Nketiah makes it back-to-back league goals as Arsenal down Brighton and Hove Albion to open seven-point lead

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Eddie Nketiah scores against Brighton.
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Eddie Nketiah made it two goals in as many Premier League games as Arsenal beat Brighton and Hove Albion to open a seven-point lead.
  • Nketiah scored his second league goal of the season against Brighton
  • It was just the second Premier League start for the Ghana prospect
  • The striker continued to show why Arsenal shouldn’t worry about Jesus

WHAT HAPPENED? Nketiah made it 3-0 for Arsenal just two minutes after the break when he reacted quickest to poke home a rebound after Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez had punched away Gabriel Martinelli’s powerful shot.

The goal came after Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard had given Arsenal a 2-0 lead at halftime although Kaoru Mitoma pulled one back for Brighton later in the second half.

Martinelli then completed a swift counter attacking move to make it 4-1 but Brighton threatened a memorable comeback with Evan Ferguson scoring a second for the Seagulls who had another goal disallowed for offside.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Nketiah started upfront for Arsenal in back-to-back league matches for the first time this season, having had to deal with spells on the bench with Gabriel Jesus preferred. However, with the Brazil striker out injured, the Ghana prospect is stepping up to the plate.

Nketiah, who ended the game with two shots, operated between the right wing and centre forward, as Arsenal’s front three constantly changed positions.

Meanwhile, Ghana international Thomas Partey managed 74 minutes at the heart of midfield and nearly scored after 23 minutes when his shot from a corner went just wide.

Partey did not have one of his top games but it was still good enough, as he won two of his three ground duels while blocking one shot, before he was replaced by Egyptian Mohamed Elnenny.

ALL EYES ON: Nketiah has been touted as the replacement for Jesus, who will be out for at least two months following surgery on his injured knee, and he continued to silence his doubters with another goal.

THE VERDICT: While Arsenal explore the possibilities of signing another forward in January, Nketiah is showing that he is capable of stepping up in the absence of Jesus, which should ease some of coach Mikel Arteta’s worries.

WHAT’S NEXT? Arsenal host third-placed Newcastle on Tuesday, seeking to maintain their Premier League lead.

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