Neal Maupay netted a vital stoppage time winner for Brighton & Hove Albion to claim a 2-1 victory against Arsenal at the Amex Stadium, denting the chances of a return to the Champions League next season for the Gunners.
The Gunners’ cause wasn’t helped by an injury to goalkeeper Bernd Leno, whose screams echoed round the empty Amex Stadium after an awkward fall provoked by a push by Maupay.
The German twisted his knee and pointed the finger angrily at Maupay as he was stretchered from the field.
After a few chances by both sides the match ended in stalemate after the first half.
However, in the second half Nicolas Pepe put the visitors ahead in the 68th minute with a superb strike to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Gunners relaxed after the goal and let Brighton get back into the game. Arsenal’s defensive frailties were exposed yet again, this time by Brighton defender Lewis Dunk.
Seven minutes after Pepe scored, Dunk stretched out his right leg to block Rob Holding’s clearance off his own goal line and diverted the ball over the line to make it 1-1.
Brighton kept pressing after the equaliser and Arsenal couldn’t seem to string an attack together.
Adding insult to injury for Arsenal, deep into stoppage-time Aaron Connolly helped the ball on to Maupay and he kept his cool to slot in a fine finish for the winner.
Brighton’s first win in 2020 moved them five points clear of the relegation zone. The Arsenal loss came less than three days after a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on the opening night of the league’s resumption after the coronavirus outbreak.
Arteta’s side are languishing in 10th place, eight points adrift of the top four, and may not even qualify for the Europa League.
“It is unacceptable in the way we lost the game. The fact we missed so many chances and we did not compete for the second goal,” said Arsenal boss Arteta.
Other Premier League results
Watford 1-1 Leicester City
West Ham United 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace