Brighton 2-4 Arsenal: Gunners seven points clear at top of Premier League heading into 2023

Goals from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli saw Arsenal see off Brighton on the south coast to go seven points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Oleksandr Zinchenko replaced Kieran Tierney in the only change to Arsenal’s starting XI from the win at home to West Ham on Boxing Day.

Eddie Nketiah, deputising for the injured Gabriel Jesus, once again led the line for the league leaders after scoring in the 3-1 win over the Hammers.

Midfielder Billy Gilmour made his first Premier League start for Brighton in place of the suspended Moises Caicedo.

Tariq Lamptey replaced Joel Veltman in the other change for the Seagulls, who remained without World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister.

The Gunners led with just over a minute played after the unmarked Bukayo Saka slotted home from close range following Gabriel Martinelli’s blocked effort.

Arsenal doubled their lead shortly before half-time when Martin Odegaard found the net following a partially-cleared corner from the right.

Arsenal were in complete control immediately after the restart as Nketiah stretched their lead to 3-0.

Seagulls goalkeeper Sanchez failed to keep hold of Martinelli’s effort from the left and Nketiah pounced to poke home the loose ball.

Brighton pulled a goal back with 65 minutes on the clock through Kaoru Mitoma.

Arsenal restored their three-goal advantage with around 20 minutes to play.

Odegaard released Martinelli with a stunning first-time pass and the Brazilian raced almost half the length of the pitch, outpacing Lamptey, before finishing underneath Sanchez.

Brighton reduced the deficit to 4-2 through a first Premier League goal for substitute Evan Ferguson.

Mitoma thought he had set up a grandstand finish by claiming his second to make it 4-3 with a minute to go, however, he was ruled offside.

More to follow…

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