Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes are on the verge of going up in smoke as Brighton claimed a very surprising 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners continue to chase reigning champions Manchester City and needed a win to keep in touch with the leaders in the race, but disaster struck for Mikel Arteta’s men early in the second half.
Their title bid first took a knock on Sunday afternoon courtesy of Julio Enciso, who headed in from close range for Brighton.
A superb long ball from Levi Colwill was met by Kaoru Mitoma before he passed it into the path of Pervis Estupinan. His first cross was headed away, but the second was met by Enciso, who was left unmarked inside the six-yard box.
Unfortunately for Enciso, his afternoon ended just after the 80th minute as he came off with an injury.
However, Brighton’s afternoon got even better when Deniz Undav doubled their lead with five minutes of the 90 remaining.
A stray pass from former Seagulls star Leandro Trossard’s was intercepted and knocked into the path of the forward, who chipped it over the head of Aaron Ramsdale.
It sent Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi running down the touchline, celebrating in similar fashion to Jose Mourinho.
In stoppage time, Brighton made it 3-0 thanks to Estupinan’s close-range finish, piling more misery on the hosts.
Brighton are continuing their search for European football next season, with the win surely setting them up for continental action.
However, Arsenal’s wait for their first title since 2004 could be set to go on for even longer if results continue to go against them.
City, who have a game in hand over the Gunners, are now on course to win the league for the third consecutive season.
Pep Guardiola’s men will wrap up the title with a win against Chelsea next Sunday, but a draw will be enough if Arsenal can only manage a draw at Nottingham Forest next Saturday, while a defeat at the City Ground will also wrap up the title for City.