Wenger's nightmare continues as Arsenal lose away to Brighton

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However, Gunners fans began to concoct conspiracy theories on Sunday afternoon when he was left out of their squad to face Brighton at the AMEX - although the club insist that he was just rested ahead of a tricky Thursday night clash with AC Milan. "When" is surely the word now rather than "if".

Cech was beaten to a high ball following a corner to the back post, and Lewis Dunk slotted the loose ball home from the edge of the six-yard box in the seventh minute.

While Arsenal are low on self-belief, Brighton are flying as they remain unbeaten in all competitions since January 20, have two players up for the Premier League player of the month award and, in Hughton, a boss nominated for the manager's accolade.

Even if Arsenal were to win, however, they will still be marooned in sixth place - eight points adrift of fifth-placed Chelsea, who are to play City today.

It was better from Arsenal, with Brighton's incursions now limited to counters led by the risky Jose Izquierdo. Shane Duffy had to execute a well-timed tackle to deny Aubameyang and Mezut Ozil fired a shot just over the bar.

Instead, Arsenal were repeatedly pushed back with Cech forced to save well from Gross before Dunk wastefully headed over the bar.

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That's the opinion of Rio Ferdinand anyway, who dropped nothing short of a truth bomb on Arsenal during the Brighton game.

A deserved Brighton second duly arrived on 26 minutes when Laurent Koscielny conceded possession and the ball was worked to Gross on the right. This was not Arsenal being undone by superior skill or speed but failing a test of basic defending.

Chants of Wenger Out came from the away end as Arsenal trailed at the break but Wenger's half-time team talk seemed to inspire his players slightly as the Gunners came out fighting in the second half. Kolašinac was probably lucky not to pick up a second yellow card.

"After they got one back, it was a bit of a cagey affair".

Cech is an outstanding professional - something he showed in the second half here when, with other players seeking confrontation after an very bad Sead Kolasinac challenge flattened Ezequiel Schelotto, he ran 40 yards to check on the injured Brighton player - and an intelligent, respected voice in the dressing room but his on-pitch role is surely on borrowed time.

The Gabonese forward beat Ryan in goal for Brighton with a delightful flick from close range.