsenal, and yet, given the way the Gunners captain is playing, you have to assume he probably meant it.

Under Arteta this season, the 24-year-old is truly showing why so many clubs across Europe were desperate to sign him as a teenager. He set up a chance for Martinelli with some stunning quick footwork, crashed in a key goal before halftime, and assisted Martinelli for Arsenal’s fourth with a quite sublime first-time pass in behind the Brighton defence.

There are few, if any, Premier League players heading into the new year in better form.

Brighton 2-4 Arsenal result & highlights
Brighton 2-4 Arsenal result & highlights

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