Premier League

Brentford 0-3 Arsenal: Player ratings as Gunners return to Premier League summit

Sean Walsh
Gabriel Jesus was on the scoresheet
Gabriel Jesus was on the scoresheet / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages
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From Gtech Community Stadium - Arsenal will head into the September international break as Premier League leaders after a comfortable 3-0 win at Brentford.

The Gunners picked up a hard-earned three points in the absence of injured club captain Martin Odegaard and were dominant in a fixture they looked toothless in last season.

Arsenal carved Brentford open during the opening two minutes with Gabriel Martinelli playing a neat one-two with Granit Xhaka through the Bees' backline, but the Brazilian's shot was blocked by a sprawling Ben Mee and the ball rolled safely to David Raya.

The hosts began growing into the game largely through the pacy Rico Henry, who had a couple of searching crosses claimed by Aaron Ramsdale.

But the visitors took the lead after 17 minutes when William Saliba's header from a Bukayo Saka corner looped in off the post.

Arsenal doubled their advantage just before the half-hour mark when a floated cross from Xhaka was headed into the top corner by Gabriel Jesus.

Saka skied a chance for a third shortly after when Pontus Jansson was robbed of possession, with the winger firing over from just inside the penalty area.

Just after half-time, Fabio Vieira scored his first Arsenal goal with a wonderful strike from 20 yards, ricocheting in off the inside of the post and all bu securing the three points.

Ivan Toney, who at this point had been nullified, fired a rehearsed free-kick routine over, with his arcing half-volley landing on top of Aaron Ramsdale's net.

Raya denied Arsenal their fourth, keeping Jesus out with his feet from close quarters, while he produced a stretching save to keep Saka out.

Substitute Mikkel Damsgaard then brought Ramsdale into a sprawling save after racing onto a through ball in the penalty area, and Brentford thought they had a penalty when Toney was brought down in the box, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside.

Mikel Arteta threw on 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri in stoppage time as he became the youngest player in Premier League history by a considerable distance and Arsenal strolled to the three points.


Brentford vs Arsenal player ratings

1. Brentford (3-5-2)

Ivan Toney
Toney was quiet / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

GK: David Raya - 5/10 - Didn't get anywhere near any of Arsenal's goals. Kicking was a bit off for someone of his abilities.

CB: Kristoffer Ajer - 4/10 - Looked understandable timid on his return from injury.

CB: Pontus Jansson (c) - 3/10 - Beaten far too easily by Jesus for Arsenal's second. One of his worst games in months.

CB: Ben Mee - 5/10 - Made several tackles, blocks and clearances but his efforts were futile in the end.

RM: Aaron Hickey - 5/10 - Slowed Martinelli down but didn't have a meaningful impact going forward.

CM: Josh Dasilva - 5/10 - Had some joy dancing through the Arsenal midfield, but not a lot of it.

CM: Vitaly Janelt - 4/10 - For all of Janelt's strengths, he just isn't the imperious Christian Norgaard.

CM: Mathias Jensen - 4/10 - Sloppy on the ball and his passing was often wayward.

LM: Rico Henry - 5/10 - Brentford's busiest outlet at both ends, leading attacks and trying to pin down Saka.

CF: Bryan Mbeumo - 4/10 - Would it shock you to learn that he didn't have much luck beating Gabriel in the air?

CF: Ivan Toney - 4/10 - Completely shut down by Saliba.

Manager: Thomas Frank - 4/10 - Brentford's game plan failed in all areas.

SUB: Frank Onyeka (63' for Janelt) - 5/10

SUB: Mikkel Damsgaard (63' for Dasilva) - 6/10

SUB: Shandon Baptiste (69' for Jensen) - 5/10

SUB: Yoane Wissa (76' for Mbeumo) - 5/10

2. Arsenal (4-2-3-1)

Fabio Viera
A good day for Arsenal / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

GK: Aaron Ramsdale - 6/10 - Didn't have a lot to do and he didn't need to pick the lock in possession.

RB: Ben White - 6/10 - Found it hard to keep up with Henry at times but this wasn't an awful performance by any means.

CB: William Saliba - 9/10 - Grabbed a goal at one end, a clean sheet at the other and kept quiet the man of the moment in Toney.

CB: Gabriel - 7/10 - Didn't always look happy in his duels with Mbeumo (particularly after straining his calf pre-match) but he got the job done.

LB: Kieran Tierney - 6/10 - A largely quiet afternoon up against his compatriot Hickey.

CM: Thomas Partey - 6/10 - Successful at keeping it simple, not so much when expanding his game.

CM: Granit Xhaka (c) - 9/10 - Battled his way through midfield and led by example.

RM: Bukayo Saka - 7/10 - Worked tirelessly off the ball and while he grabbed an assist from a corner, didn't offer too much in open play.

AM: Fabio Vieira - 7/10 - A testing first half showed Vieira's youthful deficiencies, but he responded brilliantly after the break with a cracking goal.

LM: Gabriel Martinelli - 6/10 - Similar to Saka in that his off-ball contributions were more meaningful than those on it.

CF: Gabriel Jesus - 8/10 - Wasn't as busy as he has been this season but still led the line well.

Manager: Mikel Arteta - 8/10 - Arsenal's defensive structure was crucial to their display. Arteta said he had plans to minimise Brentford's chaotic threats and it showed.

SUB: Albert Sambi Lokonga (78' for Partey) - 5/10

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (78' for Martinelli) - 5/10

SUB: Takehiro Tomiyasu (86' for White) - N/A

SUB: Marquinhos (90' for Saka) - N/A

SUB: Ethan Nwaneri (90' for Vieira) - 'He's got school in the morning' chanted the jubilant Arsenal fans.

Player of the Match - William Saliba

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