Frank Onyeka makes stunning Premier League debut in historic Arsenal defeat

The Nigerian international rarely put a foot wrong as the Premier League newcomers stunned their more illustrious foes

Frank Onyeka had a Premier League debut to remember as he delivered a stunning performance as Brentford clinched a famous 2-0 victory over Arsenal in the season opener.

The Nigeria international only moved to the Brentford Community Stadium on a five-year deal from FC Midtjylland in July, and he impressed during the preseason friendlies.

And it was no surprise that the Bees’ manager Thomas Frank named him in the starting lineup against the Gunners as he joined Vitaly Janelt in strengthening the home side’s midfield.

On the other hand, Nigeria descent Folarin Balogun lead Arsenal’s attack in the absence of Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. 

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Still the Gunners were the favourites as Brentford only gained promotion to the English top-flight as the 2021 Championship play-offs winners. But the Bees put up a decent showing against Mikel Arteta’s men and were full value for the three points.

Onyeka was crucial to the Bees’ defensive solidity, cutting out the visitors’ dangerous incursions and creating the platform for them to launch their own attacks.

Sergi Carnos beat Bernd Leno in his near post with a low shot in the 22nd minute to score Brentford’s first-ever goal in the Premier League. And Christian Thers Nørgaard’s 73rd-minute strike snuffed life out of Arsenal’s hopes of a comeback win.

Onyeka was replaced by Bidstrup with ten minutes left but the damaged had already been done and the former Midtjylland man would be pleased with his maiden showing on one of the biggest football stages in the world.