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Arsenal 2-0 Brighton - Gunners Comfortably See Off Gulls

Arsenal continued their resurgence up the league table with a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton and kept the pace with the top of the Premiership in the process.Goals from Nacho Monreal in the first half and a slick goal from Alex Iwobi early in the second saw the away side’s resistance crumble as the majority of the game was played out in Brighton’s final third. Arsene Wenger had to make do without Mesut Ozil, who was touch and go for the game but his knee injury meant he was not in the squad. Laurent Koscielny’s niggling achilles also saw him left out, with the promising Rob Holding slotting into his spot. Aside from these two enforced changes, the side was a predictable one.We started the game as we meant to go on, and lethal Alexandre Lacazette nearly continued his excellent record of scoring at home, the second minute seeing him hammer an effort against the post with Brighton keeper Matthew Ryan beaten.We continued to press forward and Alex Iwobi came close before we broke the deadlock in the 17th minute. Shkodran Mustafi’s close range shot was cleared off the line, and the ball fell to Hector Bellerin. The Spaniard saw his shot blocked, but only as far as Nacho Monreal who returned the ball toward the goal and this time, there was no-one who could deny the effort from finding the net. Chris Hughton’s side did fire a warning shot across our bows though. Solly March hit our woodwork and it may have been the wake-up call we needed, such is our habit of taking our foot off the gas. It was a blip in the general pattern of the game though. Arsenal were in control.Iwobi again came close after a great run which beat two men and just before the half ended, it should have been two. A well-worked move between Alexis, Bellerin and Kolasinac resulted in Ramsey firing a shot which Ryan could only save well with his legs. There was no time for any other action, and the whistle blew. A steady start from both teams was the beginning of the second half, but ten minutes in, the lead was doubled.Alexis ran into the box and took three players with him. It looked as if he had run into a dead end, but his awareness allowed him to pick out the run of Alex Iwobi behind him with an exquisite backheel. The young Nigerian had time to pick his spot high into the roof of the net with a great finish, and the wind was taken from the Gull’s wings.The five or so minutes after the second goal saw our side kick it up a notch, with Kolasinac having a header cleared off the line and Alexis seeing his shot saved by Ryan, before Wenger decided to shuffle the pack.Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, our Europa League specialists thus far, came on and replaced Iwobi and Lacazette. It really showed our strength in depth, and it meant we still were in the hunt for goals rather than seeing the game out.There were to be no more goals however, Giroud had a late header sail over and Mohamed Elneny replaced Granit Xhaka in the only other moments of note in the remaining period of the game. It was a regulation win, and we looked comfortable. We will have far tougher tests this season, but it might be time to take a step back and look at how we have reacted after that horror show in Liverpool.Seven games, six wins and a draw. Five clean sheets, and a far steadier defence. We can’t ask for much more from the games we have played since. We can however, expect this to continue when the infernal international fixtures end and the Premier League returns.We have clawed back a fair whack of the deficit, but the tough work has only just started.Have we got what it takes?