Arsenal 2-1 Brentford


Second-half goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka were enough to seal another important victory on Saturday as we beat Brentford to keep the heat on in the hunt for the top four.

With the results of our rivals mainly going our way of late, we knew a win here was imperative – and the way we started underlined that.

We immediately asserted our dominance and didn’t take the foot off the pedal throughout the first half, although we didn’t have anything to show for it.

With the electric Martin Odegaard pulling the strings, we spent the opening 45 minutes camped in the Brentford half and created a series of openings with our quick, one-touch attacking.

Bukayo Saka was first to try his luck, before Alex Lacazette saw a shot blocked and then our captain had a goal disallowed for an agonisingly tight offside call.

Odegaard was everywhere, pushing and pulling the Bees defence every which way, but we just couldn’t find the breakthrough – with Lacazette soon dragging a shot wide from the edge of the area.

We started the second half in much the same manner, but this time we barely had any time to wait for the breakthrough as Lacazette found Smith Rowe on the left, and he burst into the box before curling the ball low into the far corner.

We continued to come forward as we looked to kill off the game, but Brentford remained stubborn opponents and began to push on themselves.

But just as the tension was rising, we killed off the game in devastating fashion, Thomas Partey finding Saka to the left of the box and he drilled a fine strike into the far corner.

That strike meant we have scored 20 Premier League goals by players aged 21 or under in a single season for the second time, after 2008/09.

There was still time for Christian Norgaard to poke home from close range, with the goal awarded after a VAR check, but it was too late to ever seriously threaten the result.

The full-time whistle we greeted with a big roar, as it signalled our second successive victory since the winter break and kept us firmly in touch with our top-four rivals.


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