Mikel Arteta may not always think so, but everything seems to be going Arsenal’s way. This was another extraordinary day for their first four prospects, and while they have been enjoying the luxury of watching rivals falter in recent weeks, they are here confirming their credentials all to themselves. Brentford I was flattered by Christian Norgaard’s goal in extra time and the tone could not have been more different than in the opening weekend of the season, when Arsenal were battered by the same opponents and looked like a hopeless case.
On this occasion it was one-way traffic in the direction of the Brentford penalty area. Arsenal He would have enjoyed seeing West Ham drop on points against Newcastle at lunchtime and was hungry to cash in on it, barely giving up since the start. The completely dominant first half did not produce enough results in terms of clear chances, much less in terms of goals, but they re-emerged with the same rhythm and deserved their reward.
She arrived three minutes after the break through a superb finish from Emile Smith Rowe. Arsenal’s lack of depth is no little secret, and Arteta then confirmed that his Champions League hopes might hinge on remaining injury-free, but the left winger is the only clear exception. The suspension of Gabriel Martinelli, whose red card at Wolverhampton caused a disproportionate amount of anxiety given the importance of his victory, meant a start for the England international and raised the stakes from the start.
He took Alexandre Lacazette’s slick pass and, from halfway inside the Brentford half, made it to the penalty area. Serge Kanos and Christopher Agger both looked fearful of a penalty and Smith Roe swayed between them, as he curled a delicate ball into the far corner through David Raya’s fingertips.
It was Smith’s 10th goal of the season in all competitions and he became a winning player when given the opportunity. The exact same can be said of Bukayo Saka, who wrapped things up with a somewhat similar effort. Brentford began threatening in a concerted fashion, but right after Yuan Wesa squandered a promising position, Arsenal broke. Sections of the crowd felt that Thomas Partey had delayed his pass to Saka, who had run 70 yards to receive it, for too long; In fact, his decision making was perfect, taking Saka step by step before gently driving his car into the same standing position.
Saka and Smith Rowe are the subjects of an entertainment anthem to Status Quo’s “Rockin’ All Over The World,” which received a great broadcast after full-time. “Fans love that song and everyone loves that song because they are players who grew up in our system,” Arteta said. “I am really happy that we have players who take responsibility and win matches for us. It is really impressive at that age.”
Equally striking is the fact that Arsenal, while rough they may sound, operate with such control. Norgaard’s faltering efforts with the latest action, awarded by the VAR, did not reflect the level of their control and the extent of the pressure on Brentford. Up to this point, it must be said that Thomas Frank’s players have held out solidly for long periods. The outstanding Martin Odegaard should have sealed the match before Saka, but then Arsenal were limited to half the chances even if there was always a feeling that Brentford were in a tight spot. This Arsenal team plays so intensely that, at most opponents, it has to deliver something in the end.
“We defended fantastically in the first half,” Frank said, despite the fact that Brentford, without injured Evan Toni, could barely make it out of their territory due to the interval. A series of corners, blocked shots, handball calls, and cross passes were not sustainable for the 90 minutes of resistance. Frank felt Brentford had better possession of the ball during the second half but they didn’t do much with it, and next Saturday’s meeting with Newcastle, which could see Christian Eriksen make his debut, now assumes huge proportions, as is the case with most Arsenal assignments from here. One point behind Manchester United with two games postponed, fourth place could be for them to lose. “We are a little closer today because we won our game,” Arteta said before adding a cautious goal. “We can’t look too far. Things change very quickly.”
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