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Arsenal will be kicking themselves after they let slip of all three points on Saturday afternoon in a result that blows the Premier League title race wide open. The 1-1 draw with Brentford at the Emirates Stadium means that the Gunners have only picked up one point out of a possible six in their last two matches.
The match was tightly contested and Brentford were good value for their point. They may have even been able to come away from the Emirates Stadium with all three if they had taken their chances in the first half.
Despite that, Arsenal had the match in the palm of their hands when January signing Leandro Trossard gave them the lead midway through the second half. The Belgian, who had come on for Gabriel Martinelli, turned in a Bukayo Saka cross at the back post much to the delight of Mikel Arteta on the touchline.
However, less than ten minutes later, Brentford equalised through Ivan Toney. The striker had rattled the crossbar earlier in the match but made no mistake on this occasion. The ball pinballed around the penalty box before Toney arrived to nod it passed Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal goal.
The home side failed to create any real openings in the final 15 minutes, and they will now be hoping that Aston Villa can take points off Manchester City tomorrow.
1 point from 6 against Everton and Brentford when the going gets tough. It’s simply not good enough.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) February 11, 2023
Arteta unhappy with the officials
After the match, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta expressed his disappointment with the match officials. The Spaniard believes that the Brentford goal should have been ruled out for offside with replays suggesting Ethan Pinnock blocked Gabriel from an offside position. Arteta said:
“I looked at it back and it is offside. It’s frustrating but probably they will give an explanation later in the week but today we haven’t got any.
You have to apply certain principles in defending and you do that by sticking to the rules and suddenly you apply different rules then you have to change your principles. So tell us before because then you don’t hold the line that high because you’re going to have an advantage if you get blocked.”
Despite his frustrations with the match officials, the Arsenal manager was pleased with how his side performed despite the dropped points. He said:
“I think it was a really strong performance. It’s a very tricky team to play against so credit to them because the results they got against the top teams are not a coincidence.”
The stage is set for Wednesday night
The draw with Brentford means that Manchester City will be able to replace Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table if they beat Aston Villa tomorrow and then beat the Gunners in a huge game on Wednesday night.
It will be the first time that the two sides have played each other in the league this season with many predicting that the outcome of their matches against each other will decide where the title ends up in May. Arsenal will need to put their last two results to one side if they are to come out on top.