This will not go down as a classic. For much of the game, you would have been fair to question if either side actually wanted to go through the inconvenience of winning. It had the air of two schoolboys squaring up to each other only to realise that they didn't really want to fight after all, but needing to save face in front of the playground. «Hold me back» both sides yelled as neither particularly wanted to take the first swing.
Eventually, Arsenal obliged through Reiss Nelson's early goal. From that point on it had appeared that both sides had covertly agreed that the rest of the game would be a Cold War. Each team threatened to take invasive action on the other's goal, but neither was willing to push the big red button. Eventually though Brentford decided to do some punching of their own.
As the second half progressed the Bees decided begrudgingly to put on a show for their home fans and started wracking up the chances. While the away end full of Arsenal fans might not have been too happy about Brentford's late arrival to the party, one man who would have secretly been quite pleased was Aaron Ramsdale.
The England international had endured a relatively quiet first half on his first start since being dropped for David Raya in Arsenal's last three games. He had flirted with danger when Yoane Wissa closed down his attempts to play from the back on the edge of the box, but largely his distribution had been good in front of a Gunners fanbase who began to serenade him from minute one.
Ramsdale isn't the type of player who needs everything to be rosy to reach his best form. He's instead a man who seems to prefer the thorns. As he trotted out to the Brentford fans for the second period he was greeted with aRead on football.london