Late Winner from Neal Maupay Fires Brighton and Hove Albion to Victory Over Arsenal

A late winner from Neal Maupay fired Brighton and Hove Albion to their first win in 2020. To add salt into the wounds, Arsenal lost their goalkeeper Bernd Leno to a serious injury in the first caused by the man with the winner.

Neal Maupay’s Late Winner Fires Brighton to Victory Over Arsenal

Frustrating First Half for Arsenal

Arsenal made a positive start, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting a shot wide early on before Buyako Saka hit the bar. Nicolas Pépé tried to take on Dan Burn on the right-hand side from time to time. Burn was actually booked trying to stop the Ivorian in one instance. However, despite the bright start, the Gunners could not get that vital early goal.

Brighton slowly came into the game with a shot from Maupay forcing a save from Leno. Alexandre Lacazette had a header saved after the half-hour mark. Saka set it up nicely with a great run and cross. In addition, Lacazette missed another good chance right at the end of the half. Once again, Saka setup the Frenchman. Aubameyang almost got that elusive first goal in stoppage time but for a last-ditch tackle by Adam Webster. The Gunners were definitely the better side going into half time.

Another Major Injury for Arsenal – Maupay Involved

Bernd Leno has been a solid performer for Arsenal throughout this season. Gooners throughout the world watched in horror as he landed awkwardly. Maupay made a rather unnecessary, but unintentional, challenge that forced Leno into that landing awkwardly.

The loud screams by the German confirmed every Arsenal fan’s worst fears as he seemed to have suffered a serious injury. Leno was not at all happy about the challenge. In fact, the German shot-stopper pointed his finger at Maupay as was being stretchered off. Eventually, Emiliano Martinez replaced him and made a great save off Aaron Mooy soon after. However, this is the third injury in two matches for Arsenal after Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari both got injured against Manchester City.

Second Half

Arsenal started the second half quite brightly, just as they did in the first half. Aubameyang had a goal ruled out for offside. Brighton started coming into the game ten minutes into the half with sustained pressure. Maupay had a strong shot saved by Martinez. It became quite end-to-end as the match went on. Chances fell to both sides but Arsenal still had the better chances.

Pépé broke the deadlock with an absolutely sublime finish from outside the box. It was a brilliant strike by the Ivorian. He cut inside and unleashed a fantastic curling shot that went into the top right corner of Matt Ryan’s goal. However, the lead did not last long as Lewis Dunk scored from a corner to pull things level. The Arsenal defence should have done better. None of them seemed to be tracking Dunk.

Dramatic Finish by Maupay

The match looked to be ending in a frustrating draw for Arsenal but worse was yet to come for them. With almost the last kick of the game, Maupay scored with a nice, dink finish over Martinez. the buildup was really great as well with Maupay and Connolly linking up brilliantly.

It was a huge victory for the Seagulls but a devastating blow to Arsenal’s European hopes. Arsenal were the better team throughout but had nothing to show for it in the end. To make matters worse, Matteo Guendouzi might face further sanctions later as well after his scuffle with Maupay.

Looking Ahead

Brighton travel to Leicester City on Tuesday whereas Arsenal return to the south coast to face Southampton on Thursday night.

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