Home FOOTBALL PREMIER LEAGUE Opening day bliss for Brentford; Arsenal go 2-0 down to the newly...

Opening day bliss for Brentford; Arsenal go 2-0 down to the newly promoted Londoners

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Brentford
Picture Source: Twitter

In front of a packed home crowd, having returned to the English top division after 74 years – Brentford romped through the 13-time champions on an electrifying evening in West London. Mikel Arteta’s woes have picked up from where they ended, having last won a Premier League game back in March.

With plenty of possession, the inexperienced Arsenal frontline found it difficult to disturb the home side’s discipline. Nicholas Pepe nearly set the youngster Folarin Balogun on a couple of occasions, but he failed to manage a tangible output in front of the goal.

Brentford waited for their opportunity on the break and with their first meaningful attempt, Sergio Canos steaming down the left side, hurled it past Leno’s near post to establish a lead for the Bees. Leno got a hand, but couldn’t keep it out.

Thomas Frank, who made Brentford play a brand of football Championship wasn’t used to, appeared to have settled for a more practical approach. Brentford never seemed fazed by the pace of the top division clubs in the pre-season, but they did get caught in the midfield a few times whenever they took too long to pass.

Periods of containment, a long ball to find Ivan Toney or Bryan Mbuemo and fullbacks stretching the Arsenal defense on the break – The Bees played it safe, not going for the kill like they usually do under their Danish manager. However, whenever they had the ball, some crisply constructed passes in the midfield were a treat to the eye.

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Add to it the soaring, seamless wave of excitement around the stadium, that pushed the already skeptical Arsenal further behind. Gunners went into the half-time break trailing, and their lack of creativity was quite ubiquitous on the day.

Nordgaard doubles the lead, Brentford pack home three points

Christian Norgaard
Picture Source: Twitter

In the early minutes of the second 45, their newly minted number 10 Emile Smith-Rowe had a terrific opportunity to level the score but he failed to test David Raya.

Chances came far and few later on, with Arsenal demanding very little effort from the opposition defenders. Mads Bidstrup was brought in the second half to shore things up in the midfield, and the Danish 20-year-old made a pivotal contribution with a throw-in.

Pablo Mari struggled to get anywhere close to Bidstrup’s long throw-in, and the ball awkwardly bounced out of White’s reach, only to be met by Christian Norgaard inside the 6-yard box in the 73rd minute. Norgaard headed it home comfortably to assure three points for Brentford on the opening night.

Brentford saw through the final minutes without much hassle, and the look on Thomas Frank’s face said it all. They craved to be up top with the best in the business for a couple of seasons and a grandstand performance on the opening day only promises much brighter things in the coming weeks.

Full Time

Brentford 2 (Sergio Canes 22’, Christian Norgaard 73’) – 0 Arsenal

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