Arsenal went top of the league following their late 1-0 win against Brentford, as substitute Kai Havertz scored in the 89th minute with a header to seal a dramatic victory on Saturday, at Brentford.
In Mikel Arteta’s 200th game in charge of the Gunners, Havertz’s 89th-minute goal rescued a largely forgettable display in west London.
BBC reports that after Manchester City and Liverpool drew earlier on Saturday, this win moves the Gunners one point clear at the summit.
Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard had a goal ruled out in the first half by the video assistant referee (VAR) but defeat was harsh on Brentford who were only denied goals of their own by exceptional clearances off the line from Declan Rice and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Arteta has won more matches in his first 200 in charge than any of the other nine Arsenal managers to reach that milestone – and his bold team selection here showed he was determined to take three points.
However, the return of Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus from injury did not really bear fruit in a mostly ponderous display.
They upped the tempo in the second half but waves of attacks were repelled by Thomas Frank’s well-drilled defence.
That was the case until a moment of magic from Bukayo Saka finally unlocked the door and Havertz produced his most significant contribution in an Arsenal shirt to head home at the back post.
Arsenal have the best defensive record in the Premier League and have kept six clean sheets in their 13 games so far
Brentford stay 11th in the table after their second successive defeat.
Amid questions over his lack of goals, Havertz strikes when Arsenal needed him most to head in Saka’s cross and seal the win for Mikel Arteta’s side.
It’s his first goal in 19 games across all competitions for Arsenal.
Speaking on the goal, Havertz said: ‘It was a brilliant goal and brilliant pass. We train this routine a lot.
‘It feels amazing. You know I’ve been working hard for these moments. Today I got it paid back and I’m just happy to help the team.”
Speaking on how hard it’s been to get back on the score sheet the German added: ‘No of course football is always hard work and nothing comes from itself and you have to work and keep belief. I know it has been hard for me the last couple of months but I have to put my ego aside.
On the support from the fans, he said: ‘I’ve been thankful to the fans because I know it’s always hard when a new signing comes and they pay a lot of money for you. But I’m thankful for them to keep supporting me.’