Brighton slip down to 17th in the table following a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal

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It took substitute Alexandre Lacazette a mere 21 seconds to come of the bench and score the winner for Arsenal.

The Frenchman finished well after good work down the flank from youngster Saka – resulting in a great cross.

Both sides lacked quality throughout and the game had very few clear cut chances. Albion keeper Sanchez had very little to do, apart from one superb save to keep out Aubameyang, who went close early in the second half.

The closest Brighton came to scoring was with Jahanbakhsh who forced a sharp save from Bernd Leno at his near post 38 minutes in.  Once again the Seagulls looked comfortable and composed on the ball but it was a frustrating story in attack.

The lack of goal threat was predictable. Potter made six changes to the side that drew with West Ham, Neal Maupay and Danny Welbeck were left on the bench – leaving no recognisable striker in the starting XI.

Resting Danny Welbeck made sense, he had a slight knee injury after the West Ham game. The 30-year-old has started the last seven out of eight matches so a place among the substitutes against his former was not surprising.

However leaving Maupay out seemed a baffling decision. Brighton are in a perilous position near the bottom of the table, in urgent need of adding to only two wins so far. The Frenchman is the club’s top scorer this season with five goals.

Having just ended his eight game goal drought against West Ham, confidence would have been partially restored. Instead Potter opted for Jahanbakhsh, who has never played as a number 9 before for the club.

Changes were to be expected given the hectic festive schedule, unfortunately for Potter they didn’t work. The only stand out performer for Brighton was the consistent Bissouma.

There are rumours surrounding the midfielder about a possible January exit, Brighton must keep him at the club if they stand any chance of staying in the division.

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The Brighton boss remained in good spirits, despite his side having last won in the league on 21 November. Speaking to BBC Sport:

“There was lots to be positive about, certainly first half,” he said.

“I thought we did well in the game against a team that has some good attacking players.

“It’s just frustrating that we’re not winning or picking up the points we’d like to.

“We’re doing some things well but we need to carry on improving. This league is so demanding, so punishing. These things can happen and we have to stick together as a group.”

Brighton end 2020 with just one Premier League home win (17 games), the lowest total of victories on home soil in a calendar year in the history of the competition (excluding promoted and relegated teams, who did not complete a calendar year in the top flight).

They move below Burnley to 17th and remain two points above the relegation zone.

They will look to start 2021 with a home win against Wolves this Saturday, 17:30 kick off.

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