Arsene Wenger says his side’s inability to cope with Southampton’s physicality is as much of a concern as the 4-0 scoreline.
Ronald Koeman’s men outfought the Gunners in every position as they deservedly routed their visitors on a traumatic Boxing Day for the visitors.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Wenger struggled to take any positives from a wretched performance.
“I don’t much take too much notice of the scoreline in my consideration but we lost too many challenges, they were sharper than us.
“We were unlucky on the first one [goal]. The first shot on goal from the right-back [Martina] goes in the top corner.
“The second one was a foul on [Laurent] Koscielny and that was the turning point but the referee didn’t see it, then we were exposed on counter-attacks.
“It’s a disappointing result but I have to say well done to Southampton. In many challenges we were second best. The referee let a lot go as well but when you’re not dominant that’s the price you pay.”
Asked about his side’s chances in the title race after this evening’s setback he continued: “I said many times it’s down to consistency to fight in every game and find the resources to produce top-level performances.
“[It] was a very, very physical game and this team [Southampton] fights for their life – as long as we couldn’t score the first goal you could see it would be a difficult game.”