Arsenal extend lead at top of Premier League after thriller at Brighton

Gunners made to fight for 4-2 victory against Seagulls on Saturday

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Arsenal head into 2023 with an impressive seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League after a 4-2 win at Brighton on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta's side powered to a fifth successive league victory thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli on New Year's Eve at the Amex Stadium.

The Gunners stormed into the lead after just two minutes when Martinelli's deflected effort reached England forward Saka, who took a deft touch before slotting past Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez.

Arsenal were in complete control and Danish midfielder Odegaard netted with a thumping 39th minute strike after a corner was cleared to the edge of the Brighton area.

Nketiah scored Arsenal's third in the 47th minute, poking home after Sanchez failed to hold Martinelli's effort.

Kaoru Mitoma's 65th minute strike for Brighton would have shaken Arsenal's nerves in the past, but the current crop are 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.

Arsenal's ninth win in their last 10 league matches was even sweeter coming just hours after second placed Manchester City's title defence suffered a major setback as Everton snatched a 1-1 draw against the champions at the Etihad Stadium.

Updated: December 31, 2022, 7:52 PM