Arsenal dominated Brentford and banished the memories of last season with a stunning victory.
Mikel Arteta had changed his side, with Fabio Vieira and Thomas Partey coming in for Martin Odegaard and Sambi Lokonga. Kieran Tierney came in for Oleksandr Zinchenko, as Arsenal put in a tremendous team performance to banish the memories of last season at this ground.
Arsenal controlled the tempo from the start and soon were rewarded for their relentless attack with a goal. William Saliba headed home Bukayo Saka’s corner to give the Gunners the lead and mark his second of the season already. Gabriel Jesus then doubled the lead with a header from a Granit Xhaka cross.
Arsenal consistently kept Brentford at arm’s length, barring a few chances they created. Within minutes of the start of the second half, the Gunners stitched together a 20-pass move with Vieira applying the finishing touches to a wonderful goal from a distance.
The third goal effectively killed any hopes for Brentford, as Arsenal began to contain any pressure the home side might look to bring. The Gunners may have had a few more goals, but Arteta would be delighted with the result, which takes them back on top of the table.
Onto the next one. Together. pic.twitter.com/WzWSRKVEGR
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 18, 2022
The grit and energy within this Gunners’ side are sky high as they go into an international break in the best position possible. Moreover, since Arteta had key players absent, it’s another game where he could show the quality in depth within the squad.
Aaron Ramsdale – 7/10
Ramsdale will be delighted to get a clean sheet and had to make only a few routine saves. His distribution gets better in each game, and that part of his game is underrated.
Ben White – 7/10
Ben White is increasingly becoming one of the key leaders on this side. The defender has brought about new intelligence in his game, and some of it was evident in creating space for Vieira to smash home the third. For now, he also remains Arteta’s first choice right-back.
Gabriel Magalhaes – 7/10
Gabriel was aggressive but accurate in his actions, as he never allowed Brentford attackers a sniff at Ramsdale’s goal. The centre-back has shown massive improvements to curb out few hairy moments, and today the Bees attackers barely even troubled him.
William Saliba – 8/10
A superb display from the Frenchman who was aggressive and intense with his actions. The 21-year-old has drastically improved the backline and got his goal, as even without it, he had one of his best days in an Arsenal shirt.
"He does the ugly part of the game that people won’t recognise. He deserves credit."
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 18, 2022
Kieran Tierney – 7/10
Tierney was a big presence on the left side, showing he could adapt to a new style. The left-back often found himself in midfield and did very well in possession as his choices have improved.
Thomas Partey – 7.5/10
After a quiet but effective first period, Partey showed more dominance in the second half. Only his presence showed something Arsenal missed in recent weeks. Arteta will be delighted to have the midfielder back ahead of a crucial period following the international break.
Granit Xhaka – 8/10
Xhaka has taken to his new role exceedingly well and was a big problem for Brentford’s defence. The Swiss star bossed the midfield and created the second goal for Gabriel Jesus.
I’d go as far to say today was one of Granit Xhaka’s best performances in an Arsenal shirt.
He demanded the captain’s armband with Ø absent & he delivered.
— now.arsenal (@now_arsenaI) September 18, 2022
Fabio Vieira – 7/10
What a goal to mark his full debut. Vieira eased into replacing Odegaard in the side and put in a busy performance. Notched a beautiful goal to announce himself in the Premier League.
Bukayo Saka – 7.5/10
Saka is proving to be more of a creative force than merely being considered a winger. Got two assists for his display, which included tormenting the Brentford defence with his cunning movements.
Gabriel Martinelli – 6/10
Martinelli was active on the left side, but his impact was somewhat limited compared to his other games. He did have chances and came close to netting in the second half.
Gabriel Jesus dedicated his celebration to Vinicius Junior ❤️ pic.twitter.com/odqkXZqwEr
— GOAL (@goal) September 18, 2022
Gabriel Jesus – 8/10
Scored with a header in the first half to give Arsenal the clutch to dominate the game. His overall display was brilliant, as he troubled some of the Brentford defenders throughout the evening.
Sambi Lokonga – 5.5/10
With the scoreline in comfortable territory, Arteta could afford to replace Partey and brought in Lokonga for a nice little cameo.
Eddie Nketiah – 6/10
Nketiah still waits for his first Premier League goal this season, and today he was sent on to give some respite for Martinelli. He did well and held the ball well.
Takehiro Tomiyasu – 6/10
Brought defensive stability and allowed Arteta to give Ben WHite a breather.
Marquinhos – N/A
Not much time to have an impact.
Ethan Nwaneri becomes the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League at 15 years and 181 days old ? pic.twitter.com/pQtBmT6SSE
— GOAL (@goal) September 18, 2022
Ethan Nwaneri – N/A
With just a few minutes left to play, Arteta decided to make Ethan Nwaneri the youngest player to debut in the Premier League, aged 15 years and 181 days.