The WarmDown: Brentford outshine Arsenal in a 2-0 cruise to victory
BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Albert Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal looks dejected after they concede their second goal during the Premier League match between Brentford and Arsenal at Brentford Community Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

A bold and stoic Brentford under coach Thomas Frank flattened a repetitive Arsenal side in the Premier League's opening fixture; both their goals coming from the right side of Mikel Arteta's "new & improved" defence. 

It was the promoted sides' first game back in the top flight for 74 years, their last ever game in the division coming  similarly against the same visitors in 1947.

The odds were stacked against Arteta's men before a ball was even kicked, Alex Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang ruled out of the clash due to both being "unwell." 

The Gunners boss fielded a team involving two new signings in Ben White and Sambi Lokonga. Folarin Balogun and Gabriel Martinelli came in to replace the two missing forwards in their central and wide roles. 

Familiar face Granit Xhaka led out the north London side as skipper, since his notorious stripping of the club captaincy after storming off the pitch against Crystal Palace just two seasons ago.  

New signing White looked promising, living up to his reputation as a ball playing centre back. However, despite the £50 million pound man's presence on the field, Arsenal's defensive mishaps seemed to continue where they left off last season. 

Long serving Gunners right-back Calum Chambers was undoubtedly at fault for the Bees' opener, losing the ball from a clearance and for not getting tight enough to Spanish wing-back Sergi Canos, who fired home under the flailing arms of keeper Bernd Leno.

The visitors went into the break looking deflated- they have never won a game under their current manager when trailing at half time. 

Hale End graduate Balogun was noticeably thrown in at the deep end on his first league start for his boyhood club, looking frustratingly isolated in the red & white final third. Although Arteta's trusted youngsters have been a saving grace for their team in recent times, the young striker left more to be desired after the 90 minutes. 

The Bees saw out the game comfortably after adding to their tally, Christian Nørgaard bundling in a header following a long throw alongside some calamitous defending from the opposition. 

This is the first time the away side have lost to a newly promoted team on the opening day of the season since they faced Bristol City in the 1976-77 season.

  • Same Old Arsenal

Emile Smith-Rowe started in the 10 position following his contract renewal which sees him at the Emirates until at least 2026. Although unsurprisingly being the shining star in a poor side, it wasn't enough to get a result or even score a goal. 

The youngster was at the heart of the visitor's best chance of the game, which ended up in a fantastic save by Brentford keeper David Raya following Nicolas Pepe's goal-bound lash. 

Although the new boys looked neat and tidy in possession, un-phased by a hungry Bees side, they just couldn't muster up enough attacking flare to create meaningful chances. 

Pressure will undoubtedly build on the recruitment team to bring in another attacking player, as apparent talks for previous loanee Martin Ødegaard have taken place this week. 

moreover the right-back position will surely be up for contest once more this season amongst the Arsenal defenders, Chambers looking shaky in the build up to both goals conceded. 

It wont get any easier for the Gunners. They play Manchester City and Chelsea next.


  • Exciting new Brentford

Before the opening game, the neutral fan would've likely only been aware of EFL Championship record breaker Ivan Toney, however following Brentford's stellar victory, Premier League watchers and scouts alike will cast a watchful eye over an abundance of new talent.

Toney himself was a gargantuan header of the ball, bullying Mari and White in the air. Although the the Jamaican didn't score, he won the man of the match award and will be the first name on the team-sheet for the club's next match against Crystal Palace. 

Wing-back Canos looked too hot for the opposite defence to handle, registering an impressive two shots and scoring the first goal. His opener was the blow to Arteta's men that they just couldn't recover from.

Ethan Pinnock has been described as a "Rolls Royce" defender, stifling any pressure threatening the Bees' defence on the night. Toney's international team-mate also looked dangerous from corners.