Gunners almost turned easy win into trauma but should they be praised for finding way? Or pilloried for potential profligacy?

Seeing Arsenal score their late winner was a little like hearing an old acquaintance has just received an official pardon. The inclination is to congratulate him, but what you’re really wondering is how on earth he got himself in the position of needing one.

In the end, because they won, this was a story of resilience and Aaron Ramsdale, at least, deserves credit for the way, having handed Brentford an equaliser, he made two outstanding second-half saves, one from Ivan Toney and one from Nathan Collins. There will be praise, too, for the way Arsenal more generally kept going and found the win that took them top of the table, but this was not a game that would assuage the suspicion that their volatility could undermine their title challenge. When things are good, Arsenal are very, very good, but when they are bad, they are perhaps not quite as good as they need to be.

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