Arsenal something something with a something Southampton at the Emirates today.
Arsene Wenger sprang a bit of a surprise, opting for Gervinho in the central striking role, with Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain either side of him.
The Gunners had gone into the Interlull in good form and continued that from the off today. Southampton were more cautious than in previous games, sitting more deep with more men behind the ball and initially Arsenal found it hard to break them down.
It didn’t take too long for the goals to start going in. In the 11th minute, Lukas Podolski’s strength in midfield allowed him to set up Gibbs outside him on the left, his cross shot was saved by Kelvin Davis but rebounded in off Hooiveld to make it 1-0.
And it was the German who put Arsenal further ahead in the 31st minute. After Francis Coquelin was fouled outside the area, the German curled home a delicious free kick to double the lead. About a time a left footed player scored one for us, eh?
It was 3-0 just four minutes later. Arteta caught the Southampton defence static and his bouncing through pass was hammered home at the near post by Gervinho, who looked to be enjoying himself in the middle and had provided some moments of real danger previously.
Another Gibbs cross deflected past Davis to make it 4-0 just two minutes after that but Arsenal’s hopes of keeping another clean sheet were dashed by a mistake by the returning Wojciech Szczesny. What should have been a routine catch was fumbled into the path of Fox who had the simple taks of finishing from close range just before half-time.
The second half started with the visitors looking much more like an actual football team having had a manager’s red rocket at the interval, and Arsenal with a three goal lead lacked a little bit of urgency.
There were some dangerous moments at both ends, Southampton helped by some dodgy Szczesny distribution, while Davis made a good save from an Oxlade-Chamberlain rasper. Aaron Ramsey replaced Francis Coquelin and soon afterwards created Arsenal’s fifth.
He controlled a Cazorla pass beautifully before running into the area, away from goal and clipping a shot with the outside of his foot which rebounded off the post to give Gervinho an easy tap in for his second. Arsenal then brought on Giroud and Walcot for Podolski and the Ivorian, and it was the England international who wrapped up the scoring after more fantastic play from Cazorla. 6-1.
Overall, it was as good as you could hope for. A 6-1 win and no complaints. That’s as comfortable as it gets at home, Match of the Day will be a decent watch tonight and all those people predicting that today would be the day that OG got off the mark were dead right.