Kai Havertz came off the bench to score an 89th-minute winner as Arsenal moved top of the Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Brentford.
The Gunners had looked set to be frustrated by a stubborn Brentford side, but Havertz popped up with the late winner to send the travelling fans home happy.
Arsenal started brightly and should have taken an early lead when Bukayo Saka found himself in space on the left-hand side of the box, but his shot was well saved by David Raya.
The hosts grew into the game as the first half wore on, and they had their chances to break the deadlock. Bryan Mbeumo had the best of them when he found himself in space on the right-hand side of the box, but his shot was blocked by Ben White.
Arsenal thought they had taken the lead in the second half when Leandro Trossard scored, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
The game looked to be heading for a draw, but Havertz had other ideas. The German forward rose highest to meet Bukayo Saka’s cross and head home the winner in the 89th minute.
The victory sends Arsenal top of the Premier League, two points clear of Manchester City and Liverpool.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta:
“It was a tough game, but we showed great character to come away with the win. We were patient and we kept creating chances. I’m delighted for Kai Havertz. He’s a great player and he’s always capable of scoring a goal.”
Brentford manager Thomas Frank:
“I’m disappointed with the result, but I’m proud of the performance. We gave Arsenal a real game and we could have easily won it ourselves. We just need to be more clinical in front of goal.”
- Possession: Brentford 52%, Arsenal 48%
- Shots: Brentford 12, Arsenal 11
- Shots on target: Brentford 5, Arsenal 4
- Corners: Brentford 7, Arsenal 4
Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny, Emile Smith Rowe, Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira, Kai Havertz
David Raya, Kristoffer Ajer, Ben Mee, Ethan Pinnock, Rico Henry, Vitaly Janelt, Christian Eriksen, Mathias Jensen, Yoane Wissa, Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo
Mads Roerslev Rasmussen, Mads Bech Sörensen, Charlie Goode, Shandon Baptiste, Josh Dasilva, Keane Lewis-Potter, Sergi Canós, Mikkel Damsgaard, Bryan Mbeumo