Arsenal stretched their wait for a victory to nine games as Brighton stunned the Gunners with a 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night. That's the club's worst winless run since 1977.
Another game, another day on the substitutes bench for Nicolas Pépé and Kieran Tierney...
Every time I see an @Arsenal line up I think ‘Hmmm, that’s not the team I’d have picked’ and I’m starting to think that’s simply because they’re not very good— Luke Aaron Moore (@lukeaaronmoore) December 5, 2019
At what point do we start panicking about Pépé?— FK ☕️☃️ (@fkhanage) December 5, 2019
Arsenal: Lineup Notification!— EngrChris01 (@Da_Ozone) December 5, 2019
Nobody: No Pepe.. No Tierney.. No Martinelli https://t.co/85R4OiM8HR
Rumour has it Pepe nutmegged Freddie, all the players laughed, Freddie is now making an example of Pepe by leaving him out. Freddie was heard saying 'nobody will laugh at me like they laughed at Emery' - Tierney shouted 'close ye legs gaffa'. #AFC #ArsenalLeaks pic.twitter.com/x1n36z1jEJ— PB (@OliPriceBates) December 5, 2019
When kick-off eventually arrived, the empty seats that were littered around the Emirates Stadium were hard to ignore.
It might not have been on the level of the bleak turnout against Eintracht Frankfurt in Unai Emery's final game in charge of the club, but it was still indicative of the lack of fan engagement in the red half of north London currently.
If you’re wondering why the Emirates stadium isn’t full today it’s because word got out about the Pinot Noir shortage. pic.twitter.com/RU2SZPNYnS— Chris Godfrey (@ChrisPJGodfrey) December 5, 2019
See the Emirates is full again, wonder what attendance they’ll make up tonight— Josh Loakes (@josh_loakes) December 5, 2019
Emirates half empty again. But doesn’t matter because it ain’t city— Lewis Jay (@Lewis_Moore15) December 5, 2019
The highlight of a particularly underwhelming opening 20 minutes - which principally consisted of various Arsenal players being caught offside - were Lucas Torreira's sneaky defensive tactics.
With Pascal Gross standing over a free kick, Torreira stealthily hid behind the Arsenal wall, ready to fling himself across the floor if the German sneaked it under the crowd of players.
It's great to see that level of ingenious commitment to the cause.
Torreira laying behind the wall. Arsenal highlight of 2019 IMO— Davski Cross (@davskicross) December 5, 2019
I knew Lucas Torreira was short but this is frightening pic.twitter.com/gCYrvQDLpN— Danny (@The_GFP) December 5, 2019
I absolutely love that they just had Torreira basically ready to do a split to stop a low ball.— Daniel Gerow (@DGerowPR) December 5, 2019
Torreira's antics aside, Arsenal fans were pretty fuming by their side's first-half performance. The Gunners looked lethargic, were misplacing passes and generally lacked any cohesion going forward.
It was no surprise then, when Adam Webster smashed home a deserved opening goal for Brighton after confusion from a corner.
That was coming. Inevitability about Webster's goal as Brighton take the lead. #AFC all over the shop.— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) December 5, 2019
Writing this at 32 minutes in: if Arsenal don't improve dramatically, they will lose this game.— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) December 5, 2019
The goal sparked a reaction out of the Arsenal players for the remainder of the first half and Joe Willock should have scored just before the interval.
Presented with a free header, Willock nodded the ball straight at Mat Ryan - his final act of an extremely underwhelming opening 45 minutes.
There were calls for the youngster to be replaced by Arsenal fans on Twitter.
Willock and Lacazette are Crystal Palace level man.— Eduardo Hagn (@EduardoHagn) December 5, 2019
Willock needs to be hooked.— Z (@ZR_7G1) December 5, 2019
Aubameyang screaming at Willock after that woeful pass. Lacazette as angry as he's been all half. Not a happy camp right now.— James Benge (@jamesbenge) December 5, 2019
Freddie Ljungberg appeared to be listening to these disgruntled Gunners supporters with Willock indeed being swapped for Pépé at half time.
With their record signing introduced, many Arsenal fans were convinced that there said were about to witness a famous comeback.
And maybe they were right? Just five minutes after his introduction the hosts had levelled up the scores courtesy of a Alexandre Lacazette header.
Pepe finally on! COYG— Izzy (@IzzyKapoor) December 5, 2019
Pepe instantly making a difference.— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) December 5, 2019
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD LACA LACA LACA LACA GOAAAL, WHERE ARE THE HATERS pic.twitter.com/Q7ZLucvU3Q— Samuel Pépé (@SamuelAFC323) December 5, 2019
Laca really needed that! COYG— The Don of North London (@GoeliKing) December 5, 2019
And people told me lacazette should be dropped— NicholasLee (@Lee01Nicholas) December 5, 2019
Arsenal continued to create opportunities and even had the ball in the back of the net through David Luiz, who fired home from a pinpoint Mesut Ozil free kick.
A wry smile from Luiz after the 'goal' revealed all though, with VAR rightly ruling the strike out for offside.
Still, it fooled a number of Gunners fans into thinking they'd taken the lead.
Wowwwww VAR does me again— Deluded (@DeludedGooner04) December 5, 2019
Özil two assists ? Let’s wait for VAR— Öšçãr (@Oscar_o100) December 5, 2019
GOAL for Arsenal— Arsenal News (@ArsenalNewsApp) December 5, 2019
Arsenal 2 - 1 Brighton scored by D Luiz on 62:54
Arsenal would be made to rue their missed chances as Neal Maupay's flicked header gave Brighton the lead for the second time with ten minutes to play.
The Gunners huffed and puffed be could not find a way past the Seagulls stubborn defence in the closing stages.
This means that the home side have now not tasted victory since October when they defeated Vitória S.C in the Europa League.
They've played eight games since then... in what is their longest wait for a victory since 1977.
Arsenal 03/04 - The Unbeatables— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) December 5, 2019
Arsenal 19/20 - The Unmanageables pic.twitter.com/ZvzTbdpI1J
Last time Arsenal was this bad in the league I was still six years away from being born.— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) December 5, 2019
Thierry Henry didn't make me a fan of this club to make me suffer like this.
Graham Potter's two games at the Emirates Stadium as a manager:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 5, 2019
✅ Arsenal 1-2 Östersund
✅ Arsenal 1-2 Brighton
Potter with the magic again. 慄♂️ pic.twitter.com/1FEWa42PxR
You'll never know the true meaning of 'banter' until you've lived a life as an Arsenal fan.— Mike. (@mikesanz19) December 5, 2019
Just end the season now and put us all out of our misery. @Arsenal.— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) December 5, 2019