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So, on a typical April day of sunshine and showers we were off to Brighton. We had never been to the Amex stadium, indeed my last visit to see Brighton at home had been when I was about 10 and my parents were visiting friends who lived there. No idea who the opponents were. The ground in those days was the Goldstone Ground which has long since been knocked down. There is very little parking round the Amex (which is in the middle of nowhere in a University complex in Falmer although with excellent train facilities back to the City) and most folk use the various Park & Rides. I had heard that it took a long time after the game to get out of those, so I booked a parking space which looked reasonable about 1.2 miles away. Big error. This was a BRIGHTON 1.2 miles which meant it went up and down like a fiddlers elbow and when we got to the ground (which took 45 minutes) my back was in spasm. Park and Ride for me next time. 

Once we got to the Amex it proved to be a tidy little ground with a capacity of about 31k and with some pleasing curves rather than being box like. The booking Gods had placed us in row A, which actually were excellent seats, just to one side of the goal. Now although I sit in row 9 in the North Bank, this was really close to the players and, as they warmed up, I was able to see up close what a big and imposing set of lads we now have in the team. 

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Rice, Ǿdegaard, Saka, Havertz, Jesús.

A chorus of “Sussex by the sea” and we were off. Both sides made a lively start. There were chances missed by Gabriel (in the first minute), Saka, and Jesús. The latter also forced a fine save from Verbruggen from a different effort. But, just on the half hour, the pressure paid off. The ball reached Jesús on the left hand side. He ran at Lamptey, who swung a foot at him, just touching the ball, but taking out both Jesús’s legs in the process. Penalty given and confirmed. The whole world and his wife agreed it was a penalty, including the Brighton manager, but excluding (so I hear, I haven’t seen it) Lee Dixon on a US commentary. Ǿdegaard stood on the spot, as is his wont, before handing the ball to Saka, who tucked it away to the goalkeepers right. 

33 mins, Brighton 0-1 Arsenal (Saka, pen)

To their credit, Brighton came back strongly and Enciso forced a fine save from Raya, with a loopy, curling shot headed for the top corner. We were so close you could hear the thump of glove on ball as, at full stretch, Raya’s outstretched hand tipped it over the bar. 

HT: Brighton 0-1 Arsenal

In the second half we assumed total control. There was a chance for Ǿdegaard after being set up by the superb White (who seemed a bit feistier than normal as he played his old club). Brighton lost the ball in our half. Jorginho made ground, then moved it inside to White, who passed to Ǿdegaard. Jorginho meanwhile was pointing to a patch of unattended grass in the penalty area roughly the size of Hove and sprinting towards it. He got the ball back, ran along the goal line (when did we ever see Jorginho on the by-line?)  before producing a perfect cut back for Havertz to bundle the ball into the net. Cue massive limbs, numerous renditions of “Waka, Waka…” and man-hugs galore from the boys in green. 

62 minutes, Brighton 0-2 Arsenal (Havertz)

Various subs then occurred (Martinelli and Trossard (roundly booed) for Jesús and Saka, then a few minutes later, Tomiyasu for Zinchenko). Arsenal were now in complete control of the game as Brighton’s heads dropped and we finally administered the coup de grace in the 86th minute. Brighton again lost the ball in our half, Havertz cleverly played in Trossard, in his own half, who ran half the length of the field before sitting down the goalkeeper and chipping it over him for a great finish. More massive limbs in the away end. Trossard stood, in the arena of his former employers, arms spread wide, drinking in the enmity of the Brighton fans, who promptly started leaving for home (cue “Everywhere we go, stadiums are empty!”)

86 mins, Brighton 0-3 Arsenal (Trossard)

More subs: Vieira  (to loud cheers from California) and Eddie for Ǿdegaard and MOTM Havertz. The only other thing of note was in added time when Gabriel blocked a shot Adams-like from Pedro and he, Trossard, Raya and Saliba celebrated preserving the clean sheet like he had just scored the winner in a World Cup final. These guys!

FT: Brighton 0-3 Arsenal

Brighton had not been beaten at home since August and had not conceded a goal at home for five games. A magnificent performance where Havertz, Ǿdegaard, White and, of course, Gabriel and Saliba were fantastic. There was one move in the first half when Saliba, five yards from us and facing his own goal, put the attacker on his arse, interchanged a series of passes with team mates, before we set off upfield and almost scored. What a goal that would have been!

A word about the away support. We filled the whole of the South stand behind the goal and were light-years away from the (rare) insipid crowd at the Emirates vs Luton last week. Very loud, multiple songs, incredible limbs and jostling. 

Back, finally, after going up hill and down dale again, in the car, we indulged ourselves with a first away curry since Nottingham Forest. It was in Burgess Hill, just North of Brighton. Is there anything like that first sip of ice cold Cobra on a parched throat? Back onto empty motorways and home by 11.45pm. 

What an away day! Now, who’s coming up next?

37 Drinks to “How to Silence the Seagulls”

  1. 1
    BtM says:

    Excellent read. Superb win. Very entertaining game. Arteta’s ability to tailor team tactics to exploit the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents is increasingly impressive.

    I was in Row A last time we visited QPR. The speed of the ball and the noise of boot, bone and skin on leather were very unexpected and impressive.

    Take care where you park next time C100. Sounded like a great day out.

  2. 2
    Esso says:

    Cheers C100!

  3. 3
    bt8 says:

    45minutes over hill and dale, coincidentally the same duration as an injury time free half of football, can’t be all bad for ye, can it? Great report c100 even as you are probably doing the best thing to park and ride next time. I saw the same highly enjoyable match but with a much better angle on the telly as the dear departed Chris makes might have said. I must say I envy your rather closer experience of it though. 😄

  4. 4
    MMTWP says:

    in raptures down under..I love to read GHF and do daily…great comments, opinions, insider stuff and whatever…and here we go…thanks for setting the flavour C100…i am very partial to a good Ruby Murray and we have Samrat just up the road from us in Adelaide, if ever anyone ever visits…being a Gooner since 1950-something, i’m not getting too excited and over confident but then sometimes, you can almost taste it. MA has got a very fine team together and his coaching is reaching the highest levels and i hope he keeps his very intelligent subs working so well…i’m an Arsenal fanatic so i live the dream…ESR to score the goal that seals the EPL…and why not the CL, to boot


  5. 5
    TTG says:

    Great report C100. My grandson ( who was in the academy at the time at Brighton) has his birthday outing to a game v Boro – I’ve done that walk com the car park and it isn’t for the faint hearted .
    I’m sure we will reflect more in due course on the way the team is developing but Arteta is ( so far) handling things brilliantly. I was amazed at the fee paid for Havertz but he is now justifying that sum at last and adding really important things to the team . Raya still concerns me with some of his kicking but that was a great safe he made from Enciso . This is a team that are really enjoying their football . A massive Sp*** fan told me today that Arsenal are clearly the best team in the league . He hates Arsenal but can’t deny the evidence of his eyes or the table .
    Cm’on United !

  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    Excellent report, C100, of a physically wearying but ultimately rewarding away day and the medicinal benefits of a Cobra at the end of it. You don’t get the same sense (and sounds) of the power and physicality of the players watching on TV that you do at the ground. The support came through loud and clear, too.

    I did hear Lee Dixon’s views on the penalty, and they were mostly echoed by the NBC pundits at half-time. I should say that I have a lot of time for Lee Dixon’s in-match analysis. It is usually to the point, insightful and unmelodramatic, and he has a good broadcasting chemistry with his regular match commentator, Peter Dury. Similarly, the NBC pundits, Robbie Mustoe, Tim Howard and Robbie Earle, put those you hear on British TV to shame. Again, they are usually thoughtful and level-headed (and measured against the standards of the very high-quality game analysis of pro sports on US TV, where there is no ex-pro blokiness).

    On this occasion, Lee Dixon’s argument was that Lamptey had played the ball, i.e., had made the tackle and Jesus was not in control of the ball, and thus the coming together of the two players was irrelevant. No penalty. Peter Drury made the point that that sounded like a member of the Full-Backs Union defending another member, which Lee Dixon acknowledged. Dixon also said he expected the half-time panel, being comprised of two mid-fielders and a goalkeeper, to disagree with him.

    My two cents is that Lamptey touched the ball before the man, but deflected it only slightly; he certainly didn’t clear it. The loose ball was still in Jesus’s path and he would have got to it first had he not been brought down. Thus a penalty was the right call. I suspect, however, if the ref had waved play on, that VAR would not have overturned that decision either.

  7. 7
    Countryman100 says:

    The view from row A.

  8. 8
    Countryman100 says:

    And atthe end of the game

  9. 9
    Bathgooner says:

    An excellent, on-the-spot match report of a superb away win against a very tricky opponent, C100. I can almost hear those thuds of boot to leather and shin to shin and can certainly taste that refreshing pint of Cobra in your account. No mention of the Ruby – was it unmemorable?

    We are quite good again, aren’t we? Not least in defence. In another place, in response to some nervous chatter, N7, once of Dave’s parish, observed that we ‘got the second goal and put a glove on their forehead.’ Sums the game up nicely.

    On another tack, it’s not like a man from the fens to forget that there are some bumpy parts elsewhere in the land, is it?

  10. 10
    Countryman100 says:

    Bath @9 We don’t do hills round here mate! The guided bus route between St Ives and Cambridge is so flat it floods and is beloved of cyclists!

    Regarding the ruby, no it was excellent. A Dhansak, onion bhaji and tarka daal, with a garlic naan as the carb of choice (no rice, sorry Declan). The Marsala Club, Burgess Hill.

  11. 11
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks c100, great report, evocative and with colour photos too!

    We were as you say outstanding and I have to agree with TTG’s spud friend that we are the best team in the league, now to win it.

  12. 12
    Trev says:

    Excellent C100 – great atmospheric stuff, as usual.

    what a picture you conjure up – a man of a certain age with his back in spasm, and who should know better, taking part in wild limbs and stranger-hugs – while singing Shakira songs – it’s worth the price of admission on it’s own !

    Another tricky hurdle cleared – Arteta and the entire team deserve huge praise – and Havertz as Man of The Match. When he arrived from Chelsea he looked unmotivated and, frankly, at times disinterested. However, massive credit to him and the manager for the transformation they have achieved between them.

    MMTWP – good to see you and, yes, I’d love to see ESR re-establish himself in the squad and the team. They are all going to have to play important parts. I don’t honestly mind who scores the winners as long as we win. And it’s past time we won something big !
    It looks more and more like we have the manager, squad, backroom staff and owners to finally do it.

  13. 13
    Countryman100 says:

    Trev@12. Heh. There’s no fool like an old fool.

  14. 14
    Las says:

    Cheers C100, excellent report of a higly enjoyable away-day. Thanks for the photos and the feelings. I wish I was there.
    Brighton is not a pushover team and they tried hard. But what a control we had. The second half was simply amazing watching Brighton running to the brickwall time and again.
    So one down 12 to go.

  15. 15
    OsakaMatt says:

    Top of the League!!

  16. 16
    Ollie says:

    Cheers C100. Great report. And somehow Man U managed to get a draw so, we are…where exactly?

  17. 17
    Ollie says:

    Damn, I now wish I had posted/read the blog five minutes earlier.
    Still, as we say….’great minds’, Matt!

  18. 18
    OsakaMatt says:

    Exactly Ollie, and somehow seems to be the exact word too, I honestly don’t know how Man U are in the top half. I like Ten Haag even more than I liked Ole at the wheel

  19. 19
    bt8 says:

    Re: Ollie @16

    We are top of the league

    If I understood your question correctly

  20. 20
    bt8 says:

    We are top of the league

  21. 21
    bt8 says:

    Say we are top of the league!

  22. 22
    Ollie says:

    You did indeed, bt8! 😁
    Which is why 15 and 16, while unaware of each other, would have been perfect if inadvertently swapped.
    This calls for….a drink for everyone in the bar.

  23. 23
    TTG says:

    Last three games
    Liverpool- played 3 ( 2 at home ) – won 2 drawn 1- For 7 Against 4
    Citeh-played 3 ( 2 at home ) – won 2 drawn 1 -For 8 Against 3
    Arsenal – played 3( 2 away) – won 2 drawn 1 – For 5 Against 0
    Whose form looks the most impressive ?

  24. 24
    TTG says:

    If we beat Villa next weekend we will need one point to guarantee Champions League football next season !

  25. 25
    Countryman100 says:

    TTG at 24. That’s a bit defeatist isn’t it?

  26. 26
    Ollie says:

    TTG is Guy Roux?

  27. 27
    bt8 says:

    Many people think our goal difference of +51 is very impressive, but what’s even more impressive is our goal difference of +34 since the start of 2024.

  28. 28
    TTG says:

    What’s remotely defeatist about it? It’s a remarkable achievement to clinch Champions League football so early and it is another sign of how well we are progressing. Once you’ve done that and you can plan financially for next season, the club can concentrate on winning the two trophies they are contesting this season .Its not the summit of our ambitions- that would be defeatist – it’s just base camp for an assault on everything else we want to do.

  29. 29
    Bathgooner says:

    Loving the positive vibes, TTG. Hoping for reinforcement of those vibes this week.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@30: Thanks for the Mike McDonald link. I thought the Jorgino-Havertz connection was an interesting observation.

  32. 32
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks C100, positive waves from Mike as usual.
    I really enjoyed last season with our rapid start,
    great football and new status as title challengers,
    But I am enjoying this one with our rapid finish
    even more….

  33. 33
    Bathgooner says:

    As ever, Mike makes some shrewd observations. Thanks for posting, C100.

    Thanks again for all your work on the Predictathon, Ned. You’ve forgotten to deduct 100 points for my overexpenditure this month.

    You and me both, Matt!

    Now closing down the laptop for 12 days. Non vedo l’ora di tornare a Bologna!

  34. 34
    TTG says:

    Have a great holiday Bath!

  35. 35
    TTG says:

    Thanks for Mike’s notes. Very good again esp the Brighton players we might pillage . Adingra is excellent and Baleba looked a potential monster . I wouldn’t go near Ferguson at this stage . He has a lot to prove .

  36. 36
    scruzgooner says:

    c100, thanks for the front row view. now i know where to look for you and jr when i rewatch the game!

    win or lose from a trophy standpoint, i am proud and honored to watch this team. for years we all wanted them to play for the badge, giving it all. we see that. we wanted a defense that cared, we have that. we wanted a manager who could weave whole cloth from a squad, we have that, the egos are blended into a team ego of intricate design. thank you arsenal for getting us here…

    baff, viaggiare bene, e mangiare tutto. i’ll be there in a month!

  37. 37
    Pangloss says: