Arsenal Beat Brentford To Move Top Of The English Premier League 

With Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus fit to return to the starting XI, Germany forward Kai Havertz was dropped to the bench and forced to watch as the Gunners laboured against a resolute Brentford defence. However, when summoned in the final stages, he found a priceless goal to seal a win that moved them top of the Premier League table. 

 “When you have challenges and you have to overcome them, it makes the moments much more,” said boss Mikel Arteta, who brought up 200 games in charge of the Gunners. “If things came easy, he wouldn’t have got the reception he got today with everybody hugging him and telling him how much we love him.”It is because he is adorable and a joy to work with.” Havertz has a knack of delivering when his team needs him.

Famously, his goal in the 2021 Champions League final for Chelsea secured victory against favourites Manchester City. If Arteta has his way, this goal may prove a crucial intervention as the Gunners seek to edge out Pep Guardiola’s champions in the Premier League this season.

“These late winners are nice and to celebrate in front of the fans was a good feeling,” Havertz said on TNT Sports. “I have tried to put my ego aside and the team is the important thing. We played well and deserved to win.” Before Saturday, Havertz’s only Gunners goal was a penalty in a 4-0 win at Bournemouth in September, although he did score for his country a week ago – albeit while lining up at left-back.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes this could be the moment that ignites Havertz’s time at Arsenal. “This could be the catalyst to the next stage of his career,” he said. “That is why they bought him – to score big goals in big moments. Arsenal fans have questioned him but he needed that. The team needed that.”

After top two Manchester City and Liverpool drew in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, Arteta knew this was a chance to take advantage. However, he also knew it would not be easy against opponents that had not lost in 14 London derbies. “When you have an opportunity to take a bite out of everybody, you have to do it,” he said. “It was very cold and it is difficult coming to Brentford. I loved the way we competed.” Given Arsenal’s struggles going forward, this result was built on a resilient platform, particularly spectacular goal-saving clearances from Declan Rice and Oleksandr Zinchenko. With only 10 goals conceded, the Gunners have the best defensive record in the Premier League.