Arsenal’s dreadful form in the Premier League continued on Thursday night as they succumbed to an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners recently parted ways with manager Unai Emery after they failed to pick up a victory in seven straight games in all competitions, but the run has continued under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg with a draw and a defeat to Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion respectively.
Three things we learned from Arsenal’s loss to Brighton:
Arsenal’s defence in tatters: The Gunners defence has looked susceptible for most of the season but things have got worse over the past few games, where there has been little effort to close down the opposition player from shooting at goal. Bernd Leno was once more kept busy between the sticks with seven saves and that was still not sufficient on the night with Sokratis and David Luiz failing to impress at the heart of the backline. The duo failed to keep out Adam Webster for Brighton’s opening goal and Luiz was entirely responsible for the second as he was clearly beaten in the air by Neal Maupay, who is 18 centimetres shorter than him.
Tougher times ahead for the Gunners: The north London side have managed just one point from the games against Southampton, Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion and they now have a testing schedule ahead. The Gunners have been poor travellers in the league over the past few years and there are no assurances that they will be able to pick up maximum points against West Ham United, Everton and Bournemouth. Elsewhere, their next three home games come against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United and one can fear the worst for the Gunners unless they are able to sort the defensive frailties with the players at hand.
Top four possibly out of the question: With the defeat to Brighton, the Gunners have dropped 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and their prospects of qualifying for the Champions League through the top-flight appear slim at the moment. Instead, winning the Europa League could be the dependable route to the elite competition but even that does not remain a cake walk with Manchester United, Sevilla and several other elite European clubs expected to compete with them. Arsenal are currently experiencing their worst run in their history in more than four decades and they are just five points adrift of the relegation places.