After the Gunners’ comfortable 3-0 victory at Brentford, Thomas Frank referred to Arsenal as “title contenders.” Mikel Arteta saw a “completely different” club from the one that fell to the Bees last year.
Captain Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko were absent through injury on Sunday.
However, Arsenal hardly ever appeared concerned as they handed Brentford their worst top-flight loss at home since May 1947.
First-half goals from William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus were followed by Fabio Vieira’s spectacular goal on his full-league debut to secure the win.
After the international break, Arsenal, who reclaimed the top spot in the Premier League from Manchester City, may face tougher challenges against Tottenham and Liverpool.
Frank expects them to be challenging at the top this season.
Frank told Sky Sports:
“We lost 3-0 to the number one in the Premier League.
“I said before they are a top side.
“I think we performed pretty well, not 10 [out of] 10, but if you want to win or get something out of the team flying, you cannot concede the first from a set-piece and then the second one.
“In general, unless it is something unbelievable brilliance from a set-piece, I want us to avoid every set-piece goal. There are a few bits we could have done better for the second.
“They didn’t create that many chances but had quality in moments. We lost the game, and I hate losing.
“They are top of the table, so you cannot argue with that. They have done brilliantly.
“Looking at their quality, they must be title contenders.”
It was a notably different performance from the one Arsenal put on against Brentford in the analogous game last season, which resulted in a 2-0 victory for the hosts.
“Many people described what happened last year as a really bad day.
“The team had to evolve and journey together to react.
“You can give up, question everybody, blame them or learn a lesson and look in the mirror. Today, there was a very different team.
“It was very difficult in a rollercoaster of actions where you are constantly under pressure.
“They are very good at what they do, but we managed to take the game how we wanted, so credit the boys.
“We wanted to get back to the top. Yesterday [City] took it away, but we showed that desire from the first minute, and we have done it.”
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