Arsenal regain lead in the Premier League, Brighton name Italian De Zerbi as new boss




Arsenal are back at the top of the Premier League after a resounding 3-0 win at Brentford and manager Mikel Arteta is happy to banish last season’s nightmare.

On a day when Everton beat fellow contenders West Ham 1-0 to end their winless start to the season, the Gunners rose back to the top with three well-scored goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira.

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Arsenal were back on the scene of their dismal 2-0 opening-day defeat last season that prevented their worst start to a campaign in 67 years.

But they’re a different animal this semester and proved it with an organized, inventive display on Sunday.

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“I’m very happy with the performance and that I won the game and go into the international break as the league leader,” said Gunners boss Arteta.

“A lot of people called that day an embarrassing one, but I saw it as a character-building day.

“You have to learn from those moments and then days like today happen. We enjoy our football.”

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Such was Arsenal’s dominance that Mikel Arteta could even afford to phase out 15-year-old midfielder Ethan Nwaneri late as a substitute, making him the youngest-ever player in the Premier League.

The Gunners took the lead in the 18th minute, a Saliba header from a Bukayo Saka corner bouncing off the inside of the far post.

Ten minutes later, Jesus doubled the lead with another header, this time from Granit Xhaka’s clean chip into the box.

The second half started similarly and when Saka put the ball 25 meters in front of Vieira, he aimed and curled a great shot off the post.

It was a spectacular way for the Portuguese midfielder to mark his first Premier League start since joining Stg 34m ($58m) from Porto.

Later on Sunday at Goodison Park, Neal Maupay scored his first goal for Everton to guide the Merseysiders to a much-needed win that brought relief at Goodison Park.

Maupay, a player recently signed from Brighton, took a superb ball from Alex Iwobi’s pass and fired from the edge of the box into the back net in the 53rd minute.

The win ends a run of four straight draws for Everton and moves them up to 13th place, while West Ham remain in the last three with a win from seven games, their 1,000th top-flight defeat.

Everton boss Frank Lampard said there was still plenty of room for improvement but was clearly relieved.

“The reality is we’ve worked hard this season and we deserved more,” he told SkySports.

“Hopefully our football can get even better. Nobody gets carried away. There’s a decent atmosphere here at the moment.”

Meanwhile, the Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion have appointed former Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi as their new head coach on a four-year deal following the departure of Graham Potter.

The 43-year-old Italian began his managerial career in the country’s lower divisions before catching the attention of Sassuolo, who came from Serie A and guided them to consecutive eighth-place finishes in the league before joining Shakhtar Donetsk in May 2021 left.

De Zerbi, a former Napoli midfielder, guided Shakhtar to the Ukrainian Super Cup last year before his time at the club was curtailed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Shakhtar were at the top of the domestic league when they were suspended due to the war.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Roberto has agreed to become our new head coach. Roberto’s teams play exciting and bold football and I’m confident his style and tactical approach will be a great fit with our existing squad,” said Brighton chairman Tony Bloom.

De Zerbi takes over from Potter, who left earlier this month after three hugely successful seasons in charge at Chelsea.

The Englishman helped Brighton finish ninth last season – their highest-ever finish in the top flight.

“Roberto has demonstrated his undoubted skills working in Italy and Ukraine and what he has achieved at Sassuolo is certainly outstanding,” said David Weir, Brighton Technical Director.

“We look forward to providing him with all the support he needs to implement his coaching philosophy and help the players continue their brilliant start to the season.

De Zerbi will be officially presented to the media on Tuesday.

Brighton, fourth in the table with 13 points from six games, travel to Liverpool after the international break on 1 October.

© AAP





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