Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0 on the opening night of the new Premier League season with goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard.
As Thomas Frank had promised, the Bees did not change their style to cope with the step up after they won promotion via the Championship play-offs at the end of last season.
Canos’ opener came midway through a first half when the hosts pressed and passed impressively, much to the delight of a raucous home crowd making full use of the chance to watch their team inside the Community Stadium.
Mikel Arteta’s Friday the 13th was a nightmare for him. In addition to the absences of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – both of whom are ill – new recruit Ben White was part of a defence that conceded a second via a long throw.
In the first 15 minutes, Arsenal held 66.5% of the ball. However, this dominance dissipated as the match wore on, with the visitors being tense at times by their relentless opponents.
Before the break, after hitting the post from a tight angle earlier, Bryan Mbeumo failed to show the required composure after excellent footwork created another opportunity, scuffing his shot wide.
Nevertheless, Brentford did get the goal their positive approach deserved through Canos, who cut in off the left flank to fire through Calum Chambers’ legs and beat Bernd Leno at the near post.
Despite the improvement that Arsenal showed after the break, David Raya denied the lively Emile Smith-Rowe, while any hopes of a comeback were shattered when a worryingly soft centre was exposed.
Mads Bech Sorensen’s throw-in delivery evaded several Gunners at the front post and bounced through to Norgaard, who displayed the determination lacking from Arsenal’s defenders to nod in and seal a debut victory.