We had been handed a huge opportunity to extend our lead over Manchester City at the top after they drew with Everton earlier in the day, and it was one we didn’t hesitate to take advantage of.
In just the second minute, Thomas Partey dispossessed Tariq Lamptey in a dangerous area, and Oleksandr Zinchenko fed Martinelli. The Brazilian saw a shot deflect off Lewis Dunk and into Saka’s path, who tucked home his sixth league goal of the campaign.
Two minutes later we nearly bagged a second when Zinchenko snuck in behind the Seagulls’ backline but Robert Sanchez narrowed the angle quickly to block, but the visitors began to show why they were sitting in seventh place and Aaron Ramsdale – on his 50th appearance – was forced to tip away a couple of awkward Leandro Trossard shots.
But with the game finely balanced, on 39 minutes we crucially managed to double our advantage and halt the home team’s momentum. Saka swung in a dangerous corner that was only headed away to the edge of the box where Odegaard was on hand to drive a shot goalwards, and our captain saw it spin off the diving Adam Lallana and nestle into the back of the net.
That all-important second gave us a cushion going into the interval, and once again we were quick out of the traps after the restart and took less than two minutes to virtually put the game to bed.
We worked the ball well through midfield and a fine pass from Partey once again found Martinelli in a threatening position, who pulled the trigger and forced Sanchez into a low save, but the ball spun invitingly into the path of Nketiah who tapped home from close-range.
We looked to be sailing towards victory, and only a good Sanchez save from Gabriel following a free-kick kept it at 3-0, but on 65 minutes and with their first real sight of goal in the second half, the Seagulls managed to give themselves hope.
Pascal Gross found himself in space in the final third and slid the ball into Mitoma who managed to stay marginally onside and neatly slip the ball past Ramsdale. That injected some belief into the home crowd, but it was quickly extinguished as we grabbed our fourth of the night.
A dangerous ball across our own box was dealt with by Gabriel, and the ball found its way to Odegaard via Granit Xhaka. The skipper whipped a delicious pass into space for Martinelli to race onto, hold off Lamptey and fire between Sanchez’s legs to score a superb goal and send the travelling Gooners wild.
But Brighton wouldn’t go away and with 14 minutes remaining, they managed to make it 4-2. A long ball forward saw some miscommunication between Ramsdale and William Saliba, allowing Ferguson to nip in and squeeze the ball over the line.
And nerves were jangling when with two minutes remaining, Mitoma thought he’d added his second when he found the net from just inside the box again, but VAR ruled it out for offside in the build-up, as we held on to secure the all-important victory and end the year in perfect fashion.
Enjoy match highlights, training and behind the scenes to get closer to the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Vivianne Miedema, Gabriel Jesus, Alex Zinchenko, Leah Williamson, Kim Little, Mana Iwabuchi, Jordan Nobbs, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kim Little, Gabriel Martinelli, Aaron Ramsdale, Beth Mead, Ben White and more.
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Arsenal Football Club were formed in 1886 and amassed 13 League titles, 14 FA Cups. Some of their greatest players include: Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Ian Wright, Robert Pires, Liam Brady, Patrick Vieira, Cliff Bastin and Charlie George.
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