Premier League (PL) leaders Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Brentford at the Emirates Stadium, leaving the Gunners without a win in three matches in all competitions.
Looking to respond after suffering their first PL defeat since September last time out, the hosts were nearly caught cold inside the opening five minutes, but Rico Henry failed to convert Ivan Toney’s teasing cross, firing a long way wide of Aaron Ramsdale’s goal.
Thomas Frank’s men continued to impress after the restart, but the usually clinical Toney continued to be off-colour, firing a low effort wide of Ramsdale’s near post.
The change had an immediate impact, as just four minutes after coming on, the Belgian arrived at the back post to convert Bukayo Saka’s brilliant cross and break the deadlock.
A set-piece delivery into the Arsenal box created chaos that was never dealt with, allowing Christian Nørgaard to square for Toney, who couldn’t possibly miss from point-blank range.
Late Arsenal pressure for a winner was brilliantly handled by the visitors, who held firm for a draw.
Remarkably, they’ve now won 12 points from a possible 21 against ‘Big Six’ opposition this term, as they ended the Gunners’ seven-match winning run in PL London derbies.
Perhaps the title pressure is starting to affect Arteta and his team, but even in disappointment here, they stretched the gap at the summit to six points over holders Manchester City.