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Brentford defeats Arsenal 2-0, Gunners deep in relegation zone

The Premier League debutantes dominate to earn their first top-flight victory in 74 years. Hey Jude, indeed.

Bryan Mbeumo of Brentford and Pablo Mari of Arsenal battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Brentford and Arsenal at Brentford Community Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Brentford, England. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Newly promoted Brentford FC opened the 2021-22 Premier League season with an upset over what is now a London rival, as the Bees earned a 2-0 victory over Arsenal on Friday night at Brentford Community Stadium.

Sergi Canós and Christian Nørgaard found the net for Brentford in their first top-flight match in 74 years. While possession was dominated by the bigger club at 65.2%, they lacked any creativity in midfield or attack and were consistently on the back foot. Of their 22 shots, only four found the target, most easily saved by Bees keepers David Raya and Patrik Gunnarsson.

With the win Brentford sits atop the EPL Table at least for an evening, a dream for a club that last played in the first division two years after the end of World War II. And the questions about the roster construction of Arsenal shall continue unabated.

The Gunners did start without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette recovering from injury, two outstanding players that will likely keep the Emirates out of a true relegation fight this season.

But the magic of the English Premier League and what makes it special was on full display tonight: One of the biggest clubs in the world falling in their own city to a team with a stadium capacity and budget one-fourth of their rivals.

At Brentford they sing Hey Jude. And when they do it on nights like this, it’s why football is so special.