Ghanaian-born striker Eddie Nketiah was on the scoresheet once more as Arsenal ended 2022 in style by defeating Brighton 4-2 at the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
The Premier League leaders were handed a timely boost just before the clash as title rivals Manchester City dropped two points at home to Everton.
Arsenal stormed into the lead after just two minutes when Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected effort found England forward Bukayo Saka. He took a deft touch before slotting past Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez.
The Gunners were in complete control and captain Martin Odegaard netted with a thumping 39th-minute strike after a corner was cleared to the edge of the Brighton area.
Nketiah – who netted against West Ham in the last game – scored Arsenal’s third just two minutes into the second half with a predator’s finish, poking home after Sanchez failed to hold Martinelli’s effort. Watch goal:
First-half ? Second-half
Arsenal scoring early goals! ⚡ pic.twitter.com/RYjvODlakR
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 31, 2022
Kaoru Mitoma’s 65th-minute strike for Brighton would have shaken Arsenal’s nerves in the past, but Mikel Arteta’s men were made of sterner stuff.
Six minutes later Martinelli bagged the fourth from Odegaard’s sublime long pass, a strike that rendered irrelevant Evan Ferguson’s first league goal for Brighton in the 77th minute.
Meanwhile two Ghana internationals – Thomas Partey and Tariq Lamptey – were in action on the night. While Partey was rested after 74 minutes, the latter who was at the receiving end of the Arsenal attacks, lasted the entire game for Brighton.
Arsenal are now seven points clear at the top of the 2022/23 Premier League standings.