Sergi Canos carved his name into the west London club’s Hall of Fame when he cut inside Calum Chambers and drilled a low shot inside the near post of Bernd Leno after 22 minutes to spark an explosion of joy from the fans who have waited so long to take their place in the new 17,500-capacity stadium.
It was the least Brentford deserved as, delighted in their chance to take on the big boys, they took the game to an Arsenal team who at times looked disjointed and toothless in the absence of ailing strike duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Some hesitant Arsenal defending after a long throw in the 73rd minute allowed Christian Norgaard to head home the 2nd and Brentford, the team who suffered an agonizing 9 playoff failures before, finally succeeding last season, were in dreamland.
A lifelong Brentford fan who witnessed the club’s last game in top-flight football 74 years ago has said he was “delighted” to be in the crowd to cheer on his team in the Premier League.
Derek Burridge was at Griffin Park on May 26 1947 where, as with Friday night’s Premier League opener, his side faced Arsenal.
There were some community positives achieved in the game as both sets of fans cheered in Bukayo Saka off the bench as he came on in the second half in what was a lovely moment for the youngster on an otherwise dismal evening.
LUKAKU UNAVAILABLE FOR OPENER
It has been confirmed that Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea’s record signing, will miss the clash against Crystal Palace in his side’s Premier League opener at home. Striker Lukaku joined the Blues for a reported £97.5m on Thursday, but the transfer from Inter Milan was not concluded in time for him to feature on Saturday afternoon. Hakim Ziyech is sidelined due to the shoulder injury he sustained in the midweek UEFA Super Cup success against Villarreal, while N’Golo Kante has fitness issues following the Super Cup win and is a doubt as well.
New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is without summer loan signing Conor Gallagher for the trip to Stamford Bridge. The midfielder joined the Eagles from Chelsea and is ineligible to face his parent club, while captain Luka Milivojevic will be absent due to personal reasons.
KANE BACK AT TRAINING
Elsewhere, Harry Kane rejoined group training with his Tottenham teammates on Friday following talks with manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
The club is preparing for their opening Premier League game of the season against Manchester City on Sunday, as speculation over Kane’s future intensifies.