Arsenal Player Ratings vs Brighton & Hove Albion: 8/10 Lacazette the only bright spot in dismal defeat

Alexandre Lacazette was the only bright spot in an otherwise dire performance from Arsenal, who tasted a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Brighton & Hove Albion completed their first Premier League double over Arsenal by securing a famous 2-1 win at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

As expected, it was a tightly-contested fixture, with both sides looking to penetrate each other’s defensive lines. Arsenal, in particular, hogged much of the possession but were struggling to find a breakthrough as Bernd Leno’s unfortunate injury became the only highlight of a goalless first half.

Midway through the second half, however, Nicolas Pepe’s majestic solo effort saw the Gunners open the scoring. But it didn’t last long as some calamitous defending from the visitors enabled Brighton to equalise through Lewis Dunk.

Arsenal tried to push for another breakthrough during the final stages of the match but to no avail. And just when it seemed that the game about to end in a stalemate, Neal Maupay scored a late winner out of nowhere to seal all three points for the Seagulls.

And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Arsenal players in their dreadful performance against Brighton & Hove Albion this afternoon.

Bernd Leno: 5/10

Leno barely had anything to do during the first half an hour of the game as Brighton posed very little threat going forward. However, a nasty collision with Maupay saw him land on the ground awkwardly and the fall eventually led to him being stretchered off. His loss could serve as a massive blow for Arsenal.

Hector Bellerin: 5/10

Hector Bellerin was given a more attacking role in order to support Nicolas Pepe on the right flank. He was often involved in the build-up play in midfield. But, the Spaniard was found lacking in his positioning and looked extremely clumsy when defending.

Shkodran Mustafi: 4/10

With no David Luiz or Pablo Mari supporting him alongside, Shkodran Mustafi was always going to struggle to lead the Arsenal backline. And it was evident in the German’s performances against Brighton.

Mustafi started the game making a series of mistimed passes, which was followed by some incompetent marking that was symbolic of the horrendous defending of the ex-Valencia star. A disastrous display at the back.

Rob Holding: 4/10

It was always going to be a challenge for Rob Holding, who was starting for only the second time since late 2019. He performed rather well during the first-half, offering support in the build-up play and largely keeping Maupay quiet. However, he looked vulnerable when Brighton pushed forward after the restart and it was his failure to get rid of the ball inside the six-yard area that allowed Dunk to score the equaliser.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23: Rob Holding looks on during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on August 23, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)
Rob Holding needs to step up his game. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Sead Kolasinac: 5/10

With Bellerin operating in midfield during possession phases, the onus was on Sead Kolasinac to defend deep and support the centre-backs. But, replacing Kieran Tierney in the starting lineup, the Bosnian international failed to live up to the expectations, which was understandable given his lack of game-time this year.

Nicolas Pepe: 6/10

Had it not been for an incredible finish that led to the opener, Pepe would have easily been the most ineffective Arsenal player in this fixture.

Operating from the right-flank, the Ivorian barely managed to trouble Dan Burn. In fact, he failed to even get past the Brighton left-back and often had to resort to simple backward pass. He clearly needs to improve if he is to establish himself as a regular member of the Arsenal team.

Dani Ceballos: 5.5/10

Mikel Arteta’s decision to start with 4-4-2 and not having a designated number ten meant Dani Ceballos had to operate in a slightly advanced midfield role.

Having said that, the Spaniard was often isolated by the Brighton press. As a result, he eventually had to move in deeper. But even then, he failed to influence the game with his nimble footwork.

Matteo Guendouzi: 5/10

Filling in for the unavailable Lucas Torreira and the injured Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi clearly got overwhelmed by the tall order of Brighton midfield consisting of experienced figureheads like Davy Propper and Aaron Mooy. His failure to shine under Arteta continues, it seems.

Bukayo Saka: 7/10

Bukayo Saka was one of the bright spots for Arsenal in the first half. The young Englishman provided a flair going forward, thanks to his silky footwork and clever movement. More importantly, he was willing to drift into a central position and link-up with the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette. He even had an outstanding long-range effort hit the bar.

However, Saka failed to maintain his influence on the proceedings. Although he operated in a more central role in the second-half, it was getting seemingly difficult for him to penetrate the Brighton backline.

Alexandre Lacazette: 8/10

Alexandre Lacazette was arguably the best performer for Arsenal in this fixture. Although the Frenchman failed to make full use of a couple of early opportunities, his combination play with Aubameyang was simply exquisite. In fact, he was the architect behind numerous Arsenal chances throughout the game.

A promising display from the striker, who has largely struggled in front of goal for the most part of the campaign so far. And it will be interesting to see whether Arteta persists with a two-man attacking formation going forward.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7/10

Aubameyang received excellent support from Lacazette but the overall supply line from the Arsenal side was lacking. Nonetheless, the ex-Dortmund striker still managed to carve out a few excellent chances for himself and even forced Mat Ryan to make a few wonderful saves. Not the best of performances from the Arsenal captain but not the worst one either.

Not at his best (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Not at his best (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)


Emiliano Martinez: 6/10

Replaced Leno in the 40th minute and announced his arrival with a fantastic save to deny Mooy. The Argentine followed it up with a few more saves to actively prevent Brighton from finding the back of the net. However, he was completely beaten for the equaliser and should have done a lot better in keeping out the winner as well.

Eddie Nketiah: 5/10

Eddie Nketiah replaced the tiring Lacazette in the 78th minute and provided freshness into the attack. His physicality and aggression were useful but it wasn’t enough to make any difference.

Kieran Tierney: N/A

Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

Joe Willock: N/A

Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

Reiss Nelson: N/A

Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.

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