ARSENAL thought they had wrapped up a straightforward three points at home to Brentford, but a late goal gave them pause for thought.
Emile Smith Rowe gave the Gunners a second half lead after a brilliant solo run and finish.
And Brentford had thought Arsenal's second goal should have been ruled out for a foul by Alexandre Lacazette.
And in a bizarre incident Granit Xhaka REFUSED to wear the captain's armband after Lacazette was taken off, giving it to Kieran Tierney instead.
Then Brentford scored what turned out to be a 93rd-minute consolation.
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So it didn't turn out to be the blockbuster fierce London derby we all hoped for prior to the opening whistle.
But we did get treated to three goals, two penalty appeals and one bizarre captains armband refusal.
Despite conceding in stoppage time, the Gunners probably won't have an easier game all season.
As for Brentford, if they continue with performances like this, then the Bees will end up returning to Championship football quicker than they think.
Thank you for tuning in today people and I hope you all have a good Saturday!
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On the itinerary for Brentford
Brentford have a real opportunity to put this result behind them and gather some points on the board with the games they are pencilled in for because next, they face two relegation strugglers in Newcastle United and Norwich City.
And then they welcome another team fighting for survival in Burnley to the Community Stadium on the 12th of March.
But shortly after that, the Bees are set to travel up to the midlands to face Leicester who on their day can be a real problem despite having a poor season.
Which is followed up by a London derby against not only the champions of Europe but now the champions of the World, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Up next for the Gunners
Arsenal probably won't get a game as easy as today in the Premier League but Mikel Arteta will feel that they have some favourable encounters coming up.
In four days’ time, they are here at the Emirates again looking to do the double over Wolves having beaten them 1-0 away a couple of weeks back.
Mikel Arteta’s men were supposed to face Liverpool after that but due to the Reds taking part in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, Arsenal travel round the corner to relegation fighters Watford before taking on under-par Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
Once those games are over, the North London outfit have two tough outings starting with Steven Gerrard’s revamped Aston Villa at Villa Park and then to club legend Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Man of the match award
Emile Smith Rowe was excellent today.
The Englishman caused all sorts of trouble to the Brentford defence and helped out his own back-line when needed.
He tirelessly worked up and down the field showing commitment to the cause on hand.
In addition to that, the talented youngster opened the scoring which ultimately led to Arsenal winning the game.
Ian seems to be alwright
Arsenal securing three points on the board has helped the Gunners legend to get over his unfortunate car incident on the way to the Match of the Day studio.
An updated Premier League table
The Gunners go level on points with West Ham and are now one point off the Manchester United in fourth with games in hand over the pair.
As for Brentford, they remain in 14th but a win for Leeds United tomorrow could see them slip further down the table.
The full time match receipts
Brentford grew into the game a lot more in the second half but ultimately Arsenal dominated especially in the crosses department.
The Gunners created 43 crosses which is only one off the amount they put in against Spurs in 2020.
Full time – Arsenal 2-1 Brentford
But it's too little too late because Jonathan Moss has blown the final whistle and the Gunners have taken all three points.
The goal has been given it's not over!
Arsenal seemed to have just stopped defending because they believed that Christian Norgaard was in an offside position when struck the ball.
But the Bees midfielder did well to hold his line and tuck it home into the bottom corner.
Arsenal 2-1 Brentford
Hold your horses as VAR are checking!
Goal! – Brentford are back in this!
Arsenal 2-0 Brentford – Bees free-kick
90+1. One last chance for Brentford to cause a late sting in the tale here.
Three minutes of additional time to be played!
Arsenal 2-0 Brentford
86. The clock is just winding down now but Mikel Arteta is still shouting orders at his men trying to get them over the line.
He is one animated manager.
Arsenal 2-0 Brentford – Xhaka refused the captains armband!
83. Alexandre Lacazette handed Eddie Nketiah the captains armband to give to Granit Xhaka.
But the Swiss captain refused to take it which led to the Engflishman giving it to Kieran Tierney instead.
Arsenal 2-0 Brentford – Arsenal sub
82. Mikel Arteta believes that the skipper has contributed enough so the Gunners boss drags him off.
Arsenal 2-0 Brentford
80. Just as the game was beginning to get stretched and Brentford were building up some momentum, Arsenal put the nail in the coffin by doubling their lead.
It's not over until it's over but that should be enough for the Gunners to the win.
Goal! – Saka makes it two for the Gunners!
Arsenal hit the Bees on the counter courtesy of Thomas Partey who drove through the middle of the park.
The Ghanaian powerhouse did well to delay his pass to Bukayo Saka before perfectly picking him out.
And then the English youngster smashed his shot past David Raya.
Arsenal 2-0 Brentford
Arsenal 1-0 Brentford – Chance wasted!
75. Martin Odegaard had the chance to slide Nicolas Pepe in for what would have been a goal with his first shot.
But the Norwegian executed the pass all wrong allowing his international teammate Kristoffer Ajer to get back into position and block it.
Arsenal 1-0 Brentford – Mikel Arteta makes a sub
71. The Gunners boss has decided to throw Arsenal's record signing into the mix.
Arsenal 1-0 Brentford
70. The Bees are finally beginning to grow into the game by forcing Arsenal back into their own half.
This game is becoming more intriguing.
Arsenal 1-0 Brentford – OOO that was close!
67. Christian Norgaard slipped a delightful ball in behind the Arsenal defence but Bryan Mbuemo was unable to take it in his stride by a fraction.
That was a reminder of what the Bees can do and Thomas Frank will want to see more of that.
Arsenal 1-0 Brentford – Bees sub
66. The Brentford manager rolls the dice.
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