The future of the Arsenal manager has been under scrutiny after 3-0 defeats to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final last Sunday and in the Premier League on Thursday night, and first-half goals from Lewis Dunk (7) and Glenn Murray (26) prompted more discontent among the away supporters at the Amex Stadium.
Arsenal were ragged and sloppy throughout the first half and fell behind in the seventh minute when Pascal Gross’ corner was headed back across the six-yard box by Shane Duffy and – with Petr Cech out of position – Dunk responded quickest to stab home.
A deserved Brighton second duly arrived on 26 minutes when Laurent Koscielny conceded possession and the ball was worked to Gross on the right. His cross was met by Murray in the six-yard box and the ball squeezed beneath the body of Cech to prompt some ‘Wenger out’ chants in the away end.
But somehow Arsenal halved the deficit with a scruffy goal two minutes before the break. After Duffy had failed to clear, Alex Iwobi pulled the ball back to Granit Xhaka and his pass was smartly deflected beyond Mathew Ryan by the outside of Aubameyang’s right foot.
Incredibly, Arsenal were almost level on the stroke of half-time when Duffy thudded a header onto his own post and they also had the first major chance of the second period when Mesut Ozil’s drive forced a save from Ryan.
Sead Kolasinac, who was booked in the first half, avoided further punishment for a match-ending barge on Ezequiel Schelotto and, moments later, Jose Izquierdo shot just wide after driving at the Arsenal defence.
The offside flag denied Brighton a third when Murray finished off a slick move late on, but his first-half header ultimately earned them a third straight home victory, while another insipid Arsenal display will prompt even more discussion over Wenger’s position.