Arsenal 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 3
Magnificent Brighton and Hove Albion have beaten Arsenal at the Emirates for the fourth time in six years with second-half goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan.
The Seagulls go sixth and remain well placed to qualify for the Europa League although they still face Newcastle United, Manchester City and Aston Villa in three of their final four matches.
It was an astonishing win for the Albion who were under pressure from the Gunners from the off.
And it was unsurprisingly hard fought, Gabriel Martinelli body-checking Kaoru Mitoma early on and then Moises Caicedo lungeing at Martinelli minutes later. Neither tackle led to a yellow card when, on another day, both might have seen red.
Martinelli wasn’t able to continue. He was replaced by former Seagull and one-time Hangleton resident Leandro Trossard.
Another former Albion player, defender Ben White, played the ball to Martin Odegaard who sent a shot narrowly wide. Trossard had an early chance to put Arsenal in front but his shot hit the bar.
Albion’s best chance of the first half came after Mitoma outsprinted White then eased past him and crossed for Julio Encisco who rather chopped at his shot and sent it flying over the bar.
At the end of the half Gabriel and Bukoyo Saka combined well and Saka sent a shot inches wide of Jason Steele’s left-hand post.
Arsenal upped the tempo immediately the second half kicked off and won a quick corner but Steele was able to gather with ease.
For all their high tempo, the Gunners still couldn’t cope with Mitoma’s speed and skill. He ran rings around White again, found Estupinan who had two chances to cross. With the second, he hit the ball into the ground and, with Jakub Kiwior on one knee, Encisco headed past a helpless Aaron Ramsdale to put Albion 0-1 ahead.
The whole of the Emirates were in shock but Arsenal continued to give the ball away and really failed to react to Albion going in front.
Danny Welbeck came on for Billy Gilmour and Albion looked even stronger from bottom to top. Reiss Nelson who scored a vital goal against Bournemouth for Arsenal replaced Granit Xhaka. Nelson looked like Arsenal’s biggest threat and sent a rasping effort flying wide. Trossard also had another good chance, set up by Odegaard, but was off target again.
Mac Allister and Welbeck went close for Albion before Trossard gave the ball away and Pascal Gross inadvertently found Deniz Undav who sublimely lofted the ball over Ramsdale to double Albion’s lead with four minutes of normal time left.
In the eight minutes of time added on, Steele had to be alert from Eddie Nketiah and Saka again.
With Arsenal piling men forward, Albion broke again. Undav forced Ramsdale into a save that rebounded to Estupinan who slammed home his first Premier League goal to complete the rout.
Albion have become an astonishing Premier League giant in just six short years and now have an unbelievable opportunity to compete in European football almost exactly 40 years after they were one kick away from doing so at Wembley.
Next Sunday (21 May), three points at home to already-relegated Southampton exactly 40 years since the 1983 FA Cup final could help the club take a huge step towards a place in the Europa League.
Before that, Albion take on Newcastle at St James’ Park this coming Thursday (18 May), again in the Premier League.