ARSENAL’s top-four hopes were dented by Brighton’s scintillating Potter-ball.
The Gunners came into Saturday’s crunch match off the back of a 3-0 defeat to London rivals Crystal Palace.
With injuries to key players Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney, boss Mikel Arteta was forced to play midfielder Granit Xhaka at left-back.
A move which didn’t go in Arsenal’s favour as Brighton took a first half lead whilst attacking down the left-hand side.
The Seagulls got down the flank with Enock Mwepu, who picked out Leandro Trossard inside the Gunners’ penalty area.
The Belgian opened up his foot and fired high into the top-right corner.
Arsenal thought they’d snatched a goal back just before half-time through Gabriel Martinelli.
But VAR intervened and after a lengthy review, Arsenal went into half-time a goal behind.
Halfway through the second half, Brighton extended their lead in emphatic fashion.
A combination of Marc Cucurella, Trossard and South American whizzkid Moises Caicedo carved the Gunners open.
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Caicedo then pulled the ball back towards the edge of the box for Mwepu, who side-footed the ball on the bounce into the corner of the net.
Martin Odegaard pulled one back for Arsenal late on with a wonderful strike but it was too little too late.
The loss hands West Ham a chance to leapfrog Arsenal if they manage to beat Brentford on Sunday.
But the Gunners will have two games in hand over their London rivals.