Arsenal missed an opportunity to fully extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Brentford at the Emirates on Saturday.
New signing Leandro Trossard had put his side ahead with his first goal in an Arsenal shirt, making an instant impact off the bench to volley in Bukayo Saka‘s cross.
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But the lead did not last long as Brentford continued to apply pressure on the counter attacks, leading to forward Ivan Toney heading in an equaliser just a few minutes later.
An eight-point lead in the table beckoned for Mikel Arteta’s side but they never looked comfortable against an enterprising Brentford who should have been ahead by half-time.
“Winning is about small margins. When you win you win by small margins. But if you cannot win it then you don’t lose it,” Arteta said. “We will get ready for City. It will be another big one and another beautiful one.”
Goalscorer Trossard said to the BBC after the match: “Yeah of course it’s nice to have the goal as it gets me going but after that it’s disappointing they got the equaliser. It’s a tough one to take. We did everything well. To score against Brentford isn’t easy.
“We said before on the set-pieces they’re really good and today it happened again. We have to learn from that. There’s a game again on Wednesday to turn things around.
“You don’t get your way every game. We have to work hard every single day. There’s a great atmosphere in the team and we have to keep that momentum going even when results don’t go your way.”
Home boss Arteta kept faith with the side that lost 1-0 at Everton last weekend but for the second week running they misfired.
Arsenal rode their luck in the first half with a well-drilled Brentford comfortable at the back and dangerous whenever they attacked. The match was only minutes old when Rico Henry sliced horribly wide from a low cross.
Brentford then carved open the Arsenal defence again in the 24th minute when Bryan Mbeumo‘s cut-back was perfect for Toney but he fired against the woodwork with the goal gaping.
Arteta gathered his players around him and barked out instructions during one break in play and the home fans were grumbling when Ben Mee had another chance for Brentford.
Saka poked a shot from a tight angle at visiting goalkeeper David Raya and the hosts did finally put a flowing move together shortly before the break when Gabriel Martinelli volleyed over.
Toney drilled a shot just wide after the break and Brentford looked set to rue their first half misses when Saka slid a low pass across the area for Trossard to slot home.
Brentford were finally rewarded though as Toney headed in and a VAR check for offside found in favour of the visitors.
Brentford extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games and sit in eighth place. Arsenal remain at the top of the table, six points ahead of Manchester City who face Aston Villa tomorrow.
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.