As it happened: Brentford 2-0 Arsenal
Photo by AdamDoyleSport/VAVEL UK


21:57a month ago

Thanks for tuning in!

That’s it for VAVEL UK’s live text commentary of this Premier League match between Brentford and Arsenal — we hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned at the site for more live coverage and further reaction and analysis to all top flight matches this weekend.
21:56a month ago


Possession: 35%-65%

Shots: 8-22

On target: 3-4

Corners: 2-5

Fouls: 12-8

21:54a month ago


Can a Premier League debut get any better? Brentford have well and truly arrived with an absolutely brilliant result here.

They caught Arsenal off-guard in the first-half and deservedly opened the scoring through Canos. They kept their intensity and composure in the second period, and doubled their lead through a well-worked throw-in routine, finished off by Norgaard.

The Bees are top of the league - after just the one game, perhaps, but following a 74-year absence from the top flight, it's a sight Brentford fans will surely savour!

21:48a month ago


There will be five minutes of stoppage time at the end of the match.
21:46a month ago


Brilliant football from Arsenal sees Smith Rowe unleash Tierney down the left. The full-back cuts it across goal for Pepe, whose effort draws a fine save from Raya.

The Brentford keeper hasn't had all that much to do tonight, but has been ever so reliable when called upon.

21:44a month ago


Desperate times call for desperate measures. Xhaka attempts an audacious effort from 30 yards out, but the Arsenal skipper drags it just wide of the mark.
21:42a month ago


Arsenal substitute Tavares attempts to arc an effort into the top corner, but it's a metre or two high and goes behind for a goal-kick.
21:39a month ago


Canos whips in a sumptuous corner and Norgaard flicks it on at the front post. Leno is caught in no-man's-land and the ball looks destined for the net, but it bounces just wide.
21:36a month ago


Pepe shoots a free-kick way high and wide of the target. That sums up Arsenal's night, really; so lacking in the final third, second-best in pretty much every area against the newly promoted Bees.
21:34a month ago


Arsenal nearly pull one back as Smith Rowe lifts a ball into the box for Tierney to hit first-time, but he fails to trouble Raya in the Brentford goal.
21:32a month ago


It's two!

The long throw from substitute Sorensen causes all sorts of problems. The Arsenal defence somehow let it bounce and it falls kindly for Norgaard at the back post to head into an empty net.

What a night for the newcomers!

21:29a month ago


That looked for all the world it was in!

Xhaka meets a floated cross on the edge of the box and lashes a vicious effort goalwards, but it's ever so slightly high of the crossbar.

He should probably have scored. Arsenal are really doing their all to even the scores here.

21:25a month ago


The game has really opened up now!

Canos stings the palms of Leno after driving forward from right by the half-way line. Great effort from the Spaniard.

21:23a month ago


That was mighty close from Arsenal.

Probing build-up eventually sees the ball worked to Tierney on the left edge of the area, and the Scot's powerful drive is deflected just wide by Ajer.

21:18a month ago


Sambi takes aim from a little under 30 yards, but it drops right at the feet of Raya for an easy stop.
21:17a month ago


Pepe tries to weave his way into the box, but he's marshalled out of play by a combination of Jansson and Pinnock.

Arsenal are on top here, and there's further encouragement in the fact that Saka has just entered the field, to a standing ovation from the entire stadium.

21:14a month ago


An intricate exchange between Sambi and Smith Rowe almost creates a goalscoring chance for the latter, but the Brentford defence crowd him out and clear their lines promptly.
21:10a month ago


Arsenal are pushing at the beginning of this second period!

Smith Rowe receives the ball from Tierney in midfield and produces a wonderful swivel to evade the challenge from Onyeka. He drives through the centre and into the box before firing at goal, but it's too close to Leno and the goalkeeper is able to parry the ball away.

21:06a month ago


Tierney marauds into the Brentford box and powers an effort towards goal, but it's straight at Raya for an easy save.
21:06a month ago


On 14 occasions when losing at half-time under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal are winless, with four draws and 10 defeats.

That doesn't make for encouraging reading for the Gunners.

21:03a month ago


The second-half begins.
21:00a month ago

About to restart

The teams are reemerging, so we'll be back underway in a minute or two.
20:48a month ago


The Premier League newcomers lead at the break, and deservedly so, courtesy of Canos' driven finish. But can they hold on in the second-half?

Arsenal desperately need a rethink, it just isn't working right now, even accounting for the absence of a number of first-teamers. Defeat here would be a terrible way to kick off the season.

20:46a month ago


There will be one minute of added time at the end of the first-half.
20:45a month ago


Clever build-up from Brentford works space for Toney to cross into the centre, aiming for Janelt, but it's just too far ahead of the midfielder for him to make contact.
20:43a month ago


We're nearly at half-time, but what a showing it's been from the Premier League newcomers so far. Play anything like this in the second half and they'll be well in course for a winning start to the season.
20:39a month ago


Balogun cuts inside from the left and arcs an effort towards the far top corner, but it's well wide of the mark.
20:38a month ago


Brentford catch Arsenal napping once again with their aggressive press, but Janelt's attempted pass into Toney is just too far behind the striker and the chance peters out.
20:34a month ago


Pepe receives the ball from Martinelli about 25 yards from goal before shifting it onto his left foot and attempting a curled effort, but it ends up well wide of the post.
20:32a month ago


Straight down the other end, clever play from Arsenal sees Tierney cut the ball across for Balogun on the penalty spot, but the young striker is pressed well by Henry and ultimately sees his shot go behind for a goal-kick.
20:31a month ago


Brentford should be two up!

Twinkle-toes Mbeumo weaves his way into the box, beats both Mari and White in one go with a clever feint before firing towards goal on his weaker right foot, but it's just wide of the far post.

20:30a month ago


There's a round of applause in memory of former Brentford technical director Robert Rowan, who tragically passed away at the age of 28 in 2018.

A touching tribute.

20:29a month ago


Canos tries for his second after exchanging a clever one-two with Onyeka on the edge of the area, but the goalscorer fires this effort well high and wide.
20:25a month ago


"We're top of the league!" sing the Brentford fans - they're not wrong!
20:23a month ago


Oh, what a start for Brentford!

Arsenal make a miserable job of clearing their lines and Pinnock heads the ball straight back to Canos on the edge of the box. The Spaniard shifts it onto his right foot and blasts an emphatic effort in at the near post.

This has been a superb start from the Bees.

20:22a month ago


The last five minutes or so have been fairly scrappy, with both defences holding pretty firm - but you get the feeling that with the attacking talent on display tonight, chances are just around the corner. 
20:18a month ago


Arsenal are really pressurising here with their patient build-up. Tierney's cross into the middle goes all the way over to Chambers on the other side of the box, and the defender slammed it into the mixer but Brentford were able to clear their lines.
20:15a month ago


It's Arsenal's turn to threaten as Smith Rowe finds Balogun behind the Brentford defence, but the forward's attempted flick into the middle doesn't come off.
20:13a month ago


Another opportunity for Brentford!

Toney comes deep to receive the ball before flicking it on for his strike partner Mbeumo. The forward strides into the box before lashing a vicious effort at goal, but it clatters of the post and out for a goal-kick.

20:12a month ago


Mbeumo and Henry link up down the left, and the latter's cross into the middle deflects off white but Toney still manages to get his head to it. The looping effort failed to trouble Leno, though.
20:08a month ago


Brilliant pressure from Brentford causes Mari to boot the ball out of play from inside his own penalty area. The defender was left with no where to go.
20:07a month ago


Henry attempts a quick throw-in to catch the Arsenal defence off-guard, but he left too much on it for Toney to reach it.
20:04a month ago


Norgaard sends Smith Rowe to the floor with a crunching tackle. There's a good intensity to this game early on; no doubt the long overdue presence of the fans has something to do with that.
20:01a month ago


Early, early half-chance for Arsenal as new signing Sambi floats a ball into the box for Martinelli, but the Brazilian misjudges the header and the chance peters out.
20:00a month ago


Aaand it's live!

Arsenal get things underway at the Brentford Community Stadium.

19:57a month ago

Here we go!

The teams are out on the pitch now, the season begins in just a matter of moments.
19:50a month ago

Kick-off imminent

We're just the ten minutes away now...
19:03a month ago

Arsenal line-up

Leno; Chambers, White, Mari, Tierney; Sambi, Xhaka; Pepe, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli; Balogun.

Subs: Hein, Bellerin, Cedric, Holding, Tavares, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Nelson, Saka.

18:58a month ago

Brentford line-up

Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Janelt, Norgaard, Onyeka, Henry; Mbeumo, Toney.

Subs: Gunnarsson, Roerslev, Sorensen, Goode, Bidstrup, Ghoddos, Dervisoglu, Wissa, Forss.

18:53a month ago

Stay tuned

That’s it for now, but the live text commentary will resume around one hour before kick-off when we’ll bring you the team news.
18:48a month ago

How to watch

This fixture will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event for supporters with a Sky subscription, though you can of course follow all of the action as it happens right here on VAVEL UK with minute-by-minute updates on all the goings on during the match.
18:43a month ago

Mikel Arteta quotes

“If you look historically at what they [Brentford] have done in the last few years there’s a very clear direction. I think from top to bottom of the club they know what they want to do and they execute it really well. I think they will be a really tough opponent for every team in the Premier League.


“Our goal is to get the best version consistently that’s going to bring us closer to winning football matches. That’s what I want from the team. If we do that consistently in every single match, we’re going to be in a good place.


“In this first period of the transfer window I think we’ve done a few things we wanted to do and it’s going to help us to get the squad in a much better place. There is still a bit of the widow to go, so I’m sure things will happen either way.”

18:38a month ago

Thomas Frank quotes

“I’ve been here only a fraction of the time compared to other people here in the club but I have now been here four-and-a-half years. It has been a remarkable journey for a lot of people. We are proud, we are excited, we can’t wait but we want to go out there and prove ourselves.


“After the play-off final there was massive relief, satisfaction and joy because we achieved our target. But standing there at the top of the mountain, you looked over and there was another mountain which is even higher and steeper. We now want to get on top of that. There is no satisfaction in getting into the Premier League and doing badly.


“It has been a remarkable summer. Every summer in the Championship we have had to sell players but this summer we haven’t sold anyone, we have only added. I have a big belief in the squad. Maybe I will be wrong in a year’s time but if you don’t have that belief in your team, you aren’t going to achieve anything.”

18:33a month ago

Arsenal team news

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta could hand debuts to new signings Ben White, Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.


However, Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah and Gabrial Magalhaes are all expected to be out until September at the earliest, while Rob Holding is also a doubt for this one.

18:28a month ago

Brentford team news

Thomas Frank has a nearly-fully fit squad to choose from, however Josh Dasilva remains a long-term absentee and Mathias Jensen is still getting back up to pace after his extended holiday period following his involvement at Euro 2020.


Talismanic striker Ivan Toney will start here; there had been concerns about his fitness in pre-season, but the Englishman is not fit and raring to go.

18:23a month ago

Match facts

The most recent competitive encounter between the two sides — and the only one since 1947 — came in the form of a League Cup fixture in September 2018, from which Arsenal emerged victorious.


A first-half brace from Danny Welbeck put the hosts in the driving seat at the Emirates Stadium before a precise free-kick from Alan Judge halved the deficit, but Brentford’s comeback was nipped in the bud by Alex Lacazette’s stoppage time strike which restored the two-goal lead.


Brentford’s most recent league meeting with Arsenal was also their last top-flight match — it ended in a 1-0 win for the Gunners at Griffin Park in May 1947.

18:18a month ago

Recapping 2020/21: Arsenal

It was one to forget for the Gunners — they finished 8th in the league (the same as the season prior despite registering five points more), were knocked out in the early stages of the FA Cup, and scuppered their potential saving grace by losing to Spanish outfit Villarreal in the semi-final of the Europa League.


All of this means that, for the first time since 1995/96 and just the third time in the Premier League era, Arsenal will not be competing in European competition of any kind in the upcoming campaign.


Could this, though, be a blessing in disguise for the Gunners? They no longer have Thursday night travels across the continent to contend with and, as a result, may benefit from a much fitter, fresher squad, which could serve them well throughout 2021/22.

18:13a month ago

Recapping 2020/21: Brentford

A top-half side in all of their seven years in the Championship between 2014 and 2021, the Bees finally went one step further last term to earn promotion, a monumental achievement for a club of Brentford’s stature.


For the vast majority of the season they looked strong contenders for automatic promotion via one of the top two positions in the division, however it was a feat ultimately realised through the playoffs — they beat Swansea City in the final in May thanks to goals from arch marksman Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes.


The challenge now will be maintaining their top flight status, and their performance in this fixture — against one of historically the stronger sides in the division — could be an early indication as to whether or not they have what it takes to survive.

18:08a month ago


Yes, it’s back. After a brilliant summer of football, the 2021/22  season is now upon us, and it promises to be another captivating and enticing spectacle.


The new league campaign kicks off with the visit of Arsenal to Premier League newcomers Brentford and their stunning new home, the Brentford Community Stadium — what better way to begin the season?!

18:03a month ago

Hello and welcome!

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live text commentary of this Premier League fixture, Brentford vs Arsenal. Stay tuned for a comprehensive preview followed by live updates from when the match kicks off at 20:00 BST.