Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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Vieira’s goal helps Arsenal come back on top in comfortable win over Brentford

Arsenal climbed back to the top of the Premier League and avenged last year’s humility at Brentford with a clinical 3-0 win.

The Gunners were back at the scene of their dismal opening day defeat of last season, which anticipated their worst start to the campaign for 67 years.

But they are a different animal this season and have proven it with an organized and inventive display and three well-scored goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira.

Such was Arsenal’s dominance that Mikel Arteta could even afford to give 15-year-old midfielder Ethan Nwaneri a late start as a substitute, making him the youngest player in the Premier League.

Brentford have beaten Manchester United four times and Leeds five times at the Gtech Community Stadium in recent weeks, but they couldn’t put a glove on Arsenal with England new boy Ivan Toney an isolated attacking presence.

Gabriel Martinelli had already squandered a good chance when the Gunners took the lead in the 18th minute, Saliba’s header from Bukayo Saka’s corner bouncing inside the far post.

Bees keeper David Raya tried to collect it, but the ball was well over the line and referee David Coote’s watch went off to indicate a goal.

Ten minutes later, Jesus doubled the lead with another header, this time with a nice shot into the box from Granit Xhaka.

Saka should have done it three moments later after a defensive confusion, but the England winger fired over the top.

The second half started in a similar vein and when Saka sent the ball past Vieira from 25 yards out, the Portuguese midfielder – on his first Premier League start since his £34million move from Porto – was aimed and curled a superb finish off the post.

Toney’s only real chance came with a free-kick, roughly within the range he fired home the second goal of his hat-trick against Leeds.

This time, the 26-year-old kicked the ball before aiming and sent his shot just over the crossbar.

After scoring two goals, Saka dreamed up one himself, but it was denied from the edge of the box by a mid-air save from Raya.

Toney had tweeted “good kick with the boys” following last season’s win, a post that infuriated Arteta.

Arsenal fans were quick to recall the striker, ending the game with a rendition of “Ivan Toney, a walk in the park” while celebrating the international break at the top of the league.

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