Arsenal stars were praised after they all embraced Aaron Ramsdale following the final whistle against Brentford.
Ramsdale got a rare start in Mikel Arteta’s line-up and kept a clean sheet as the Gunners defeated the Bees 1-0 at the Gtech Community Stadium thanks to Kai Havertz’s late winner.
The England international has been undergoing a difficult campaign as he lost his No1 spot to David Raya, who arrived on loan from Brentford in the summer.
However, Raya couldn’t play against his parent club and so Ramsdale returned between the sticks.
The 25-year-old had some shaky moments in the early stages of the game, but grew in confidence and snuffed out some late danger.
After the final whistle, Arteta and every Arsenal star approached Ramsdale and embraced him in a brilliant show of team unity as he strives for more minutes ahead of Euro 2024.
Arteta deflects Ramsdale talk
Aaron Ramsdale had a first half to forget for Arsenal against Brentford.
The shotstopper’s mistake nearly gifted the Gunners’ opponents the opener – only for Declan Rice to save his blushes by clearing the ball off the line.
After the game, Arteta said on his keeper’s first half: “This is football. I’m so happy with the team. The way the team performed with the clean sheet. We move on.”
Mikel Arteta managed the club for the 200th time against Brentford.
And the 1-0 win meant he recorded 116 victories for the club during that time.
Incredibly, that’s better than Arsene Wenger managed in his first 200 games, with the Frenchman getting 111 wins.
George Graham is in third with 106.
Gunners fired to the top
It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t convincing, but Arsenal managed to get the job done at the last and their reward could not be greater.
The 1-0 win means the Gunners will finish the day top of the Premier League table for the first time this season – and all because of a bizarre quirk of fate.
With the top two going into the weekend – Manchester City and Liverpool – drawing 1-1 this lunchtime, it is just the second time in Premier League history that the top two have met with neither managing to end the day at the summit.
The previous occurrence came in November 2015 when a 1-1 draw between Leicester and Manchester United allowed City to take over in first place.
Yippee Kai-Yay for Havertz
Kai Havertz came off the bench to score a last-minute winner with what is just his second goal for Arsenal since his £65 million move from Chelsea.
It was also the German’s second Premier League goal as a substitute, and both have proved to be match-winning efforts; the previous scored for his former club against West Ham in September 2022.
It feels amazing. I’ve been working hard for these moments and today I got it paid back. I’m just happy to help the team. Football is always hard work. It’s been tough for me the last couple of months, but I’ve tried to put my ego aside because the team is the most important thing.