Summer signing battered in individual battle as Arsenal get lucky against Brighton – player ratings

Date published: Saturday 2nd October 2021 7:25 - Samuel Bannister

Takehiro Tomiyasu battling with Marc Cucurella

Arsenal were fortunate to come away with a point after a superior but lacking Brighton held them to a 0-0 draw at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton were the better side despite the Gunners going into the match with a sense of revival. This result reminded them there is plenty of progress yet to make. Several of their players disappointed as they were held to a goalless stalemate.

Against a more clinical team, it could have been a different story; Brighton continued a pattern of playing well but struggling to score.

Here we rate and slate the players for their performances.

Brighton

Robert Sanchez: Had little to deal with as Arsenal struggled to create but thwarted them when they did take aim. 6

Shane Duffy: Decent on the ball as Brighton built from the back. Tested a bit more as play became stretched late on. 6

Lewis Dunk: Celebrating his 350th appearance for the club, sent in a brilliant cross – for a centre-back or a player of any other position – that Burn couldn’t make the most of. Comfortable in the middle of the back three. 7

Dan Burn: Beaten too easily by Saka when Arsenal exploited an opportunity midway through the first half. Headed a good chance over from inside the box at the other end after Dunk’s cross. Comfortable overall though and enjoyed a better second half, blocking off a run from Aubameyang, for example. 6

Joel Veltman: Didn’t have too much to deal with from the Arsenal attack. Picked up a yellow card for a foul on Lacazette late on. 6

Pascal Gross: Fairly tidy on the ball and put in a decent shift. 6

Adam Lallana: Exploited pockets of space when his teammates were in possession and tidied up when they weren’t. 7

Jakub Moder: Had Brighton’s first attempt of the second half with a curled effort that missed the target. Had been a busy presence up to that point and had another off-target effort before the hour mark. 7

Marc Cucurella: Deployed as a wing-back, took his opportunities to get forward. Had varied success with his creation, including one square ball across the face of goal that could have caused problems. Made himself a nuisance against Tomiyasu, whom he gave the runaround. Won some challenges in his own defensive third too and nearly caught Arsenal out with a swinging effort in the final 10 minutes. Man of the match. 8

Leandro Trossard: Dragged a shot wide after 15 minutes following a nice chop in from the right. Touch was sometimes a little loose but still managed to cause issues for the Gunners. 7

Neal Maupay: Created some danger with an inswinging cross that Arsenal struggled to deal with around the 20-minute mark. His own shooting was disappointing, such as a missed chance from close range in the first half and an attempted overhead kick in the second, but his creation for others was respectable. Another example was a dinked pass for Lallana that led to a goalmouth chance. Could have been a different story had he been more clinical though overall. 5

Substitutes:

Alexis Mac Allister (on for Moder, 78): Provided a late injection of energy for Graham Potter’s side. 6

Solly March (on for Gross, 84): N/A


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Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale: In wet conditions, fumbled a cross 20 minutes in that Brighton couldn’t capitalise from. Relatively untested otherwise but generally alert when he had to be, especially when the hosts upped the pressure late on. Made a brilliant save to prevent Maupay getting a tap in, for instance. 7

Takehiro Tomiyasu: Swept things up early from the right-hand side of defence, but was caught in possession dangerously around half an hour in, almost conceding a big chance. Brighton’s confidence down that side increased as he began to lose the battle with Cucurella and co. In addition, even his throw-in technique raised eyebrows. 4

Ben White: Back at his former stomping ground, nearly conceded a chance when misplacing a pass around 10 minutes in. Regained his composure to win headers and make blocks, doing enough to put some of his old teammates off. 6

Gabriel Magalhaes: Not quite up to the pace in the first half, was a bit more alert in the second but had a day to forget overall. 5

Kieran Tierney: Stood off Trossard too much when allowing the Brighton man to cut in and shoot in the first half. Wasn’t as useful in individual battles as normal. 5

Thomas Partey: Bizarrely blazed a long-distance free kick over the bar with 10 minutes to go of the first half after a questionable decision to shoot. Further efforts from range in open play also missed the target throughout the game. Often bypassed out of possession too. Split the lines with a good pass for Aubameyang in the first phases of the second half, but his teammate was offside. 4

Thomas Partey trying to make a block for Arsenal

Albert Sambi Lokonga: Brought in for the injured Granit Xhaka in Arsenal’s only change from their north London derby. Made a decent interception but failed to pick the right pass with one involvement in the first half. Was beaten too easily though on a few occasions after the break. Later took on an over-ambitious shot from distance. 5

Bukayo Saka: Created the first chance of the game all by himself with a weaving run and shot. Caused issues for Brighton with his pace and was the outlet Arsenal looked for when they were on the backfoot. Put in a shift to win possession back at times too. Forced off with an injury that Arsenal will be hoping isn’t too serious. 7

Martin Odegaard: Somewhat off the pace and on the boundaries of the action despite playing as a central attacking midfielder. Touch was often loose and he failed to link up with his teammates. First man to be substituted and could have no complaints. 4

Emile Smith Rowe: Looked to get on the ball frequently in the opening exchanges and was tenacious off it. Made an inviting cross towards the end of the first half that Aubameyang failed to read. Kept working throughout the game. 7

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Miscontrolled a pass in promising territory after a quarter of an hour. Let himself down again when not spotting a cross from Smith Rowe that was a chance. After the break, was caught offside after being set up by Partey and couldn’t convert anyway. There were other examples of him not being able to control the ball or make the most of potential openings. 4

Substitutes:

Nicolas Pepe (on for Odegaard, 63): Didn’t have too many chances to run at the Brighton defence. 5

Alexandre Lacazette (on for Aubameyang, 72): Wasn’t able to change much in comparison to the ineffective Aubameyang. 5

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (on for Saka, 90): N/A

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