Report: Southampton 3-2 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Result: Southampton 3-2 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 16th December 2018
Venue: Saint Mary’s

Starting XI: Leno, Bellerin, Lichsteiner, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang

Subs: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Ramsey, Ozil, Lacazette, Nketiah


Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run came to an end at Saint Mary’s as Ralph Hassenhutl’s Southampton snatched a 3-2 win courtesy of substitute Charlie Austin’s late header.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had twice pegged back the home side either side of the break, but the Saints, building on a brace of headers by Danny Ings were not to be denied the three points.

Defeat for Unai Emery’s men, coupled with the weekend’s other results, means we’re now three points adrift of the top four.

First half

Following the late loss of Sead Kolasinac to a thigh problem and the suspensions of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis, Unai Emery might have been tempted to return to a traditional four-man backline. Instead, he pulled Granit Xhaka into defence, slotting him to Laurent Koscielny and Stephan Lichsteiner. Nacho Monreal returned to the left wing-back position and Hector Bellerin prowled the right touchline. The lineup may have had an unusual look to it, but it was at least balanced.

Our start was controlled but, as usual, lacking zip. We had the first chance on five minutes when Aubameyang tested McCarthy after latching onto a Guendouzi through ball, but after that, we really struggled to work the ball from midfield to attack.

The home side, cheered on by a Saint Mary’s crowd lubricated by free pints, slowly grew into the game. Leno had to field a couple of long shots and Nathan Redmond’s ability to work himself between the lines and his willingness to dribble caused us a few headaches.

It wasn’t the supercharged start that new boss Ralph Hassenhutl might have wanted but by the 20th minute the Austrian was celebrating on the touchline as Danny Ings powered home a header from Targett’s brilliant left foot cross. That the former Liverpool striker found so much space between Koscielny and Xhaka highlighted the rawness of their partnership. Leno had no chance. (1-0)

Going behind hasn’t been unusual this season and our response was swift. A period of patient possession saw us work the ball to the left flank where Iwobi fed Monreal behind the backline. The Spaniard looked up and picked out Mkhitaryan who planted a superb header from the penalty spot past McCarthy. It was his fifth Premier League goal for us since joining in January. (1-1)

In the minutes after the goal, we twice more worked our way behind the Saints defence. First Bellerin had a cross cut out, and then Aubameyang was inches away from connecting with a Torreira pass only to be denied by a last-ditch challenge.

Ridiculously, we contrived to concede another goal out of nothing. For the second time, Ings found space between our centre-halves, this time Koscielny and Lichtsteiner, to loop another header into the top corner. Questions have to be asked about why nobody in a spearmint shirt closed down Redmond. (2-1)

All in all, a pretty shoddy opening 45 minutes that ended with Bellerin trudging down the tunnel with an injury.

Second half

Emery switched to a back four to accommodate the loss of Bellerin and on came Alex Lacazette to partner Aubameyang.

We almost had an equaliser immediately. Aubameyang, feeding on a brilliant Mkhitaryan flick, tried to get the ball through McCarthy’s legs but the keeper had taken enough pace off the ball.

Our pressing further up the pitch was obvious for all to see and it soon paid dividends. On 52 minutes Lacazette stole the ball from Romeu on the edge of the Saints box and quickly gave the ball to Mkhitaryan who worked himself onto his left foot. The Armenian was quick to shoot and, courtesy of a massive deflection off Vestergaard, his effort dribbled into the net. (2-2)

With our next attack Iwobi should have put us ahead, but he couldn’t keep his curled effort down. It felt like the home side were there for the taking but instead, we let the game settle into another scrappy phase notable only for a Leno flap at a cross (something of a theme), a Koscielny yellow card and the switching of the injured Redmond for Shane Long.

More good pressing by Lacazette, this time on McCarthy, created a half chance for Aubameyang but he passed up the chance to shoot. On came Ozil for Iwobi, the first time we’ve seen the German in the league since the draw with Wolves in November, and he was joined by Ainsley Maitland-Niles who replaced Lichtsteiner at right-back.

The Saints thought they had a third goal on 76 minutes when Long poked home a loose ball after Leno had acrobatically denied Yoshida’s header from a corner. The offside flag went up.

Aubameyang and Lacazette looked dangerous up front as we pushed the home side deeper and deeper but it was the home side who came up with the quality to find a decisive goal. On the break, Shane Long found fellow sub Charlie Austin and with Leno flapping at thin air the striker header into an empty net at the far post. (3-2)

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soulcrusher
soulcrusher

Hello darkness my old friend…

Scott P
Scott P

Obviously, this was a bad performance, but I can’t say I’m surprised that we conceded 3 goals when we had the defense we did. In my opinion, this result doesn’t have much of a bearing on the rest of our season given those unique circumstances. We’ll have a stronger line-up the next time out. I hope Bellerin is OK.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Positivity! Thank you.

redsy
redsy

Not sure why we would have been happy pre season with the position we are in and considering all the injuries its understandable.
Hopefully with the return of our suspended players and kos and monreal getting more game time we will go on another run.

Reality check
Reality check

You can see how much we missed our regular defenders. All three goals coming from Kos losing his man. Can’t really blame a 34 year old in his first start after 7 months out injured.

Declan M
Declan M

Yes indeed. He’s 33 btw.

Bergkamp 3:16
Bergkamp 3:16

He’s 33 until he’s 34

Reality check
Reality check

Loll.. not another “he is not – untill” debate. Anyway I rounded his age. Also, he was 33 the day he turned 33. The very second day he was more than 33.

Mpls
Mpls

But less than 34. That’s how it works, I believe.

Odin
Odin

Who are you blaming then?

Mpls
Mpls

I’m blaming circumstance. Kos’s first PL start in over 7 mos, Lichtsteiner, a RB playing a RCB (it’s obviously not his natural position) and Xhaka, a box-to-box playing LCB.

And on top of it all, we obviously missed Xhaka’s presence higher up the pitch with his quality incisive passing between the lines. Guendouzi did what he could, but Xhaka is another step up and would have brought more opportunities for Laca and Auba, along with more composure paired with Torreira.

It’s notable how much quieter Torreira’s game was without Xhaka.

We also missed Ramsey or Ozil for most of the match to play vertically through the lines.

Ilari
Ilari

That is my exact feelings summed up in 5 simple words

Zenithreptile
Zenithreptile

Cech please

Maniac

Really? It was Koscielny’s fault on every single goal. Completely unaware of the players around him. 1st goal – missed header (attempts some kind of kung-fu kick instead). 2nd goal – missed header. 3rd goal – missed header. Not only that but you could tell that he was completely out of sync with Leno – even took the ball away from him at one point.

Tim
Tim

Koscielny definitely at fault but that doesn’t mean Leno didn’t also make a mistake. His should have gone out for the first one and stayed on his line for the second.

Maniac

Have to disagree with you. Watch the goals again. Coming out for the first would have been wild and his positioning for the second was fine – he got wrong footed by a perfectly placed header. Both those crosses should have been dealt with by the defence, not reliant on Leno making some pretty spectacular saves.

Mpls
Mpls

But what I see was he called Kos off on the second ball. Not much choice, as Kos was too far behind the play, but Kos could have continued closing down putting pressure on at least. It was the decision to go for it v stay on his line that sunk it. But it was a fraction of a second call to make.

If Leno would have had 3″ more of a step on cutting out the cross it’d have been a good play on his part. It’s the game you play with an active keeper. I think overall he’s been quite good.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I agree, but let’s not forget that Koscielny’s only football for 6 months (and after a really bad injury) has been U23’s games and a virtual friendly. Very hard on him to have to play today.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner

Let’s not forget it’s a team game.

How about proportioning some blame to our attackers for missing shots on goal?

On our attackers for not creating enough and taking the chances too?

Let’s share the blame from attack to defence please.

Jack4343
Jack4343

We scored twice and were playing a bottom team side that can’t score. This one is all on our back line.

John
John

Sorry mate but if I make just one mistake at a job I am being paid much less than Kos, I get written up. If I make a similar mistake minutes later, I get fired. I don’t get to make a third mistake yet he did and he earns a living even though he shows that he can’t play anymore

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I think you are a victim of rhetoric from your bosses John. Times have changed in the HR/Litigation world…:-)

A Different George
A Different George

Because your job is just like football–you have other people, who are also highly skilled and highly paid, trying very hard to make you fail. With all due respect, John, you’re a fucking moron.

Woolwich Shepherd
Woolwich Shepherd

Poor Kos. I hope the captain can get back to full fitness. Probably brought back too soon. Clearly didn’t have the aerial ability needed to defend. Manager didn’t have much of a choice, I guess.

afan
afan

third goal, ozils fault, fact

GuendouziBallonD'Or
GuendouziBallonD'Or

Kos is over the hill. Way out of his depth today. I understand this was his first game back for quite some time, but many of the mistakes were down to speed and quickness, which used to be his strengths. Mertesaker was able to continue to play because he was able to read the game so well. Kos will find it difficult to adapt his game as such.

Fabulous
Fabulous

That’s harsh. Just minutes earlier he made a great save from Yoshida’s header to keep it at 2-2. He clearly didn’t communicate well with Kos (who by the way is far from his best today), and having Xhaka as the other CB just complicates things even more. Having said that our defense overall let us down today, easy easy goals to give away.

Maniac

Absolutely atrocious performance and such a disappointing way to end our unbeaten run.

Bonjour
Bonjour

I get that the defence was makeshift, but what was with the complete lack of creativity and movement up front? If Aubameyang is injured, start Lacazette instead. If Ozil isn’t up for it, then play Ramsey.

Also, watch Southampton get relegated, and next season Shane Long sold to Carlisle United and Charlie Austin to Oldham Athletic. Then they’ll somehow draw us in the FA Cup and STILL score against us

not happy
not happy

I want Leno dropped ASAP enough is enough

GunneRon

We missed Sokratis badly. He would not have allowed Ings to head in those two crosses that easily.
Also missed Xhaka’s influence in the middle of the park. Guendozi, for all his industriousness and energy, could not help us control the midfield, which has been central to our unbeaten run. That was perhaps why we could not mount a comeback today.

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

That’s harsh. Yes it was a disappointing way to end our unbeaten run, but to be without your first choice central defenders, to lose Kolasinac just before kickoff, to lose Hector in the match was very bad luck. We were down to our bare bones defensively and they are benefiting from the influence of a very good new manager. it was a terrible time to play them. But it does tell us that our squad is too thin, notwithstanding the promise in our youth squad. I hope it gave Raul and Sven pause for thought.

N10
N10

On all points well said. If only Hughes could have held on for another month. A star-crossed day. I have to say, Auba needed a better game today. But let’s look at the bright side, Mihki stepped up!

yen
yen

I bloody hated when we had to go to St. Mary´s before and I will bloody hate it now even more.

Absolut
Absolut

Fat cart horse strikers, dirty midfielders, shit house ref, then we played poorly. Disappointing, but I guess it was coming.

David C
David C

Is Southampton away our new Stoke? We always seem to struggle there.

Clockli
Clockli

Kos looked terrible today. Seemed to make everyone around him nervous

Mootilated
Mootilated

That was terrible. All over the place defensively and Leno’s decision for the last goal was highly dubious!

Derr
Derr

For me the 3rd goal was Kos’ mistake. Only Charlie Austin was attacking the goal during the whole play but Kos did not stick to him at all. He was looking left and right for the ghost presence of another attacker. Like really?

Maniac

He could tell that Koscielny had completely lost his man. It was either attempt to get it off Austin’s head or hope that Austin, with a completely free header, puts it slowly enough and close enough to him to make the save. I have no issue with Leno’s decision – I think he even got his fingertips on it.

Mootilated
Mootilated

Koscielny was liability in this game, no doubt. But there is not much Emery can do when provided with skeleton staff.

The usual December performances we are used to however we are not far off 4th place and having player Spurs and United in quick succession we should be back up there in no time.

Aussie gooner
Aussie gooner

Waiting for blogs to find a way to blame this on Mustafi and Mkhitaryan

Absolut
Absolut

Awful. Have to say, Kos is not the future.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Kos was forced to play his first 90 minutes because of injuries and suspensions and you are writing him off?? SMH.

Aussie gooner
Aussie gooner

Kos was bad but he’s also been out for about 8 months, would not have played today if it wasn’t for the suspensions

Martin
Martin

And Xhaka!

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

But if Ramsey had come on…

Mpls
Mpls

OK, I’ll bite. Knowing Socratis was on a suspension after getting a yellow, Mustafi made a very ill-considered Mustafi-esque slide to get the yellow card that also suspended him for this match, leaving us in this boat.

Though he might have been out with his hamstring anyway.

Fabulous
Fabulous

I’m so frustrated with Ozil. Gave us nothing since coming on. Lost the ball and done nothing to win it back leading to their winner. He really needs to buck up otherwise we should ship him off. Talented player no doubt but clearly not in Unai’s plans, nor up to his expected work rate.

Armchair Expert
Armchair Expert

Of course, someone was going to blame Ozil. That didn’t take long.

Aussie gooner
Aussie gooner

Should he not be blamed? Gave the ball away for the winner and didn’t care enough to chase back? Has had one good game in 4 months and people still insist he’s world class

Deano

reckon we were standing off players and allowing all the time in the world for players to cross for the first two goals long before Mesut came on Aussie. He is world class by the way.

Fabulous
Fabulous

Don’t be stupid. I defend Ozil most times but I’m also objective. The third goal clearly started from him losing the ball. Defense was out of shape since the ball was lost in our half.

Armchair Expert
Armchair Expert

There were multiple points of failures that led to that goal. His wasn’t the only mistake. Do you blame him for the 70 minutes before he came on as well? I am not saying that he never makes mistakes or always puts his foot in, but, it’s interesting to see that when things don’t go our way, some of our own fans single out specific players, especially in this case, when he was barely on for 20 minutes. It was a unique situation today with injuries, suspensions, unbalanced team and the overall quality of our performance, all of which contributed to the result.

Mpls
Mpls

OK Let’s correct two untruths here.

1. The ball was NOT lost in our half.
2. Who is the player in the minty #10 kit and the red boots working hardest to close down the Soton player that made the pass out to Long?

It was Ozil.

Watch the damn replay again, 10x if you have to. People need to stop making stuff up to take shots at our players. After the turnover they went through both Auba and Torreira but Ozil kept chasing. And then they coasted past our defense.

I couldn’t even count the number of times Iwobi, Guendouzi, Kos, even Xhaka and Torreira gave the ball away trying long thread the needle passes that were easily cut out. It was everyone being careless with the ball, breaking down potential attacks and putting us back under pressure.

Let the Ozil shit go. He wasn’t the problem today.

Rob67
Rob67

That’s because their winner started with his error.

Alex
Alex

and 5 defenders were unable to make up for it….

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

This is usually how all goals are scored. Someone makes a mistake or will have an opportunity to clear or win the ball but they fail to do so. All players will make mistakes. Our performance was crap today and there are still areas of our game that need improving. IMHO Emery has done brilliant but we have lost some of our attacking swagger since Wenger left. With Wenger, I knew we would score but also that we might concede. With Emery, I sometimes worry that we are not creative or we sometimes lack urgency. Despite the unbeaten run, we have not seen many performances where we dominate for 90 minutes. It’s not the end of the world and we have a manager that will analyse the hell out of this loss and hopefully we learn. Still a long way to go and many more important games. The battle is not lost.

Mpls
Mpls

The attacking swagger is more of an optics thing. We’re on the best goals / match tally since 2009/10. We may not look the same in attack – not making a big u-shaped passing pattern around the outside of the box anymore – but we’re more effective than the last 6-7 years.

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

For fuck’s sake he isn’t BLAMING Ozil, he said he was FRUSTRATED with Ozil. Actually read the comment instead of trying to shoehorn people into your narrative. Yeah, there’s a deeper reason for the defeat, yes it’s unfair to blame it on Ozil. But considering how often we laud him as the club’s star player he loses the ball so frequently and easily in places where he really shouldn’t. It’s FRUSTRATING.

kaius
kaius

Yeah well, it’s still singling out Ozil (who came on as a sub and is obviously not fully fit ffs).

This isn’t tennis, it’s a team game.

btw
btw

I suppose he should have analyzed all the players in his post, as to not single out Ozil? Come on!

afan
afan

fabs only being honest

David C
David C

Ozil has had one good game this year. Sorry, time to move him on. We’d be lucky to find a team for him given his salary. I can’t understand the people that come in so strong to defend him. Are you impressed with his “social media” game? If you’d rather keep Ozil over Ramsey then I don’t know what games you are watching…

Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner

I think you’ll find “shipping him off” will be harder than you think. It’s not like there was a raft of suitors for him this time last year, and that was before we put him on a bazillion pounds a week

Fabulous
Fabulous

There’s PSG, where he’ll definitely fit in better. Easy league, love to play attacking football.

Calm
Calm

I was screaming at the screen when he gave away the ball and watch the Southampton casually take his time to gain control and pass it off. He did it almost like it was not his job to tackle the ball then wants to jog off like everything gonna be ok. Why did we take off Iwobi again?

Vonnie
Vonnie

Because Iwobi was awful.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Because he gave the ball away 7 times.
Because he did not make a SINGLE tackle.
Because his movement was to constantly creep into the centre, ball-hogging, and deny us any width out left.
Because he is utterly lazy and stood a few yards from Redmond and watched him stroll into the space to cross for their 2nd goal.

How long have you got?

ramgooner
ramgooner

Their pitch was terrible and we couldn’t play our game. They pulled a stoke on us. Won’t blame Ozil for this defeat. IMO Jenkinson should have started instead of Koscielny. Our CB’s were too technical.

kaius
kaius

Yeah our CBs were too safe with their passing. They needed to be more adventurous and spread the pitch. And our crossing and deliveries from wide were absolutely Dier.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Not sure what Jenks has to do to get a run… he’s been solid as heck this season and has some serious pace.

Deano

Wow seriously he replaced a man that did absolutely nothing for 68 minutes and nothing since Leicester and straight away “oh I can’t wait to bitch about Ozil”.

Fabulous
Fabulous

Iwobi at least played in Monreal for Mikhi’s opener, and he clearly defends better. Did you even watch the game? What is up with you people being so far up Ozil’s ass? I clearly love the guy but being the highest paid player and he can’t even try to win the ball back at an important part of the pitch? And one after he’s the one who lost the ball? And after just coming in as a sub? That’s really not good enough. That’s all I’m saying and clearly Ozil isn’t above criticism. Heck even Auba was trying harder to win the ball back, the same Auba who’s been running around the pitch the whole game. Unai’s game is based off of work rate, especially in the middle of the pitch where Ozil operates. If he’s going to continue that way I don’t think he’ll be on Unai’s plans for long.

Deano

Singling out a meat and drink pass to Monreal for the first goal is laughable Fabulous and yes I did watch the game. Iwobi is an immense talent, just doesn’t show it enough (familiar yes). You have picked out a player intentionally in my mind for a last twenty minutes, showing complete disregarding the first 70 minutes of dross on offer. I’m not up a players arse and I don’t obsess about wages either that is just sad as they are all millionaires including Southampton players.

Goonshow
Goonshow

The pass to Monreal was just about the only pass Iwobi made that wasn’t either backwards or to a Saints player. And sorry, but he doesn’t defend better than anyone… even Ozil.
Because he doesn’t defend… at all. Check his tackle stats, they are abysmal… less than one per game on average, wtf??

Jimbo
Jimbo

Man all i am saying is if you lose the ball the least you can do is get ahead of the player to slow him down. Is that asking too much. Be an obstacle if you cannot put your foot in there to retrieve the ball.

Deano

We have a serious issue regarding the first 45mintues of a football match, an issue that has been there all season. Don’t think we should be slinging mud at a man for the last 20 minutes.

para
para

So southhampton has joined the big boys now. I predict we will see Southhampton “stay up” this season. Sometimes i delude myself that football is just football.

Armchair Expert
Armchair Expert

I just knew that when the unbeaten run would end, it would be against bottom feeders. Southampton, the nasty fuckers!

GraeB
GraeB

Considering that we only just managed to beat the bottom club last week, this was always going to be the regular St Mary’s banana skin. (I did tell my Saints mates last night that I thought we were going to lose)

I seriously looked at team sheet and saw it as 4 at the back and was surprised at actual formation. Kos was back as of old and Leno was doing his best Flapianski impression.

We played far too much crab football and there’s no point in playing out from back if we’re then rushed into a hoof upfield or rushed pass anyway.

Now worried about Spuds and Burnley games let alone Scousers.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

It was going well at 2-2 with “second half mode” turned on despite a injury/suspension ravaged defence…never mind onwards and upwards. COYG!

myrtle
myrtle

BBC Sport: “Mesut Ozil loses the ball with a step over” and it’s into the back of the net
That is just not good enough, not fucking good enough.

Rob67
Rob67

Which is why we need to ship him out. It isn’t going to get any better. Cut our losses.

Goonshow
Goonshow

What?? And keep Iwobi??

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I prefer Ozil over Iwobi right now.

Tim
Tim

Not sure why you’re being down voted. I love Ozil, but there’s nothing with criticising him when he makes a pretty glaring mistake that leads to a goal.

Deano

Xhaka past straight to a Southampton player twenty twenty five yards from goal in the first half but it didn’t end in the back of the net so that’s ok…..

Goonerink

Yep, he wasn’t punished for his mistake.
I’m torn between wanting ozil, being the fresh player, to bust a gut to regain possession.
or
Ozil staying in that hole, waiting to hit them on the counter, when his defensive players win the ball back.

Both are good options, one optimistic one pessimistic and I think ozil picked the optimistic one.

Rob67
Rob67

Wouldn’t get too concerned given the injuries and suspensions we had, it was probably to be expected. But it confirmed my view that getting shot of Ozil on a free transfer in January would be good business in terms of saving a fortune in wages. He’s a total waste of space and money and it was his bit of nonsense that set up Southampton for their winner.

kaius
kaius

Sometimes I don’t understand why some of you watch football. Yes everyone’s pissed right after a defeat but team games aren’t about reflexively singling out individuals.

It’s like asking why the rest of the team can’t consistently create match-winning chances and assists like Ozil has done for us many times. Should we get shot of Leno too for failing to reach the cross?

Rob67
Rob67

Look – think about it, before squawking ?

Ozil wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire under Wenger.
Wenger has gone and he isn’t coming back.
Emery doesn’t rate Ozil – self evidently – as he seldom picks him
We’re paying Ozil a preposterous fortune
He might like his wages but he would – probably – like to play
Is any of this going to change ?
No
So either get rid of Emery ? I don’t think so !
Or – move Ozil on and give his shirt to Smith Rowe who would contribute more.

kaius
kaius

Starting to suspect the more someone fixates on a player’s salary, the less they know about football.

Deano

Believe it was Long that set up the winner that should have been clawed away by the goalkeeper…..

Pedant
Pedant

Crazy result against such a poor team. Their second home win in 12 months. Our defence was weakened and we couldn’t defend crosses. 22 games was great but a poor ending.

Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner

Although i’m massively disappointed to lose against a side as crap as Southampton, it may be no bad thing that the unbeaten run has come to an end. The gloss of keeping the run going has masked some pretty poor dropped points against teams like Palace, Wolves, United etc. For a long time it’s felt like we were relying on our ability to improve in the second half of games, and that was not sustainable.

Also, now we’ve suffered a bad result, are we allowed to say that Alex Iwobi is absolute dross without people getting on their high horse??

Goonshow
Goonshow

Been saying it for months mate… maybe more people will listen now!

Jagger
Jagger

Iwobi is no longer a youth player. He is at an age where other international players ramp up their statistics through end product. He hasn’t done that. I would give him this season to show he hasn’t hit his ceiling, but I feel that he’ll be nothing more than a squad player for a top 4 club.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I had a feeling we would lose to these cloggers today. I think Emery is doing a great job but he needs to quit with this 5 at the back especially while we have no defenders. Please put Xhaka back in the middle. I don’t think we will finish top 4 this year. The teams above us don’t lose to lesser teams at the moment, and emery needs at least one window to clear out some of the serial under performers.

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

The season is long. I think it will be a grind, but they’ve done a pretty fantastic job so far, and we’re easily in touch with the top four. But you’re spot on in that this team has a long way to go before I think Emery’s happy with it. I just hope he’s astute enough to keep grinding out the results, keep us in touch, and hoping that the other teams above us slip up at some point. It’ll be tough as today showed, but it’d be no fun otherwise.

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

I also had a bad feeling about this one. They knew we had no one that could head a ball and they played on that and it worked. The goals we gave away were all down to poor defending of crosses and with losing our three CB’s the winning run was based on, was bound to end in a loss. Never did expect a come back from either of their goals but they gave it a go and fair play to Mhika who I still don’t rate and have given a lot of stick to for getting us back in it twice. Unfortunately a ring rusty Kozzy and his make shift partners was never going to prevail. It was the poorest Arsenal performance this season but losing three CB’s is some pretty bad luck.

Casimir KnightI
Casimir KnightI

agree – dont rate mkhi but he kept us at it and our lack of defenders bit us in the bum. Hey ho

Mikeytaryan
Mikeytaryan

I’m just gonna go ahead and say Kosc looked the most uncomfortable in the back line, despite Xhaka being there (which I wondered why didn’t Emery start with him at LB and Monreal at CB).
No coincidence that all 3 goals were headers – the back line looked shaky all game

santori
santori

Practically the best solution would have been to have had Monreal and Lichsteiner flanking Koscielny on either side offering him protection but injury to Kolasinac complicated things.

No the best solution to have Granit in there so deep.

Alternative (not explored in mid week) could have been to have Elneny as a make shift but just way too many changes for us to find solidity in understanding in defense today.

So not surprising.

Felt we could have been more clinical up front though to make the difference.

Deano

Got to be able to defend his rustiness through not playing regular football of late. He did look nervous but it is to be expected.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Why does the new manager bounce always, always coincide with Arsenal coming to town.

James
James

Hahahaha. Nothing changes. Keeper is absolute toilet. I’ll give Emery 12 months.

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

Spud?

Goonshow
Goonshow

Defs

Bishop
Bishop

Disappointing result, but it was always definitely going to be a difficult/tricky game: all our center halves out, the saints with a new manager and all.
This is not the time to let our heads drop, we have a difficult month ahead.
I pray Bellerin is not out for long.
COYG

Martin
Martin

That result has been coming. Tottenham aside we’ve been riding our luck and getting very lucky. Basic defensive errors and making a poor team look like world beaters? Is Wenger still in charge?

Rob67
Rob67

It has been coming. Nothing to get too concerned about. And No – Unai is in charge and he knows what he is doing 👍

Casimir KnightI
Casimir KnightI

thankfully not 🙂

Jack
Jack

Every time I’ve watched Southampton recently they have been pathetic. Absolutely typical that like most shite teams in the PL they decide to start trying. And it had to be those two goblins Austin and Ings. I will be in a bad mood for the next three days :/

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

We were never coming out of here with anything more than a draw. Saint mary’s in december is kryptonite for this club. Sick and tired of it. They put in 3 perfect crosses all game, against a back line that had never played together before. It’s the logical result.

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

The inevitable end of the unbeaten run of a team that looked far from unbeatable. We’re in fifth and, frankly, we deserve to be. There’s only so much points that a team with top four ambitions can drop…
There’s still hope, of course. Maybe a loss instead of another draw will prove more useful in the end. Onto the next one!

SB Still
SB Still

We knew we were not in the title race before the match, we know we are not in it still. We are fighting for the 4th spot, so let’s atleast get one of the pretenders out, hope ManU loose today.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Not even sure why people at competing. Only reason why this hurt is because Chelsea and Spurs won. It’s gonna he hard making top 4.

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

What bothers me is that I can’t say this result was undeserved for Southampton. Boy have we looked poor at times this season.

ramgooner
ramgooner

The defeat was coming. I hope we play our C team(Not even the B team) against Sp*rs. Tin pot cup doesn’t matter. We need to rest all our players. We need to prepare ourselves for the second part of the season starting with Burnley at Home.

Tim
Tim

Leno can’t cope with crosses.

Cesc

I won’t crucify Leno for his very questionable decision, but his spot on the lineup really needs to be questioned. He got in because of Cech’s injury and this whole narrative of being an expensive signing who’s 25 years old, rather than on performance. He’s made mistakes against Liverpool – 2 of them (van dijk missed the header), against spurs and now today as well. He hasn’t really made a of “top” saves, like the one he made today. This is not a knee-jerk reaction. I’ve had the same view for weeks now. I would be happy for Leno to prove me wrong.

A good showing by Mkhi today. We shouldn’t forget that after moving from Dortmund, he hasn’t been played in his favoured No.10 position.

santori
santori

The diff between Leno and Cech is not as much as some would care to imagine..(so long as you don’t back pass the ball to Cech’s feet)

But yes credit where its due, good show by Mhki today. Still not the player we ultimately needed given we already had Ozil and Ramsey.

Eeth
Eeth

It might be because I’m italian and I’ve played a bit of football as a defender, but Koscielny is at fault for both the 2nd and 3rd, both times watches the ball instead of marking the striker. His worst and most recurring problem his whole Arsenal career. Someone should’ve corrected that early but AW’s football was just stupid and this is the result. Xhaka at fault for the 1st but at least he’s the alibi of being played out of position and he’s not exactly the most reactive.

Leno could do nothing in any occasion, actually stopped a sure goal before their 3rd.

Old Bloke.
Old Bloke.

Think you have to give some credit to Southampton. They pressed and harried us all game and targeted our makeshift defence with good crosses. Also they defended well denying Auba a couple of goals with last ditch tackles. Yes we wernt great but on another day would have come away with a point. Very dissapointed with conceding that third goal though.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

There’s more good about this team than bad. Arsenal fans need to be patient. Defending was terrible but our attacking play in the first half was poor. We lacked urgency. I think Auba plays better with Laca on the pitch and against a three man defence he was isolated.

santori
santori

Aubameyang should still be doing better.

santori
santori

No Mustafi to blame so somehow some people will conspire to blame Ozil even if he was on the pitch for a short time.

Leno of course blameless for the third goal since some people want him ahead of Cech.

Koscielny of course should carry on playing till he is 35 since some peole prefer to think Mustafi is the new Flamini.

Aubameyang and Lacazette draw blanks but lets not mention that bc its inconvenient to the narrative.

Lets face it, there was a good chance we were going to come undone with a backline featuring Kosicleny and Lichsteniner with Monreal also just returning from injury.

But we should have coped better even so.

Goonshow
Goonshow

And yet…. whilst lamenting how ‘some people’ polarise their comments to certain players, you also make no mention of your ‘lively’ Iwobi in the above names?
Guilty by omission mate…

Ash
Ash

Three mistakes, three goals. Not atrocious, nor great. 5 goals, but still one of the most Meh games ever…

santori
santori

More worries with BOTH Kolasinac and Bellerin now seemingly out.

Emery has a real problem on his hands.

Hopefully Mustafi’s hamstring injury is not long term.

I said it some time now Koscielny is on his last legs this season. We will need Mustafi.

Thought we may go back 3 with Monreal and Lichsteiner flanking the old vet Koscielny to offer him more protection but injury to Kolasinac conspired to further complicate things.

OTOH, Mhkitaryan did OK today. Iwobi also fairly lively.

BUT Auba again wasteful.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Iwobi lively? Yes, if you term flapping you hands every time you get dispossessed or lose the ball in the tackle hoping the ref will blow for you, lively!!
Iwobi has become a complete passenger. Consider the following (Opta):
Shot accuracy – 41%
Cross accuracy – 17%
Tackles made in a total of 79 appearances (before today) – 57. That is LESS than one tackle per game! Granted, a number of those games made have seen limited time on the field but, for a lad that’s trying to cement a regular spot, it shows an appalling lack of commitment.

For their 2nd goal today, he was strolling a few yards from Redmond and made no attempt to track back with him, leaving him to run into the space from where that killer cross was made.

How on earth does he start ahead of Laca, Ozil or Ramsey???

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

You really do have blinkers on when it comes to Iwobi. Sad.

He definitely can do better when it comes to consistency levels but the fact the manager starts him over all those players should tell you something.

arse69
arse69

Why do the players keep passing the ball backwards – especially Iwobi, and even Torreira and Guendouzi – until the 85th minute and we’re 3-2 down?

Edzo
Edzo

We got our arsenal back.

I would prefer Emery play our best players at the start rather than sub them in at halftime.

Lacca and abua must start. Put ozil in the middle and play a 4.3.3

No center backs due to injuries amd suspensions but come on. Lich, kos and xhaka start in a back 3???

Leno. Come on.

santori
santori

We may have been better with Monreal-Koscielny-Lichsteiner in back 3 with Bellerin on Rwingback and given injury to Kolasinac, AMN on Lwingback.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Three more goals conceded: this time against the second worst team in the division. That’s why we’re going to miss out on top four again.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Because we are always going to be without our first choice defence Fats?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Or just because you just want a reaction to your posts Adrian? 🙂

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Even with better defenders we’re as leaky as a sieve with 10-inch holes. We’ll concede more than 50 in the PL. we’ve no chance of top four.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Care to have a bet on that mate?

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Yes.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Shall we say £10 to the winner’s choice of charity?

Fuhgedaboudit
Fuhgedaboudit

We are 3 points off, not 30. Not easy, maybe, no chance! Ridiculous.

Rob67
Rob67

Yep – we will finish fifth. But we are on the Up and Unai knows what he’s doing. 😎

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

You’re after clicks mate

afan
afan

is auba, the new Walcott, and what the hell ozil was doing for there third goal is anybody,s guess, we was utter rubbish from start to finish, no excuses

Mpls
Mpls

Well considering Auba is the joint top scorer in the league, I’d say no.
Ozil was far from the first nor was he the last player to lose possession, and they played through 5 Arsenal players to score that goal.

Blaming Ozil for that goal is like crediting Leno for Mkhi’s goals.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We missed our 3 defensive enforcers today. Mus Kola Pap.

santori
santori

Clearly it was Mustafi’s fault.:D

Up North
Up North

This was a game of three similar errors and unfortunately the skipper was heavily involved in all of them. Being two against one single forward in the box the rule is simple, one defender glue himself to the forward, the second attack the ball. Three cases of sloppy defending cost us three points,it’s ad simple as that. And it ruined my day also…

santori
santori

Defense was always going to be an issue with Kolasinac out compounding loss of Sokratis and Mustafi. Then Bellerin after the half.

But attacking-wise, Auba should be doing better beyond statistics thrown out by some with regard minutes per goal or what not.

We needed to gain authority over a fragile Soton side of late (even if with new gaffer) instead we boosted their confidence not just with our own poor defending BUT inadequate sharpness up top.

laudgunner
laudgunner

Elneny would have done a better job at the misfit defence.. Emery needs to trust him for once. Xhaka can’t defend koscieny is finished

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

“koscieny is finished”… I have no words for that comment.

Nodefence
Nodefence

Remember how bad our defence was last season? Well now Kos is back!

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I think we’re seeing the limitations of a squad that, tbf, I think Emery is getting the absolute maximum out of. We don’t have many game changing options from the bench (Ozil is absolutely not the kind of guy you want coming on in this type of game), we’re currently very weak at CB and to a certain extent we’re a bit soft in midfield too when we can’t partner Torerria with Xhaka.

Fuhgedaboudit
Fuhgedaboudit

Look, it’s obvious our defense needs massive improvement. We are constantly conceding too many goals. We need to do like Liverpool did when they bought Van Dyck and Allison. Those two players have made the difference for them. First off, I don’t think Leno is our answer in goal. He is only 6-3′ and no matter what, another two inches can make a difference. I would look for a top flight goalie first. DeGea would be great, but I don’t see much chance of us getting him. Preferably, I would love to get Szczesny back. Since he has been in Serie A, he has done a great job, both for Roma and now for Juventus. And he is a Gunner through and through. I also know that is not easy either. Then we definitely have to work on our center back positions. We have too many aging CBs. Qe need to hope Mavraponas comes back soon, and maybe get Chambers back from loan. Sucks what happened to Holding. Anyway, I am so damn frustrated right now from today’s loss, I don’t know what to do with myself. DEFENSE!!!!!

BuckNasty
BuckNasty

First choice defense was out. Your precious Allison just made a big mistake right now as well. This crap happens all the time and I’d say we should judge when Emery has a full transfer window under his belt

Dan Davies
Dan Davies

Piss poor defensively today but with mitigating circumstances.

Do think Emery needs to find a way to start both Lacazette and Aubemayang though. We’ve got away with it a few times this season.

But we were never going to win the lge. Just a bit galling to be 5 pts off that lot after besting them.

Roll on Weds…

Dan Davies
Dan Davies

Aubemayang does miss some sitters. Again today. Imagine if that was Giroud.

Mpls
Mpls

Oof, let’s not. I’m not ready for the honeymoon to be over yet. He’s still joint top scorer in the league, so missing some on top of that means he’s getting into good position at a high rate.

Vonnie
Vonnie

St Mary’s has always been a bogey ground for us, the pitch is always bad so we can’t play, the weather is always awful, and Southampton are a very stoke-like team, they’re dirty and cloggy and get away with lots of fouls and barging about, which refs seem to ignore. Add that to our injury list and suspensions this was always going to be a really difficult match for us, and so it proved. I thought Leno was poor for two of those goals, and Iwobi was pretty useless for the whole first half but it is what it is, I can’t find blame for a makeshift defense who were trying their best. Hopefully Hector isn’t badly hurt, and we can re-group for Wednesday with Papa and Musti back.

Zuhair
Zuhair

Laboured buildup and infinite passing leading to nothing. Then suddenly they counter and score. Seen a lot of this.

Defence is absolutely horrific. We need to address it if we are to win anything this season. All in all, a 22-game unbeaten run in a transition season is nothing short of heroic. Let’s hope we can improve further.

Come on you Gunners!

Edzo
Edzo

Harsh on kos. First real match and he’s playing in a back 3 with a grandpa and a midfielder.

But even with our starting defense we ship too many goals.

Bottom line is if we want to challenge for the league we need to do what Liverpool did. Buy a world class keeper and a world class centerback. We’re good going forward but crap at the back, which has been the case for the past 10 years.