Brighton held to goalless draw by unimpressive Arsenal

Brighton & Hove Albion created a slew of chances but failed to get many of them on target as it was held to a 0-0 draw by a rudderless Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal (yellow) and Brighton and Hove Albion (blue and white) played a goalless draw in the Premier League on Saturday.   -  Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion created a slew of chances but failed to get many of them on target as it was held to a 0-0 draw by a rudderless Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

On a wet, blustery evening, Arsenal's Bukayo Saka got the game off to a promising start with a raid down the right and a shot straight at Robert Sanchez in the opening minute, but it was one of few chances for the visitor in a dismal attacking performance.

Brighton defender Lewis Dunk fluffed a golden chance to give the home side the lead in the 21st minute, blazing the ball high over the bar after it was spilled by Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The Seagulls dominated the opening 45 minutes but it was Arsenal who went closest to scoring as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed against the post from a tight angle during a rare first-half attack.

The home side was sharper all over the field, its incisive passing and quick movement pulling the Arsenal defence all over the place, and the visitor's limited attacks were short-lived as Brighton won the ball back and began again.

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Named on the left of a five-man midfield, Brighton's Spanish defender Marc Cucurella put in a superb performance up and down that flank, taking part in attacks and getting back to snuff out any counters.

But for all its possession, Brighton struggled to get shots on target and it was almost punished when Emile Smith Rowe broke away in the 75th minute, but Sanchez was able to steer his shot behind for a corner.

With the final whistle approaching, Brighton turned the screw as it created a flurry of late chances, but the Arsenal rearguard held firm despite conceding 21 goal-scoring opportunities to claim a scarcely-deserved point.

"It was a difficult game, they made it hard and we have to give credit to them," said Arsenal's Ramsdale.

"We have got to get around that, we have to show more composure and intensity on the ball and make it harder for them."

We didn't deserve to win, says Arteta

"(The header) was probably the only open situation in the first half, and we were unlucky not to score it. I don't think we deserved to win the game, we have to take the draw with the performance we had today and improve," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told the BBC.

The Gunners improved after the break and had a decent 10-minute spell late in the game, but other than that the club looked lost as it sought to create chances of its own.

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"We didn't make enough right decisions, every time there was a duel where we could escape pressure and attack open spaces we came up short and against this structure we had to do better," Arteta said.

His defenders did well to keep up with Brighton's fluid, intelligent attacking football, and although it came under pressure at set pieces, it often managed to get blocks in or force its host to shoot from distance.

"We have conceded one goal in the last five games which is really positive ... we can now focus on the things we are doing well and work on the ones we need to improve," Arteta said.

The result sees Brighton rise to fifth in the table on 14 points after seven games, two behind leader Chelsea. Arsenal, who has only managed five goals in its opening seven league games, is ninth on 10 points.

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