Brighton ended a run of three consecutive defeats by holding a disjointed Arsenal to a draw at the Amex Stadium. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang curled in the opening goal following fine work from Alexandre Lacazette after just seven minutes. The Gunners dominated the opening half hour and the Seagulls required two superb saves from goalkeeper Mat Ryan on Aubameyang to stay in the game. Arsenal right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner then made a poor mistake, heading a long ball into the path of Brighton striker Jurgen Locadia, who rounded Bernd Leno to equalise on 35 minutes.
Mesut Ozil was replaced at half-time but the visitors failed to regain their early composure and rarely tested Brighton’s defence. The hosts pressed for a winner, catching out a ragged Arsenal on the counter-attack, but Locadia and Solly March both missed promising chances. Arsenal remain fifth in the table, but are now two points behind Chelsea, who beat Watford 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery and Ozil have had a curious relationship this season and the decision to substitute the midfielder for Alex Iwobi at half-time will only add to that intrigue. Emery recently insisted Ozil has a future at the club and the former Germany international responded with an inspirational performance in victory over Burnley but could not exert the same influence here.