Sunday 14 May 2023

Arsenal 0-3 Brighton

When Odegaard went down clutching his head after the ball struck him in the face early on, you feared the worst. Gone are the days when the ball was more like lead when wet. In those days, few people, as in none, rolled on the floor once the ball hit them square in the face. However, now that the ball floats like a butterfly or a balloon, a ball in the face is like receiving a blow from Mike Tyson, it seems. What's more, when your captain goes down that easily, it sets the tone. A defeat seemed likely from that moment.

Let's make no bones about it: this was an awful performance. Brighton are a decent team, but Arsenal had so little to offer that they looked a million miles behind Man City, as well as four points.

Enciso's second-half goal was decisive and the Kiwior's inability to remain on his feet just prior to it, after getting a knock, will be blamed for this debacle. Who says that Arsenal are a soft touch. 

Taking all the aggression aside, Brighton were the best side. The substitution of Jorginho for Partey, Xhaka for Nelson, Odegaard for Smith-Rowe and Jesus for Nketiah was unlikely to mark the difference.

Arsenal were leggy and deserved to lose.

Brighton may be in Europe, but Arsenal are in the Champions League. Undav sealed the win, thanks to Trossard's mistake, (whatever happened to the curse of the ex) but it's been a wonderful season. Let's not forget that. 

Estupian nicking a third added insult to injury, but they deserved it. Arsenal ended their title charge with a whimper, which is even more embarrassing than being a damp squib. The 'tough' guys need to look themselves in the mirror and wonder whether they are in the right profession or not.

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