It went from bad to worse when Laurent Koscielny gave possession away with a wayward pass out of defence. Brighton worked the ball to Pascal Gross and he crossed for Glenn Murray to bury a downward header.
Cech kept the score down with a vital stop from Anthony Knockaert but Brighton looked dangerous every time they came forward and were dominant in the air.
Things looked bleak, but we dug deep and grabbed a lifeline just before the break.
Alex Iwobi was first to a loose clearance and kept his head to pick out Granit Xhaka inside the box. The Swiss midfielder’s driven low ball found Aubameyang, who stuck out a leg to flick the ball beyond Mathew Ryan.
We almost drew level before the break when Henrikh Mkhitaryan curled in an inviting cross and Duffy, under pressure from Koscielny, powered a header against his own post.
That was bad luck. Nonetheless, there was now an urgency and intensity about our play – and that continued after the break.
Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang and – most spectacularly – Ozil forced saves from Ryan as we forced Brighton back.
But the home side held firm to condemn us to a fourth straight defeat in all competitions.