Havertz scores his most important Arsenal goal in victory over Brentford
Substitute Kai Havertz’s late header took Arsenal to the top of the Premier League with a dramatic win at Brentford.
In Mikel Arteta’s 200th game in charge of the Gunners, Havertz’s 89th-minute goal rescued a largely forgettable display in west London.
After Manchester City and Liverpool drew earlier on Saturday, this win moves the Gunners one point clear at the summit.
Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard had a goal ruled out in the first half by the video assistant referee (VAR) but defeat was harsh on Brentford who were only denied goals of their own by exceptional clearances off the line from Declan Rice and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Arteta has won more matches in his first 200 in charge than any of the other nine Arsenal managers to reach that milestone – and his bold team selection here showed he was determined to take three points.
However, the return of Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus from injury did not really bear fruit in a mostly ponderous display.
They upped the tempo in the second half but waves of attacks were repelled by Thomas Frank’s well-drilled defence.
That was the case until a moment of magic from Bukayo Saka finally unlocked the door and Havertz produced his most significant contribution in an Arsenal shirt to head home at the back post.
Brentford stay 11th in the table after their second successive defeat.