Brighton vs Arsenal player ratings: Marc Cucurella and four other Albion stars sublime in pulsating draw

Brighton and Arsenal played out an entertaining goalless draw at the Amex this evening.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 8:31 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 10:23 pm
Marc Cucurella produced a man of the match display against Arsenal

Albion dominated for large periods of the first half but couldn't find a way through. Defender Lewis Dunk missed the hosts' best chance, firing an effort over the bar, after Aaron Ramsdale spilled Neal Maupay's cross. VAR might have ruled it as a foul anyway.

Arsenal grew into the game and created opportunities in a tightly-fought second half, in which Albon had to defend resolutely.

However, it was Brighton piling on all the pressure in the late stages and were unlucky not to find a winner. An injury-time VAR check went Arsenal's way after Shane Duffy went down in the box.

Here's how we rated Graham Potter's side.

Rob Sanchez: 7 - Didn't have a save to make in the first half. Was rounded by Aubameyang in the second period but the forward missed and was offside anyway. Great save low to his left to deny Smith-Rowe after a fast break.

Shane Duffy: 8 - Crowd thought he had scored when he put a header into the side netting from a corner. Did really well to stop Aubameyang from finding the net after the forward rounded Sanchez. Punched the ground in frustration after failing to hit the target with a late header. Went down in the box in injury-time but calls for a penalty were turned down after a VAR check.

Lewis Dunk: 7 - Not his job to score but missed a guilt-edged chance to break the deadlock after 20 minutes. He loses a mark for that but he, otherwise, didn't put a foot wrong defensively.

Dan Burn: 8 - Played his part in an excellent defensive performance. A brilliant sliding challenge on Saka as he looked poised to score. Wasted a good headed chance, which he couldn't keep down. Strong defensively throughout and made a couple of darting runs into the box.

Joel Veltman: 7 - Did his job well when called upon. He quietly went about his business and defended strongly. He made his presence known with a crunching challenge to stop a quick Arsenal break, which earned him a yellow card. He then fired a shot straight at the keeper after a darting run.

Pascal Groß: 8 - Classy performance from one of Albion's stand-out players of the season so far. He linked up well with Lallana as Albion comfortably won the midfield battle, despite the absence of Yves Bissouma. He got a deserved rest in the late stages, when he was replaced by March.

Adam Lallana: 8 - Another star performer in the middle of the park. Good cross would have given Trossard a tap in if not for Ben White. Always looking for killer pass but not always on the same wavelength as Maupay. One or two crucial interceptions. Great to see him last the full 90-minutes too.

Jakub Moder: 7 - Busy first half keeping things moving. Good headed clearance. Curled an effort wide of the post in the early stages of the second half. Hit a powerful half-volley over the bar after the ball set up nicely. Replaced by Mac Allister for final ten minutes.

Marc Cucurella: 8 - Outstanding. Was beaten by the pace of Saka early on but he recovered well. Very good on the ball and a danger going forward. Showed great tenacity to win the ball after a tussle and whip in a great cross - visibly frustrated that it didn't come to more. Assured in his defence duties too and earned applause from the crowd more than once. Forced a good save out of Ramsdale towards the end of the game.

Leandro Trossard: 7 - Posed a constant threat with his trickery. Flashed a shot wide of the post after a fast counter-attack, having made space for himself with excellent skill. Continued to test Ramsdale but sometimes failed to play a pass when it was the best option.

Neal Maupay: 7 - Worked hard in attack but couldn't quite find that all-elusive goal. He often drifted out wide and opted for long-range efforts. He linked up play well - a superb chipped pass to Lallana, nearly ended up in goal. Hit two acrobatic efforts over the bar, showing his supreme confidence this season.

Subs

Alexis Mac Allister: 6 - A few nice touches and had a long-range effort blocked in his ten-minute cameo but didn't make a decisive impact.

Solly March: 6 - Rose well at the back post to put the ball into a dangerous area. Resulted in corner after vital Ramsdale intervention.