Kai Havertz emerged from the bench to secure a dramatic late victory for Arsenal against Brentford, propelling the Gunners to the summit of the Premier League table. With Manchester City and Liverpool’s earlier draw creating an opportunity for Mikel Arteta’s team to claim the top spot, Arsenal eventually capitalized in the dying moments of the game.
Brentford exhibited resilience and had notable opportunities to score, yet they were unable to breach Arsenal’s defense. The unfolding of the match saw Brentford nearly taking the lead in the 13th minute when Aaron Ramsdale’s slip in the six-yard box allowed Yoane Wissa to set up Bryan Mbeumo, whose shot was cleared off the line by Declan Rice.
Arsenal’s first significant chance came as Oleksandr Zinchenko found space to deliver a cross from the left half-space, reaching Leandro Trossard, whose header sailed over the bar. Mark Flekken was then tested when Gabriel Martinelli’s cutback found Gabriel Jesus, but Flekken deflected the shot away.
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However, Arsenal found the net shortly after when Bukayo Saka’s cross was headed on by Jesus and parried by Flekken, with Trossard converting the rebound. Yet, VAR intervention ruled Trossard offside, nullifying the goal.
In the second half, Brentford missed another opportunity as Mbeumo’s chance was defended well by Gabriel. Neal Maupay’s subsequent header was cleared off the line by Zinchenko, and the ensuing cross from Vitaly Janelt went off target, leaving Arsenal to secure the crucial victory.
A rare mistake from Ethan Pinnock set Arsenal away in a three-on-three situation, but Eddie Nketiah kept his head down and saw a low shot held by Flekken when he had better-placed teammates in support.
With time running out, Arsenal finally broke the deadlock. A deep cross from Bukayo Saka found Havertz lurking at the back post, and he headed in his first goal for the Gunners to earn them all three points.