Arsenal got off to the best possible start against Brighton, after Bukayo Saka scored less than two minutes in before Gunners skipper Martin Odegaard took centre stage again.
Martin Odegaard looked every bit the former Galactico after he performed a miraculous piece of skill during Brighton vs Arsenal.
The Gunners skipper, who is in the best patch of form in his career, has played an instrumental role in his side’s unlikely title charge. Odegaard ran the show in the Boxing Day win over West Ham and was similarly involved in the early stages against the Seagulls.
Arsenal took the lead after just 65 seconds when Bukayo Saka fired home following a deflected shot from Gabriel Martinelli. That allowed the league leaders to play with the kind of swagger that a healthy gap at the top allows.
And Odegaard best displayed that as he left three Brighton players chasing their tails with an amazing piece of skill in the Brighton penalty area. Tariq Lamptey, Adam Lallana and Lewis Dunk were all in close attention, only to be all taken out of the game with one move.
In an area where no through ball looked possible, Odegaard somehow managed to thread the ball between Dunk’s legs to find the onrushing Martinelli. The Brazilian was unable to convert, but it was just the latest show of confidence from a side continuing to stretch their lead at the Premier League summit.
Odegaard had no such problem in finding the back of the net, when his shot into the ground put them two goals up before the break. That was his seventh of the season, a tally which leads the title chasers – who are enjoying the final matchday of the year.
Before a ball had even been kicked at the AMEX, it was another good day for the Gunners after Manchester City were held by Everton at home. Pep Guardiola’s side looked well set for all three points after Erling Haaland put them in front, only for Demarai Gray to score a brilliant equaliser after the break.
Guardiola attempted to ramp up the mind games prior to this weekend’s games, claiming that City would be unable to catch Arsenal, if they keep up their current pace. “Arsenal have done brilliantly and they are better than us,” he explained.