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Key talking points as Rice and Havertz fire Gunners top
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Jamie Gordon
Declan Rice is a key figure for Arsenal
Declan Rice is a key figure for Arsenal

Summer signings Declan Rice and Kai Havertz combined to keep Arsenal's Premier League title challenge on track.

Rice put the Gunners ahead against Brentford but an error from Aaron Ramsdale allowed Yoane Wissa to level before the break.

Mikel Arteta's side were heading for two dropped points but Havertz popped up with an invaluable late winner in a blow to Manchester City and Liverpool.

Read on for our key talking points.

Rice Rice Baby

Can a £100million-plus signing ever be considered a bargain?

Arteta may believe so after another superb performance from Rice, who has added a new dimension to Arsenal's midfield.

Given licence to roam by Jorginho's presence, the former West Ham talisman, 25, has made moving to a top club look seamless.

His headed opener was taken like a seasoned centre forward and he was close to adding a second as a 25-yard drive cannoned off the bar.

Ramsdale drops the ball

Many onlookers felt Ramsdale was hard done by when Arteta brought David Raya in as his replacement.

With loanee Raya prevented from playing against his parent club, Ramsdale was given a chance to shine but ended up making a howler.

The England stopper dallied on the ball and Wissa threw himself in front of an attempted clearance to level against the run of play.

There will still be a considerable market for his signature this summer and Ramsdale made two huge saves in the second half to highlight what he offers.

Toney pursuit

Arsenal are believed to be one of the clubs determined to sign Ivan Toney at the end of the season.

The frontman could have added to his price tag with an audacious long-range lob that a backpedalling Ramsdale just kept out.

Toney also cleared an early chance off his own line to ensure his audition was a success despite not getting on the scoresheet.

Arsenal's failure to convert dominance into goals can be an Achilles' heel at times and the Bees striker could be the answer.

Tight at the top... and bottom

Brentford will be delighted with their performance despite coming up short.

The Bees had lost 10 of their last 13 top-flight games but showed plenty of spirit at the Emirates and could have taken all three points from an in-form Gunners.

Sitting just five points clear of Luton, the West Londoners will know they need to start getting results as we enter the business end of the season.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be delighted after going top of the table ahead of City's showdown with Liverpool tomorrow.

All White on the night

Ben White may be Arsenal's unsung hero.

The technically gifted defender is a huge part of how Arteta likes to play as he fills the full-back role to perfection.

With assists for both goals tonight, his end product is improving too as he sent in superb crosses for Rice and Havertz.

Brentford, City, Liverpool and Tottenham fans may point out that Havertz was lucky to still be on the field after taking a suspicious tumble while on a yellow card before his goal.

Arsenal supporters will not care as their summer signing continues to pay back his hefty fee


Premier LeagueArsenalBrentfordDeclan RiceIvan Toney
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