Havertz’s goal pushes Arsenal to top of EPL table

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Arsenal secured a thrilling victory against Brentford, propelling them to the summit of the Premier League courtesy of Kai Havertz’s decisive late header.

In Mikel Arteta’s 200th match at the helm of the Gunners, Kai Havertz’s 89th-minute goal salvaged an otherwise forgettable performance in west London.

Following a draw between Manchester City and Liverpool earlier on Saturday, this victory propels the Gunners one point ahead at the top of the table.

Despite Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard having a first-half goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the defeat was harsh on Brentford, who saw potential goals thwarted by outstanding clearances from Declan Rice and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Arteta has achieved more victories in his first 200 matches in charge than any of the other nine Arsenal managers who reached this milestone. His bold team selection in this match demonstrated a clear determination to secure three points.

However, the comeback of Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus from injury didn’t yield significant results in what was mostly a sluggish performance.

Although they increased the tempo in the second half, Thomas Frank’s meticulously organized defense successfully thwarted waves of attacks.

The situation persisted until a brilliant moment from Bukayo Saka finally broke through, and Kai Havertz made a crucial impact, heading home at the back post in what can be considered his most noteworthy contribution in an Arsenal jersey.

Brentford maintains their 11th position in the table following their second consecutive defeat.

Havertz makes defining impact as Ramsdale recovers

Kai Havertz’s initiation in north London, following his £65 million signing, has been less than stellar, with only one goal and one assist to his name before Saturday since joining from Chelsea.

Although Arteta has consistently voiced support for him in public, Havertz found himself omitted to accommodate Odegaard’s return, watching as his teammates struggled to make an impact for much of the match.

Called off the bench with 12 minutes remaining, he ultimately made a defining contribution by skillfully heading the ball over the line from a tight angle.

This moment could hold significant weight in the trajectory of his Arsenal career.

Before Havertz’s entry into the game, the primary subplot centered around whether Aaron Ramsdale could capitalize on his first Premier League start since September, especially considering that on-loan keeper David Raya was ineligible against his parent club.

The home crowd took delight in a shaky first half performance from the English player, who was saved by a brilliant block on the line by Rice.

However, as he regained his composure, the match descended into a dull stalemate between two teams that typically do not lose in London derbies.

When the Gunners finally showed some life, Trossard’s close-range header, following a save from Jesus by Mark Flekken, was disallowed after a VAR review.

In reality, Jesus had a clear opportunity to score with a header from eight yards out before the offside decision was made.

If Havertz can rediscover his goal-scoring form, it could alleviate the pressure on the Brazilian striker, who appeared fatigued after participating in matches in South America during the international break.