With the winner from the bench at Brighton, Alexandre Lacazette rode to Arsenal’s rescue and Hove Albion as a 1-0 victory made it back-to-back Premier League wins after Christmas.
On Boxing Day, a seven-game winless streak in the league ended as the Gunners beat Chelsea, even though after a dismal start to the season, Mikel Arteta’s men remained in 15th position.
Instead of building on that victory, on Tuesday at Amex Stadium against Brighton, whose only previous home league win in 2020 had come on Arsenal’s previous visit back in June, a further setback seemed probable for a time.
But Lacazette, who lost his place in the XI to fit-again Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scored for Arsenal 29 seconds after his arrival as a replacement to settle a crucial clash in the bottom half.
There was nothing in the first half to indicate that some momentum from the Chelsea game had been carried forward by Arsenal, with Brighton well on top but a cutting edge lacking for themselves.
With the outside of his right boot, Bernd Leno watched Alireza Jahanbakhsh lash the best early chance across before the goalkeeper was late called into action by the same man with the first shot eight minutes before the break on the mark.
Within a minute of the restart, Arsenal survived a goalmouth scramble, but they eventually provided a hazard on the counter shortly after and Robert Sanchez blocked at point-blank range from Aubameyang.
A strengthened spell saw Gabriel Martinelli drive just over and the breakthrough was prompted by the arrival of Lacazette on 66 minutes.