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Brentford 0-3 Arsenal: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction and more

All the best reaction from Arsenal’s trip to west London on Sunday afternoon


Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table with a dominating 3-0 win at the Community Stadium on Sunday afternoon against a deflated Brentford.

Evenly matched for the opening quarter of an hour, the Gunners took the lead from a set-piece, with William Saliba heading home an inswinging corner in the sixteenth minute. Despite the desperate attempts of David Raya, goalline technology adjudged that the ball had crossed the line.

Their afternoon got better on the half-hour too, as Gabriel Jesus headed home a pinpoint cross from Granit Xhaka, reinvented in his new role under Mikel Arteta. Brentford, who lacked any real cutting edge, did not have a shot after 5 minutes, and headed into half-time well under the cosh and well off the pace.

Any chance of a Brentford fightback were promptly shut down three minutes after the half time break, as Arsenal debutant Fabio Vieira marked the occasion with an outstanding strike from 25 yards out, firing in a shot that thundered in off of David Raya’s left-hand post.

There was even time for another moment of history, with Ethan Nwaneri becoming the youngest player in Premier League history as he came on in stoppage time.

It means that, heading into the international break, the Gunners sit a point clear of Manchester City and Tottenham in the Premier League, while Thomas Frank’s side remain in 9th.

Here’s how 101 rated the two sides.

Brentford

GK: David Raya - 6

Poor distribution consistently put his side under pressure, but he made a pair of big saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

RWB: Aaron Hickey - 6

Marshalled Martinelli well on the Arsenal left, and looks to be a shrewd signing for the Bees.

CB: Kristoffer Ajer - 4

Won just a single duel all game, and had an afternoon to forget.

CB: Ben Mee - 6

One of Brentford’s better performers, but will be hoping for quieter afternoons going forwards.

CB: Pontus Jannson - 5

Nearly left red-faced after Jesus robbed him in his own third, and otherwise struggled with the quick interplay of the Arsenal forwards.

LWB: Rico Henry - 5

Had a tough afternoon against Bukayo Saka and Fabio Vieira, managing to win just one of his three tackles, and hardly threatening going forwards.

CM: Matias Jensen - 5

The Dane could not get near the Arsenal midfield, winning just half of his duels, and injury forced him off after 70 minutes. An outing to forget.

CM: Vitaly Janelt - 4

Taken off on the hour mark, Janelt made just 11 successful passes and had 26 touches of the ball. Chasing shadows for much of the encounter.

CM: Josh Da Silva - 5

Could not get into the game in any sense, and was taken off just after the hour.

ST: Bryan Mbuemo - 4

Worked hard but could not hold the ball up for his side and consistently found himself chasing shadows.

ST: Ivan Toney - 5

Good defensive work but hardly got a sniff in an attacking sense.

Substitutes:

Frank Onyeka- 5

Added some solidity to the Bees ranks when he came on.

Mikkel Damsgaard- 5

The summer signing showed flashes of class but they were, in the main, fleeting.

Shandon Baptiste - 5

Added some bite to the Brentford midfield and his arrival coincided with their best period of the game.

Yoane Wissa - 5

Came on but could not make any more headway than Mbuemo managed.

Arsenal

GK: Aaron Ramsdale - 6

Good distribution as always, but barely had a save to make on a quiet afternoon for the Englishman.

RB: Ben White - 7

Baffling overlooked by Gareth Southgate, White is looking increasingly confident at right back and, with a strong centre-back pairing next to him, may need to fight tooth and nail to keep his place in the XI after the international break.

CB: William Saliba - 8

Popped up with the opening goal and began the move for the third with a brilliant turn in his own half. Yet to miss a Premier League minute yet and is quickly becoming a key cornerstone of Mikel Arteta’s side.

CB: Gabriel - 7

The Brazilian is forming a brilliant partnership with Saliba and delivered another strong performance at the hart of Arsenal’s defence.

LB: Kieran Tierney - 7

No longer the de facto first choice left-back, Tierney did his chances of supplanting Zinchenko no harm at all with a solid all-round display.

CM: Thomas Partey - 8

A welcome return to Arsenal’s midfield, and his work at the base of midfield was diligent and effective.

CM: Granit Xhaka - 9

Restored to the captaincy, Xhaka provided a perfect lofted pass for the Arsenal second and was his side’s main co-ordinator in Odegaard’s absence. A top performance from the midfielder.

CAM: Fabio Vieira - 8

Did not look out of place whatsoever making his Premier League debut and capped it with a marvellous strike for the third goal.

RW: Bukayo Saka - 7

Grabbed two assists but will feel as though he was not at his best despite some nice play.

ST: Gabriel Jesus - 8

Worked diligently and showed his striker instincts with a brilliant header for the Gunners second. Could have hat a hat-trick on another day.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli - 6

The Brazilian had one of his quieter outings of the season, but still looked a threat every time that he got the ball.

Substitutes:

Sambi Lokonga - 6

Did not look out of place when he came on for Partey, but in truth the game was already dead and buried.

Eddie Nketiah - 5

Did not do a great deal after coming on, but offered his usual enterprising work rate.

Ethan Nwaneri - N/A

Became the youngest ever Premier League player at 15 years and 181 days when he came on for stoppage time.

Marquinhos - N/A

The summer signing came on for stoppage time.

Expert reaction:

Fan reaction:

Read more:

“I’m at home here” William Saliba drops Arsenal new contract hint

Bukayo Saka overtakes Nicolas Anelka in impressive Arsenal record


Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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