The Gunners suffered only their third defeat in all competitions this season to fellow Premier League side Brighton. However, it was a loss that many could see coming when the starting XI was released by Arteta a few hours to the clash at the Emirates.
Arteta made ten changes to the side who held off Chelsea over the weekend to return to the top of the Premier League standings as they welcomed the Seagulls to the Emirates. Rockstar defender William Saliba was the only one to keep his spot from that starting XI.
The Gunners took the lead in the 20th minute through Eddie Nketiah after a good opening to the game. Seven minutes later, however, the Gunners have away a penalty and former Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck equalised for the Seagulls.
Brighton took over the game from that point and all their efforts paid off in the second half when Kaoru Mitoma and Chelsea academy product Tariq Lamptey, who must have felt proud for scoring against his boyhood club’s rivals, got Brighton’s second and third in the 59th and 71st minutes of the game.
Nketiah’s opener for Arsenal was a superb piece of play. Reiss Nelson won the ball in Arsenal’s half and dribbled his way to the byline before squaring it to Nketiah, who was lurking at the edge of the area. The England youth international took a first time shot that landed right in the opposite corner from where he was to give the Gunners the lead.
Arsenal kept trying to penetrate Brighton after that goal but the visitors were resolute and in the 27th minute, young shotstopper Karl Being brought Welbeck down when attempting to clear the ball. VAR gave the penalty and the former Arsenal man dispatched it neatly.
Mitoma’s goal came from a counter attack after Nketiah had hit the post for Arsenal. Brighton’s youngster Jeremy Sarmiento supplies the final ball to the Japanese midfielder, whose goal was similar to Nketiah’s opener.
Arteta tried to salvage the game by bringing in some of his first choice side but nothing changed, and Lamptey slid in to score Brighton’s third with 19 minutes to go.
60,000 fans came to watch Arteta’s side get whitewashed by the visitors which is definitely not a good look on the Spaniard, who has finally won the fans over.
There is a positive to the loss, however, and that is the fact that Arsenal have dropped out of one competition ahead of what promises to be a very busy schedule when club football resumes after the World Cup break.