Brentford beaten by Havertz’s late Arsenal winner


Former Chelsea man Kai Havertz scored a late winner for Arsenal against Brentford.

The Bees had survived a first-half VAR scare and endured long periods of pressure, but Havertz ended their resistance to put the visitors top of the Premier League table.

Following a slow start, Brentford strike pair Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa failed to punish the Gunners amid hesitation on the ball inside the six-yard box by visiting keeper Aaron Ramsdale. Mbeumo’s shot was blocked on the line by Declan Rice before the rebound was stabbed wide by Wissa.

Arsenal had the majority of possession across the first half but, apart from a close-range header by Leandro Trossard which went over the bar, and an angled shot off target by Gabriel Jesus, they failed to significantly trouble the well organised hosts.

Trossard had a headed goal chalked off after a lengthy VAR check.

The Bees were content to sit back, defend and soak up the pressure for large periods of the second half. However, Yehar Yarmoliuk should have done better than to shoot straight at Ramsdale in a rare counter attack.

With the game opening up at both ends, Brentford substitute Neal Maupay saw a fine 77th-minute header cleared off the line by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

And with two minutes to go, substitute Havertz stole in at the far post to head home an inviting cross from the right by Bukayo Saka.

Brentford: Flekken, Pinnock, Mee, Ajer, Norgaard, Onyeka (Lewis-Potter 90), Janelt, Wissa (Maupay 72), Ghoddos (Zanka 90), Mbeumo, Yarmoliuk (Baptiste 72).