Arsenal 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Match Report
Arsenal saw their top-four hopes all but ended as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Brighton at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal saw their top-four hopes all but ended as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Brighton at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners went into the game knowing anything other than a win would effectively finish their ambitions of Champions League qualification via the league but produced another below-par showing as they made it four Premier League games without a win.

The north Londoners were wasteful in front of goal against a Brighton side who had nothing to play for, having had their top-flight status confirmed for another season thanks to Crystal Palace’s win at Cardiff on Saturday.

Arsenal were quick out of the traps and Henrikh Mkhitaryan was unlucky not to open the scoring after two minutes when his rasping drive hit the foot of the post.

The Gunners did make the breakthrough in the ninth minute though when Pierre Emerick Aubameyang netted his 20th league goal of the season from the penalty spot.

Nacho Monreal had been upended inside the box by Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

Replays showed the Iranian was unfortunate to concede the spot kick having got quite a lot of the ball in his challenge.

Aubameyang sent goalkeeper Mat Ryan the wrong way to give the home side the perfect start.

Arsenal couldn’t build on their bright opening and Glenn Murray had a good chance to equalise when he was picked out by a Solly March cross, the experienced striker sending his header straight at Bernd Leno.

However, it was Unai Emery’s men who ended the half the stronger, Ryan doing well to deny Shkodran Mustafi before the Australian was quick to react to keep out Aubameyang’s low effort.

Brighton then deservedly got back on level terms on the hour mark after another questionable penalty decision, Granit Xhaka having been deemed to have pulled down March.

Murray stepped up to slot home the spot kick.

Arsenal went up a gear in search of a second goal but were wasteful when the chances did come their way, Aubameyang missing two great opportunities to restore the home side’s lead.

Alexandre Lacazette was denied twice by Ryan as Arsenal threw everything at Brighton to keep their top-four hopes alive, only for the visitors to nearly knick a late winner.

March’s diving header was brilliantly kept out by Leno before Pascal Gross missed a golden chance on the follow up as he sliced horribly wide with the goal at his mercy.

It means Arsenal head to Burnley on the final day of the season needing a win and hoping Everton beat Tottenham, as well as an eight-goal swing in their favour to make the top four.

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