Arsenal go top as Saka, Havertz and Trossard sweep aside Brighton

It was not only the victory, although that was plainly the biggest thing for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, one to send them to the top of the Premier League table. It was the manner of it; how they absorbed everything Brighton could throw at them before pulling clear during a second-half masterclass of strength and control.

The success or otherwise of Arsenal’s title bid will surely be determined on the road, and this was the first of four testing assignments – the others come at Wolves, Tottenham and Manchester United. Brighton were unbeaten in their previous 14 matches in all competitions at the Amex Stadium; they were on a club record run of 12 top-flight home games without defeat. And for much of the first half they showed why, looking slick on the ball, asking questions.

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