Arsenal dropped more points in the Premier League, this time to Brentford, as a 1-1 draw allows Manchester City another chance to close the gap tomorrow.
Just like last week, Mikel Arteta’s men went in at half-time having failed to make any significant breakthrough. Although substitute Leandro Trossard seemed to have gotten the Gunners out of jail by breaking the deadlock, Ivan Toney equalised soon after, and it certainly feels as though the pressure of being league leaders is getting to the north Londoners.
Bukayo Saka was in fine form yet again as he set up Trossard’s goal while also having seven shots of his own, although he couldn’t quite find the net. He did create one big chance and make two key passes during the match, while also winning five of his nine duels, and he appears to be growing in confidence with each passing performance.
However, perhaps Arsenal’s standout performer wasn’t the goalscorer or indeed Saka, but rather Thomas Partey, who kept everything together for the team in the heart of midfield, and he is becoming an integral part in the Gunners’ title challenge.
How did Partey play against Brentford?
The Ghanaian received a 7.8/10 rating from Sofascore, with only Saka ranking higher. Arteta didn’t make the same mistake twice, having substituted Partey just before the hour mark last week, only to see Everton score the winner a minute later.
The 29-year-old took an astonishing 104 touches during today’s match while completing 78 of his 87 passes (90%). This allowed Arsenal to control the game in large parts, as evidenced by their 69% share of possession.
Furthermore, Partey made five key passes and was successful with 80% of his long balls and all three of his dribble attempts, showcasing his excellent all-round ability.
By making three tackles, one interception and one clearance, his defensive abilities didn’t shirk either. Journalist Abhimanyu Bose was clearly impressed with the Ghanaian, lauding him as “an absolute monster today”; and despite the dropped points, Arteta will be happy with Partey’s performance.
With Eddie Nketiah having to lead the line in Gabriel Jesus’ injury-enforced absence, it’s beginning to look like Arsenal are struggling in front of goal, with just one scored in their past two league matches, and this could pose a real problem for the manager in the coming weeks.
Partey and Saka were both outstanding today, and although it is another game without a win, the Spaniard will be hoping for much of the same from those two when Man City rock up at the Emirates Stadium in midweek.