Aussies Abroad: Mooy and Ryan inspire Brighton to shock win at Arsenal
Aaron Mooy starred and created the winning goal as Brighton and Hove Albion stunned Arsenal, 2-1, at the Emirates Stadium.
Neal Maupay headed the decisive goal from Mooys’ precise left-footed cross on 80 minutes as the Seagulls inflicted defeat on interim coach Freddie Ljungberg on his first match in the Gunners dugout.
Adam Webster had fired Brighton into a 36th-minute lead but the visitors saw their advantage struck off when Alexandre Lacazette pounced for the Gunners in the 50th minute.
Mooy was deployed on the left of a midfield diamond by Brighton head coach Graham Potter and the Caltex Socceroos playmaker delivered an outstanding performance in attack and defence as the visitors edged the possession count and and landed 20 shots to Arsenal’s 12.
Mooy received the highest Opta rating of any player at the Emirates and led his team in touches with 70. He completed 37 of his 46 passes, made four clearances, fired in three shots and created three chances.
The 29-year-old attempted the most dribbles in the game, four, with 100% success rate, and led the match in tackles, alongside Seagulls centre-back Dan Burn, with four.
While Brighton had the better of the match against the shell-shocked home side, goalkeeper Mat Ryan was also called into action to keep the underdogs on top.
Ryan earned the BBC’s Man of the Match honours after making four total saves to preserve the win for Potter’s side.
The Caltex Socceroos number one was called into action to gather a low strike from David Luis on 10 minutes, before he made an excellent reaction save with his feet to stop Joe Willock heading in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross five minutes before half-time.
Ryan held substitute Nicolas Pepe’s 83rd minute drive and then topped the lot by diving full-length across goal to push Gabriel Martinelli’s 87th-minute header around the the Brighton post.
The 13th-placed Seagulls are now only a point behind Arsenal, and Mooy and Ryan's side face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday AEDT.
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