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13 August 2021 Venue Brentford Community Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Brentford vs Arsenal

All the build-up to tonight's Premier League opener

13 August 2021

A match we've waited 74 years for ... we make our return to the top flight of English football this evening against Arsenal. Check in with all the build-up to a historic night below.


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Despite an eighth-place finish last season meaning Arsenal will be without European football for the first time since 1995, there is a feeling that Mikel Arteta is laying the foundations for a much brighter Arsenal future. 

Much of that optimism comes from Arsenal's strong form in the second-half of last season which was built on a nucleas of exciting young talent coming through at The Emirates. After winning just four of their opening 14 Premier League games, Arsenal won 14 of their remaining 24 league outings with Emile Smith-Rowe (above) and Bukayo Saka among those to come to the fore as the season wore on. 

The Gunners' scoring charts were still dominated by the class acts of Alexandre Lacazette (13) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (10) but Smith-Rowe, Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, and Folarin Balogun all made their mark in with goals and assists as well.

This summer has seen Arsenal spend big in the transfer market to bring in defender Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion, Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, and left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica.  


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Writing for Hot Off The Press journalist Kaya Kaynak expects: "Formation-wise, it will be a 4-2-3-1 as that’s what we’ve seen pretty much right the way through pre-season.

The back four will play quite a high line, press the ball up high and try to win the ball from the opposition. I know Brentford are a team that like to play nice football and so I think Arsenal will try and win the ball from them as high as possible. You can expect left-back Tierney (above) to attack quite aggressively, while I think Calum Chambers will probably be at right-back, drifting into the midfield to form an infield three as a Pep Guardiola style inverted full-back.

Smith Rowe will pick up the ball where he can and dart all over the place and something I’ve noticed throughout the past few weeks is how much the frontline interchange their positions. As I said, it is difficult to say for sure, but I think you can see quite an exciting, fluid line-up. That’s not to say there aren’t defensive weaknesses Brentford could take advantage of"


Thomas Frank has ruled out Josh Dasilva (hip) and Mathias Jensen (foot) while Ivan Toney (neck) is fit to start. 

For Arsenal, there will be no Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Gabriel (knee) and Thomas Partey (ankle) but Bukayo Saka is expected to start, despite only returning to training last week following the European Championships. There are reports that both Aubameyang and Lacazette may also miss out tonight due to illness.


A stylish central-midfielder, Mikel Arteta's 17 year professional career saw him pick up plaudits and trophies wherever he went. He was an Intertoto Cup winner with Paris St Germain in 2001 before doing the League and Cup double with Rangers in 2003. His six-and-a-half years at Everton saw him twice named Player of the Year and also named Players' Player of the Year in 2006. Ending his career with Arsenal, the Spanish Youth International added another pair of FA Cups and two Community Shields to a very impressive career haul. 

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After 539 professional appearances, he retired to focus on coaching and was appointed to Pep Guardiola's backroom staff at Manchester City in 2016. Working alongside fellow assistant coaches Brian Kidd and Domenec Torrent, Arteta helped City to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Carabao Cup trophies.

He left to become Arsenal manager in December 2019, winning his first match as boss on 1 January 2020, a 2-0 victory over Manchester United. Later that season, he led his side to the FA Cup, becoming the first person to win the trophy as both captain and manager of Arsenal. He also became the first boss to win a major trophy in his first season in charge of the club since George Graham in 1987.



Speaking about tonight's game earlier this week, Mikel Arteta told

"If you look historically at what [Brentford] have done in the last few years there’s a very clear direction.

"I think from top to bottom of the club they know what they want to do and they execute it really well. I think they will be a really tough opponent for every team in the Premier League.

"[I like] the clarity in what they do. They’ve been doing it for a long time together and you can see they have that fluidity and chemistry between them, and they believe that the plan they’ve put in place works for them. I think that’s a big strength for any team.

"[Striker Ivan Toney] has shown his quality, that’s for sure. But every recruitment they’ve done in that position over the last few years in that position has been pretty successful, so it’s the player, but I think it’s also the system and how they work with their players.

"There are always different ways [into management]. I think what [Thomas Frank] has done is remarkable. I will share with you the opinion that they are a very exciting team and the way they have come up after a few disappointments in the last few seasons, on the last day, and the way they have reacted tells a lot about them and what Thomas has done there it's fantastic"


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Referee: Michael Oliver 

Assistants: Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett 

Fourth official: Mike Dean 

VAR: Chris Kavanagh 

Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.

Arsenal 20/21

346 fouls - Fewest in Premier League

47 yellow cards - 17th in Premier League

5 red cards - Second-most in Premier League


We will be wearing our new 2021/22 home shirt tonight.


Priced at £49 for adults and £38 for juniors, this season’s kits are available for purchase online The Bees Store will be open until 8pm tonight with the external kiosk (5pm-10.30pm) and Family area kiosk (6.30pm-10.30pm) open at the stadium throughout the evening. 


Tonight's game is a complete sell out with no tickets remaining on the Ticket Exchange. 

Any Season Ticket Holders who have activated the Print-at-Home option, your Brentford Card will be deactivated for the Arsenal match and will not grant you entry for Friday night’s game. You must bring your Print-at-Home ticket to access the stadium.

Tonight's game is exclusively live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky One in the UK. It is also available around the world via the Premier League's broadcast partners

The game will also be available to listen to on iFollow with Mark Burridge and the team. 

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Match Reports

Brentford 2 Arsenal 0

Premier League season opens with home win for Bees

13 August 2021

Brentford announced their arrival in the Premier League by kicking off the 2021/22 season with a 2-0 win over Arsenal. West London beat North London on the opening evening of the campaign with The Bees scoring a goal in each half. Brentford’s first top flight game since 1947 finished with a well-earned victory thanks to goals from Sergi Canós and Christian Nørgaard.

Canós struck midway through the first half, becoming the first Brentford player to score a top division goal since Len Townsend more than seven decades ago. Nørgaard headed home in the second half to seal a win that The Bees deserved. David Raya, in the home goal, made one spectacular save late on, but Bryan Mbeumo hit the post for The Bees and there was little doubt the better team won on the night.

The first shot of the Premier League season came from Arsenal, a long-range effort from Kieran Tierney that was comfortably gathered by Raya. It came within two minutes of the start with Arsenal spending that time on the front foot and in Brentford territory. They moved the ball with precision in the very early stages, but Raya was untroubled, and Brentford soon got in to their attacking stride.

With Nørgaard and Frank Onyeka busy in the centre of midfield, The Bees were forcing Arsenal to play wide. Tierney saw a lot of the ball on the left but was unable to create openings and Brentford were soon the team creating the chances. A deflected cross from Rico Henry was headed on to the roof of the net by Onyeka. Onyeka then won an aerial challenge and Ivan Toney released Mbeumo in the inside right channel, he smashed a shot past Bernd Leno but saw it crash off the outside of the near post.

The opening goal came at the midway point of the first half after Vitaly Janelt had won The Bees a corner on the left. Arsenal cleared the first ball before Brentford recycled from deep and a cross from the left looked set for Janelt but was again cleared. Brentford were not, however, to be denied. Ethan Pinnock nodded down to Canós on the left side of the penalty area, he cut inside and drilled a shot low past Leno’s right hand and in to the net. Brentford had pressed Arsenal in and had their reward, with the home crowd celebrating wildly.

Canós had another sight of goal after playing a one-two of sorts with Onyeka, this time he curled his effort over the bar. There was a better chance soon after. Kristoffer Ajer lofted a ball in to space in the inside right channel and Mbeumo raced on to it. He weaved his way between Ben White and Pablo Marí to leave himself one-on-one with Leno. Mbeumo steadied himself but pulled a right foot shot wide of the far post.

Arsenal almost punished the miss immediately when Tierney crossed from the left and found Folarin Balogun, but he shot wide on the turn under pressure from Henry. Nicolas Pépé curled a shot over from the right side of the penalty area, before Balogun did likewise from the other side. There was a chance for Arsenal in stoppage time when Gabriel Martinelli laid a pass off to Pépé, but his shot was blocked. The Bees had gone close just before when Onyeka fed a ball to Toney and his first time cross just eluding the arriving Janelt.

Brentford went in at half time with the lead and the initiative and perhaps knowing they could have been further ahead. And Arsenal looked to erase the deficit at the start of the second period. Raya was forced in to a save when Tierney fired in a shot from the left side and was busy again soon after. Emile Smith Rowe turned free in midfield and was allowed to run from deep, he attacked the penalty area and let fly with a shot that Raya pushed away to his left.

Arsenal started the second half brightly. Smith Rowe was seeing more of the ball, and they were attacking down both flanks, switching the play to test Brentford’s defence. Raya saved from Albert Sambi Lokonga before Tierney was released in to space and saw a shot deflect in to the side netting. The resulting corner was met by Martinelli, but he headed across the face of goal.

Calum Chambers had a shot blocked and then crossed for Granit Xhaka, but that effort fizzed over the crossbar. And Arsenal’s hold on the game was weakening. Canós forced Arsenal back with a run from deep and his shot was palmed away by Leno. Toney then flicked on to release Janelt and the next pass released Mbeumo. The low shot was pushed away by Leno, but the offside flag was raised after the save meaning any goal may not have stood.

The Bees were pushing for a second and got it with 17 minutes remaining. Mads Bech, on for Ajer, launched a long throw in to the penalty area from the left. Toney jumped at the near post but neither he nor any Arsenal defender could get a touch. Nørgaard rose highest to meet the bouncing ball and nodded home from close range to give Brentford a lead they never looked like losing.

Arsenal tried to respond. Pépé curled a free kick over the bar before Nuno Tavares and Xhaka fired efforts off target. But it was Brentford who nearly got the third when Nørgaard met a Mbeumo corner at the near post, flicking it across the face of goal.

Arsenal’s last real chance to mount a comeback came and went with three minutes remaining. Smith Rowe released Tierney on the left and he cut the ball back to the near post. Pépé let fly with a low first time shot that Raya brilliantly turned around the post. The resulting corner was played short and then delivered for Marí to head wide.

Sambi lashed well over as the minutes ticked down before Reiss Nelson had a shot blocked. Smith Rowe tried to wriggle free but fired off target. And that was that. Referee Michael Oliver, an unobtrusive and authoritative presence throughout, brought the game to a close and Brentford had the perfect start to the season.

Brentford: Raya; Ajer (sub Bech 71 mins), Jansson, Pinnock; Canós, Onyeka (sub Bidstrup 80 mins), Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Toney, Mbeumo (sub Forss 86 mins)

Subs (not used): Gunnarsson, Goode, Roerslev, Ghoddos, Wissa, Dervişoğlu

Arsenal: Leno; Chambers (sub Tavares 81 mins), White, Marí, Tierney; Sambi, Xhaka; Pépé, Smith Rowe, Martinelli (sub Nelson 71 mins); Balogun (sub Saka 58 mins)

Subs (not used): Hein, Bellerín, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Soares, Elneny

Attendance: 16,479 (1,721 away fans)

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Ticket News

Ticket Exchange Arsenal Tickets available to Members at 5pm today

My Bees Members who haven’t yet purchased for Arsenal will be able to buy available tickets from 5pm

11 August 2021

The Bees take on Arsenal for the first game in our Premier League campaign on Friday. On Tuesday, the Ticket Exchange was opened for Season Ticket Holders to list their tickets if they are not attending Friday’s game. This will give any Members who haven’t yet purchased an opportunity to attend the game. 

Unlike in previous seasons, tickets on the Ticket Exchanges will only be available for My Bees Members to purchase. The new process allows us to better control who can buy tickets and ensures any listed tickets find their way to My Bees Members.  

My Bees Members who haven’t yet purchased will be able to buy the available tickets (one ticket per Member) from 5pm today until 12 noon on Friday 13 August. Tickets are only available at the adult prices (no concessions), subject to availability and are extremely limited. This may include some seats in the Family Area where Adults need to be accompanied by a child and where supporters should refrain from using abusive or aggressive language.  

Members will be reminded a couple hours before tickets will become available and not when they are live. So, make sure you are ready at 5pm for your best chance to secure tickets.  

Log in to your account and be ready

Season Ticket Holder reminder: 

If you are not attending and haven’t passed your ticket onto a friend, then make sure you list your ticket on the Ticket Exchange through your ticketing account. You have until 4pm today to list your ticket.   

Log in to your account to list your ticket

Season Ticket Holders whose seats are resold, will be notified by email and will receive 1/19 of their Season Ticket value in ticket credits which can be used to discount their 2022/23 Season Ticket or to purchase 2021/22 Match Tickets.   

Please note, if you or other members of your family don’t have an internet account, you will need to contact the Box Office to get your seat listed on the Ticket Exchange. The listing of tickets on Ticket Exchange is not a guarantee of sale. Ticket credits will only be applied where listed tickets are purchased. For this game only, Season Ticket Holders will not be able to reclaim their seat once it has been placed on the Ticket Exchange.  

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