Plenty for Gus Poyet to be positive about as Brighton just fail to better Arsenal in the FA Cup

Brighton 2 Arsenal 3

Liam Brady, the former Brighton manager who is Arsenal's director of youth development, said at half-time during Saturday's dramatic tie at the American Express Community Stadium that the Sussex club's rise from ground-sharing at Gillingham to their present status is "the best story in football for a long, long time". He also admitted that, given his present role, he only wanted them to manage a draw against the Gunners, which for much of the second half seemed a likely outcome.

In the end, Brady's wish was thwarted in part by the introduction of his latter-day incarnation as an Arsenal hero and playmaker, Jack Wilshere. Having left the England midfielder and Theo Walcott on the bench for 70 minutes, Arsène Wenger decided they were needed to avoid the replay that Brady would have so welcomed.

Brighton's impressive manager, Gus Poyet, was expecting reinforcements to arrive if the game was tight and admitted some concern about how his side would cope, especially after losing two players by half-time.

"We knew pretty well they would come on in the last 20 minutes and [wondered] how we were going to be at that time physically to compete with them. I saw one sprint from Theo Walcott and it was scary. How to stop him? Maybe shoot him?

"You play 70 to 75 minutes and you have to compete with someone sprinting like that in the last 20 minutes. And Wilshere going past people in the middle."

Sure enough, Brighton were pushed back, Walcott eventually scoring the late winning goal with a volley that took a deflection after Wilshere's corner had not been punched far enough by the home goalkeeper, Caspar Ankergen.

Arsenal's Invincibles of a decade ago have become the Unpredictables. From one game to the next, and even within the same match, it is impossible to predict how well they will play. When Wenger decides he can afford to rest key players, the unknown element becomes even greater, which was very much the case on Saturday. The biggest risk, it transpired, was not so much leaving out Walcott, Wilshere and Santi Cazorla as trusting a much-weakened back four to contain Brighton's lively attacking.

If Arsenal's Spanish scouts did not know about Michu in La Liga, they will have been equally ignorant about Leonardo Ulloa, a similarly priced signing from Almeira, where he had hardly been playing. Ulloa made a scoring debut, taking advantage of Per Mertesacker's poor marking, just as Ashley Barnes had done earlier, and left Poyet optimistic that he can now emulate the impact made by Saturday's outstanding individual performer, Olivier Giroud, who scored two fine goals.

"The biggest problem was Giroud," said Poyet. "I knew he was strong but he was massive. Very difficult, you learn a lot from that. He was very strong. I won't say unstoppable, but for us he was not like the normal striker from the Championship. He put himself between the ball and the player and he didn't lose too many challenges. When you are defending against a very good player and you are not too smart, and it's a very good team, it is almost impossible."

An example for Ulloa then? "That's the idea. At Championship level, Leo should give us that kind of power. It was a good start for Leo. He scored and he was feeling the atmosphere, so we will see where that takes us."

The desired destination is the Premier League. "I think we have a great chance," added Poyet. "I know there are six teams ahead of us but I still think it's in our hands."

Match facts

Brighton: ANKERGREN 6/10, CALDERON 7, GREER 6, EL-ABD 6, BRIDGE 7, BRIDCUTT 8, LOPEZ 6, HAMMOND 6, BARNES 7, BUCKLEY 7, ULLOA 7

Arsenal: SZCZESNY 6, SANTOS 3, KOSCIELNY 6, MERTESACKER 4, JENKINSON 6, PODOLSKI 7, RAMSEY 6, ROSICKY 7, DIABY 6, OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN 6, GIROUD 8

Goals: Brighton Barnes 33, Ulloa 62. Arsenal Giroud 16, 56, Walcott 85. Substitutions: Brighton Dicker 7 (Greer, 37), LuaLua 7 (Buckley, h-t), Mackail-Smith (Ulloa, 73). Arsenal Walcott 7 (Oxlade-Chamberlain, 68), Wilshere (Rosicky, 68), Gibbs (Santos, 78). Bookings: Brighton Lopez. Arsenal Giroud, Ramsey. Man of the match Giroud. Match rating 8/10. Possession: Brighton 41%. Arsenal 59%. Attempts on target: Brighton 3. Arsenal 6. Referee M Oliver (Northumberland). Att 27,113

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition