Brighton got the better of Arsenal for the first time in 36 years after running out deserved 2-1 victors at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.
Brighton and Hove Albion 2 Arsenal 1
Dunk breaks deadlock early on
Murray header puts Albion 2-0 up
Aubameyang responds just before HT
Koscielny header hits the post
Chris Hughton’s side got off to a flying start when Lewis Dunk opened the scoring on seven minutes before Glenn Murray doubled their lead before the half-hour mark.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang halved the deficit just before half-time, but the home defence held firm in the second half to inflict a fourth straight defeat on the Gunners – their worst run in 16 years.
The Gunners looked out of sorts in the first half as they carelessly gave the ball away numerous times, although the first two chances of the game came their way.
Mesut Ozil curled an effort over the crossbar on three minutes after the ball broke for him on the edge of the box, before Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross was almost diverted into his own net on the stretch by Shane Duff in the fifth minute.
But Albion took the lead two minutes later with their first real attack as Duffy headed a corner back across goal and Dunk slotted home from six yards out.
They threatened again soon afterwards when Pascal Gross cut inside from the left and forced Petr Cech to turn his low strike around the near post, while Dunk rose highest at a 19th-minute corner to steer a header over the target.
Cech had to be alert moments later when Gross broke through on goal and cut the ball back for Anthony Knockaert, but the visiting keeper saved at the winger’s feet.
Duffy went close from another corner midway through the first half that he headed just over the bar, but Murray found the back of the net on 26 minutes to open up a two-goal cushion. Gross picked out the striker with a pin-point cross from the right and he directed a downward header under Cech.
Murray looked to repeat the feat three minutes later after getting on the end of Jose Izquierdo’s cross from the left, but his header was too close to Cech, who was called into action again on 32 minutes to keep out Gross from inside the box after good work from Knockaert and Murray.
Matt Ryan had to parry away Mkhitaryan’s shot from a tight angle on the right at his near post on 38 minutes following a swift breakaway from the visitors, who found a reply five minutes later when Aubameyang flicked home Granit Xhaka’s pass into the six-yard box.
The north Londoners nearly went into the break level, although it would have been cruel on Albion. However, the frame of the goal came to their rescue as Laurent Koscielny hit the left post with a powerful header from Sead Kolasinac’s cross from the left on the stroke of half-time.
Arsenal improved slightly in the second half and Mkhitaryan tested Ryan with a low shot from outside the area five minutes in, although Cech was forced to tip over Ezequiel Schelotto’s cross-shot from the right on 55 minutes.
A neat passing move from the Gunners led to a chance for Alex Iwobi two minutes later, but his scuffed shot from inside the box on the left was easily dealt with by Ryan, who pulled off a superb one-handed save to turn Ozil’s swerving effort wide of the left post soon afterwards.
Ryan made a sharp save to deny Aubameyang at point-blank range on 63 minutes as the capital club pushed for an equaliser, but they almost got hit on the counter eight minutes later when Izquierdo surged towards the box from the left and cut inside before firing just wide of the left post from 19 yards out.
The Seagulls saw out the remainder of the match without too much incident, although Aubameyang had a final chance to restore parity in stoppage time, but his shot on the turn was straight at Ryan.