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Late Havertz winner takes Gunners top of premiership



Late Havertz winner takes Gunners top of premiership
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Arsenal climbed to the top of the Premier League table thanks to a late Kai Havertz goal securing them a 1-0 win at Brentford.

It was not a game that will live long in the memory, with few good chances for either team to break the deadlock, but the substitute eventually made the difference in the dying moments.

The Gunners dominated the play but struggled to produce any kind of cutting edge against a well-organised and resolute Bees defence.

It appeared that Mikel Arteta’s side had gone ahead shortly before half-time when Leandro Trossard pounced to head in a parry from goalkeeper Mark Flekken, but the Arsenal man was ruled offside by VAR.

Arsenal huffed and puffed late on, trying to push for a winner but looked to be falling short before the German nodded in a Bukayo Saka cross at the back post.

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The three points takes the Gunners top, a point ahead of Manchester City and two ahead of Liverpool in second. Brentford remain 11th in the table after the frustrating defeat.

The first half did not see a huge amount of action, with the crowd mostly entertaining themselves by abusing Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The England international was playing for the Gunners as David Raya is on loan from Brentford and cannot face his parent club, with the home fans letting him know that he is no longer first choice.

Ramsdale was largely untroubled, but didn’t look entirely calm at times, hurling the ball into the floor at one point as he tried to throw it out to a teammate.

He also nearly conceded when he gave the ball away with his feet, but Declan Rice saved his blushes with a goal line clearance.

The flash point of the first period came when Leandro Trossard appeared to put Arsenal ahead shortly before the break, nodding home after a Gabriel Jesus header was palmed into the air by Mark Flekken.

However, as Jesus headed the ball at goal from Bukayo Saka’s ball in, Trossard had marginally stepped in front of him and VAR ruled the goal offside.

The Bees came close to breaking the deadlock a few minutes later as substitute Neal Maupay had an effort cleared off the line by Oleksandr Zinchenko and then poked the ball wide with a second opportunity that was presented to him from a pull back.

READ ALSO: Major boost for Arsenal ahead of weekend clash against Manchester City

Some half chances did emerge for Arsenal late on, with William Saliba firing wide, Eddie Nketiah seeing a tame effort saved, before Havertz became the hero.

After struggling through his Arsenal career so far, the Germany international may have scored what proved to be a crucial goal for his club in the 89th minute.

Saka cut onto his left foot on the right and curled in a cross to the back post, where Havertz bravely got his head on the ball and nodded home.

Havertz has struggled to make an impact since arriving at Arsenal from Chelsea over the summer, but he thanked the Gunners fans for sticking with him so far.

‘I know it’s always hard when the new signing comes, they pay a lot of money for you, they think it comes easy,’ he said. ‘But I thank all of them for continuing to support me.’

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