ARSENAL 1-3 BRIGHTON: Eddie Nketiah put the Gunners ahead but they were unable to take advantage of their dominance as Roberto de Zerbi claimed his third successive win at the Seagulls
Brighton fullback Tariq Lampety sealed the win for the visitors with 20 minutes to go when he burst down the wing before slotting past Hein. Here, Mirror Football looks at five talking points from the EFL Cup clash.
Nketiah puts the pressure on
While this is almost certainly his last start before the break for the World Cup, Nketiah has put the pressure on Gabriel Jesus to end his own goal drought. Jesus has gone five Premier League games without hitting the back of the net, and Nketiah is using the EFL Cup to his advantage.
Having decided to rest Aaron Ramsdale, Arteta opted to hand a start to 20-year-old Karl Hein. It was the Estonian’s senior debut, having mainly featured for Arsenal’s Under-21s up to this point.
But it was a night to forget for the goalkeeper as he experienced a nightmare moment that led to Brighton’s equaliser. Hein slipped as Danny Welbeck broke through, before tripping the striker and giving away a penalty.
He was lucky to stay on the pitch to see Welbeck score the penalty, and continued to look shaky thereafter. His pass accuracy was also poor, suggesting that Arteta’s decision to trust in youth backfired on this occasion.
De Zerbi impresses again
Roberto de Zerbi has impressed since replacing Graham Potter as Brighton manager, winning his last two Premier League games. And he extended his winning run in charge of the Seagulls with this comeback victory over Arsenal.
Though it was a much-changed Gunners line-up, the Italian will be delighted with how his side performed, particularly in the second-half. A large amount of the credit for the win can be placed at De Zerbi’s door, with the Brighton boss making two changes at half-time to swing the tie in his side’s favour.
In a marked change from Potter’s time in charge of Brighton, the Italian has also helped his side find their scoring boots. This is the fourth game since he took charge in which the Seagulls have scored at least three goals, with the South Coast side proving to be great entertainers under De Zebri’s management.
Nelson proves credentials
After starring in the hammering of Nottingham Forest, Reiss Nelson once again maintained his push to be handed more game-time. He lined up on the left wing and played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s opening goal.
Nelson picked up a loose ball in his own half before sprinting through the Brighton defence and playing in Nketiah to finish. Given the accusations Arteta has faced about overplaying Bukayo Saka, Nelson proved once again that he could be an option on the wing.
He terrorised Joel Veltman, completing all of his attempted dribbles and winning both of his attacking duels in the first-half. The winger could certainly be key when Arteta comes to rotating his side when the games begin to pile up in the second half of the season.
Defensive frailties cost Gunners
First, Welbeck was able to ghost through to win his penalty, before the Gunners were left all at sea by a Brighton counter-attack which Mitoma finished off to put his side ahead. Cedric Soares in particular endured a difficult night and he was unable to prevent Lampety from sealing the win.
With Arsenal totally dominant before Mitoma fired in, it will deeply disappoint Arteta that his defence fell apart so badly. Three of the starting back four were frontline options, though none of them can hold their heads high after a poor night.