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Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal
OUT OF SORTS Arsenal slipped to a second successive Premier League defeat as Brighton won a spiky encounter at the AMEX Stadium.
Gunners stopper, Bernd Leno, left the field on a stretcher following an innocuous challenge from Neal Maupay – an incident which provoked rumblings for the remainder of the contest culminating in an unsavoury coming together at full-time involving the Seagulls man and several of the angry Arsenal players, notably Matteo Guendouzi.
Postmatch, match-winner Maupay said: “Arsenal players maybe need to learn humility sometimes. They were talking a lot. They got what they deserved,” as the bad blood continued to spill over.
Earlier, Nicolas Pepe brilliantly bent Arsenal ahead just over twenty-minutes from time. However, after Lewis Dunk seized on some hesitant defending to level the score, Maupay confirmed there points and a Premier League double for the home side with an angled effort in stoppage time, leaving the deflated Gunners floundering in tenth place.
Leno’s injury, on top of those sustained by Granit Zhaka and Pablo Mari in the setback at Manchester City, has left Head Coach, Mikel Arteta with a further headache. Nevertheless, he pulled no punches, explaining: “Obviously, after a defeat, you want to put the next result straight away to winning.
“I think we did a lot of things today to win the game comfortably, but we haven’t competed like you have to compete in the Premier League. We gave the first goal away and we lost a few important duels afterwards, so I think it’s all our fault.”
On the Maupay challenge and the subsequent reaction, Arteta added: “It’s the frustration because we’ve thrown the game away and that’s a reaction that can happen but I always believe that a player has no intention to get someone else injured.”
Arsenal return to Premier Lague action on Thursday, June 28 when they face Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium (6pm)
Brighton & Hove Albion: Ryan, Schelotto (Montoya 71’), Webster, Dunk, Burn, Pröpper, Bissouma (MacAllister 90+4’), Mooy (March 46’), Groß (Connolly 71’), Trossard, Maupay Subs not used: Lamptey, Duffy, Stephens, Murray, Button
Arsenal: Leno (Martínez 40’), Bellerín, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Pépé (Nelson 87’), Ceballos (Willock 87’), Guendouzi, Saka (Tierney 87’), Lacazette (Nketiah 78’), Aubameyang Subs not used: Özil, Maitland-Niles, Martinelli, Medley
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Stuart Burt and Peter Kirkup
Fourth official: Keith Stroud
(Quotes courtesy of Arsenal Football Club)