Arsenal came away from Brighton with a 1-0 victory as Mikel Arteta's side stopped the rot with two wins on the bounce. Arsenal followed up their 3-1 victory against Chelsea with a win at the Amex Stadium, as Alexandre Lacazette came on to score the winner in the second half.
The Gunners have jumped up to 13th in the Premier League after their crucial victory and have overcome the rough patch that saw Mikel Arteta's side sit four points off the relegation zone. The loss means Brighton could fall into the drop zone if Fulham manage to win their game in hand against Spurs tomorrow.
The game started off as a cagey affair with both sides unable to carve out chances in the first half. It was a rather forgettable first half for both teams, as neither side could test the opposition keeper. Arsenal failed to register a shot on target for the fourth time in the Premier League this season.
The second half started much brighter for Arsenal, as Arteta's side went in search of an opener. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was unlucky not to score as he latched onto the end of Bukayo Saka's cross, but his shot hit Brighton goalkeeper Sanchez, who did well to position himself in front of the striker. Gabriel Martinelli then came close, but his curling shot didn't dip quick enough to find the back of the net.
It was then Brighton's turn to come close to breaking the deadlock, as Davy Propper forced Bernd Leno into making a smart save at his near post. Soon after that, Martinelli was subbed off for Alexandre Lacazette, and the Frenchman made an immediate impact.
Saka picked up the ball in midfield and made a bombarding run down the right flank and found Lacazette in the box. The Frenchman took one touch to set himself up, before curling a shot into the bottom corner. Lacazette had only been on the pitch for 20 seconds before finding the back of the net, but it was Saka's good work down the wing that made the goal.
The rest of the game was a rather dull affair with neither team doing anything of note, as Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners on the night.
Here were 5 talking points from Arsenal's 1-0 win against Brighton:
#1 Mikel Arteta needs to put more faith in Arsenal's youngsters
Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli were Arsenal's driving force in their 3-1 win over Chelsea, and that warranted all three of them a start against Brighton today. The youngsters repaid their manager's faith by putting in great performances again.
The combination play from the three youngsters behind Aubameyang was a joy to watch at times. Saka truly has the potential to become one of the best players in the Premier League and provided the assist for Lacazette's goal after an incredible run down the wing. The young Englishman finishes 2020 as Arsenal's top assist getter, with 15 assists this year.
Arsenal looked much more threatening with them in the squad, as they brought energy and directness to the attack. Gabriel Martinelli had a quieter display, as the Brazilian started three games in succession after coming back from a long term injury. But the youngster kept trying to make things happen whenever he got on the ball.
Emile Smith Rowe brought flair and dynamism to Arsenal's midfield with his pace and dribbling abilities, as he tried to pull the strings from the center of the park. The emergence of these youngsters could spell the end for the likes of Willian and Dani Ceballos in Arteta's squad.
#2 Aubameyang's woes in front of goal continue
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is going through a rough patch of form, as the striker can't seem to find the back of the net no matter how hard he tries.
Aubameyang was unlucky not to score today as he saw his effort hit the Brighton goalkeeper in the shoulder before going out for a corner. This kind of form will be worrying for Mikel Arteta, who did so well to tie down the striker to a new bumper deal at the beginning of the season.
Aubameyang has only scored three goals in the Premier League this season and will be looking to start the new year with a goal against West Brom in Arsenal's next game.