Report: Arsenal 2 – 0 Southampton (inc. goals)

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Result: Arsenal 2 – 0 Southampton
Competition: Premier League
Date: 24th Feb 2019
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Lichsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Lacazette

Subs: Cech, Koscielny, Monreal, Guendouzi, Suarez, Ozil, Aubameyang


Arsenal secured their second clean sheet in a row with a 2-0 win over Southampton at home. Goals by Lacazette and Mkhitaryan in a dominant first half were enough to seal the win.

The result puts Arsenal into fourth place as Manchester United drew with Liverpool in the league.

First Half

Leveraging off the positive performance against BATE Borisov, Emery stuck with a back four formation. Sokratis takes Koscielny’s place in defence and Ramsey displaced Ozil in the number 10 role.

Southampton’s plan to claim a draw was clear with five in midfield and no natural forwards occupying the two front berths. Nathan Redmond led the line for the visitors and broke a very casual offside trap in the fifth minute, going one on one with Leno but the German keeper managed to save his defence’s blushes with a save.

Arsenal countered swiftly. Iwobi crossed from the left to an onrushing Torreira. It looked like the midfielder was impeded but the referee waved play on despite protestations from the Arsenal players. It was Mkhitaryan who received the cross and his wayward volley found its way to Lacazette who instinctively flicked the ball into the direction of the goal. 1-0 Arsenal.

Xhaka almost doubled the lead a couple of minutes later with a rasping drive from afar but it skimmed just above the cross bar. It was Mkhitaryan who got his team’s second in the 16th minute as Southampton made a hash of their attempts to pass the ball out from the back. Lacazette harried Stephens who hastily returned the ball to his goalkeeper. It was poorly cleared into the path of Iwobi whose cross reached Mkhitaryan from a slightly fortunate deflection. The Armenian sidefooted the ball calmly to make it 2-0.

Arsenal continued running rings around the Saints with intricate passes and overlapping runs for the next 10 minutes – a rather refreshing sight after weeks of ponderous play. Iwobi’s close control and probing dribbles were especially great to watch.

It should have been three up on the 40th minute when Lacazette missed a glorious chance from the six yard box. The move started when Lichsteiner evaded his defender to send a teasing cross into the box. It was cleared into the path of Kolasinac in the box who passes it to the Frenchman who skied the ball under pressure. Kolasinac assisted him teammate again moments later in similar fashion but Lacazette’s shot was well saved this time.

Second Half

Arsenal went into half time full of confidence after a dominant display but Southampton had different ideas as they brought on Charlie Austin and Obafemi to claw back the deficit.

The change in tact by Southampton saw the visitors up the pressure on the Arsenal defence with dangerous crosses into the box. The pressure got to Xhaka in the 51st minute, whose poor clearance gifted Ward-Prowse a golden chance to strike from distance, missing only by inches.

Koscielny replaced Lichsteiner in the 55th minute as the Swiss full back seemed to be in some discomfort. Mustafi moved to right back to accommodate the captain. Five minutes later, it was Ramsey who got substituted to warm applause as Ozil came on for the Welshman.

The game failed to fall into any form of rhythm by both teams and Emery brought on Aubameyang for Iwobi on the 75th minute – the latter looked to have overstretched his calf when harrying the opponent. However, it was Southampton who sparked to life with Ward-Prowse striking a goal bound shot that was well blocked by Kolasinac.

Aubameyang took advantage of tired legs in the 84th minute when put clear towards goal by a deft Ozil touch. Streaking down the left wing, he cut back for a waiting Lacazette but his low cross was deflected into the path of Angus Gunn who saved expertly. Aubameyang had another attempt saved a minute later as Arsenal sought to end the half strongly.

Leno’s acrobatic save from another Ward-Prowse volley outside the box late in the game sealed the result for Arsenal as they racked up a very welcome two clean sheets in as many games.

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Maniac

Probably the best first half we’ve played all season, even if we struggled in the second. Great to see us playing some really slick football again.

Ach
Ach

The ones against chelsea were way better. It seems like we have become a first half team these days.

Former Top 4 regulars
Former Top 4 regulars

Top 4 looks more realistic now.

jon

If Arsenal could get at least 2-3 points from the two matches against ManU and [email protected]$%rs, there is a possibilty. With two losses, it will be dufficult

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Should’ve scored more. It’s good to save our luck for better opponents 😉

Cacho
Cacho

Some of the link up play even into the 2nd half was so good. Iwobi, Mkhi, Xhaka were all outstanding. Iwobi especially was so dangerous. First game in a long time where you felt like we could score at any time. Southampton are not a bad team either, although they were pretty poor today.

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Great, we have a clean sheet! Keep up the good (1st half) performance guys and please Emery, stick to back four!! Don’t change the winning formation…

GunneRon

If Laca (1 goal/assist every 107 mins) and Auba (1 goal/assist every 105 mins) keep up their scoring/assist rates, we still have a very good chance of finishing top 4, despite Man United’s formidable challenge. Of course our defence is also key, but with PapaKos back at the heart of it, I feel quite confident we might just pull it off. COYG !!

Dobby
Dobby

Don’t think we “struggled” so much as decided to take our foot of the gas and just see it out which, frankly, is fine

Hantal
Hantal

Happy with a win and clean sheet but can we please stop pissing about with short corners

NewSeason
NewSeason

Hear hear! I bet the defenders must be thinking, “Did I really march halfway up the field just for this stuff ? “

Ronny
Ronny

Nope. No player ever thinks that way, pr Spence even without being nowhere close to the ball has its advantages. Overloading of one side to attack from another.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Three points, job done, solid performance, a generally goodly afternoon. Buuuut, in terms of goal difference, confidence and momentum, could we not have continued the attacking sentiment in the second half?

We find it nigh on impossible to give a complete performance for 90mins and seem to lack the merciless hunger to go on and score 4 or 5 goals. That second half felt like preseason.

Busy run in, players tired, saving their energy… I get it. But is there anything more invigorating than absolutely smashing some cunts who beat us earlier in the season?

Hantal
Hantal

I agree, in preseason the players were talking about how much more fitness work they were doing but there’s no real sign of that

Dobby
Dobby

We have covered so much more ground this season compared to last and for most of that unbeaten run were blowing away tired teams in the second half..

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

We create multiple chances in the 2nd half, we were wasteful. However we did play a high intensity leg 3 nights ago, so the boys were a bit tired.

Hamburg Gooner
Hamburg Gooner

And we have another coming up in 3 days – not to mention the match against that team playing in Wembley next Saturday. That´s were they need to be at 100%

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

A fair point mate. But how much energy do the players really save by taking their foot off the gas? I would argue it’s negligible compared to the propellant confidence boost a demolision brings.

Giuseppe Hovno
Giuseppe Hovno

I’ll take a clean sheet every time over a few more goals

Jack
Jack

We should’ve had at least 4 goals there but again well played by everyone.

Big shout out to Lich and Musti. I know we mostly give them a hard time but they were both solid today.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Is it me or Mkhi disappeared entirely for the second half?

goongot
goongot

literally i thought he was substituted at half time until i saw him at 81st min

Ben
Ben

Yeah, i think we switched flanks when Lichtsteiner went off

Aussie Gooner
Aussie Gooner

Wengerball played by Emery’s team.. excellent and professional job done…

facts
facts

No Ozil no problem. Good rotation from the manager. #TrustEmery

Martin
Martin

Except when he came on he showed that it could have been even better if he had started

kaius
kaius

How about we stop crying over Özil and give props to the guys who played such a good first half like Iwobi who was involved in both goals

Dobby
Dobby

Southampton were beaten and tired by that point. We won and there was good link up in both halves, who cares? Maybe Ozil coming on against tired legs is quite a good use for him, if an expensive one

Alex
Alex

Bate Borisov thought the same last week.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Give it a rest mate. Let’s focus on the win.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Too soon mate. Give it time, Emery will win the fans back. And I mean the ‘fans’, not the fandom any individual player here or there 🙂

kaius
kaius

Come on man, you know the 3 points doesn’t count unless Özil plays 90 mins

Mpls
Mpls

Wow, you guys literally can’t make it through a comment section without trolling Ozil. That’s pretty sad.

NairoGunner89
NairoGunner89

Give it a rest and enjoy the 3 points. I was WengerIn for the better part of his last years. Everytime I would see an Arsenal fan who was neither WengerIn or WengerOut say how annoying the debate was. I never quite understood it till now. Being a neutral in this Ozil vs Emery issue, I can safely say, both sets of fans need to give it a rest. Especially after a win. It is clear as day to anyone with even a little bit of sense that this conflict hurt our season. I do not know how people can pick sides.

Lion
Lion

Apart from those ungrateful fans mustafi worked hard for arsenal.another clean sheet thanks gunners.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Always thought it’s worth giving him a shot at rightback. Especially as long as Hector is out and Unai tries to compensate that with playing Kolasinac as kind of a striker on the other side. He’s not slow, he’s actually quite a good passer, except his brain farts, and his main weakness as a CB in going down too early, could be a more welcomed tool at RB too. But I also thought Lichtsteiner had definitely one of his better games today. But it also tells you something that it meant he’d run himself into the ground at around the hour mark.

yen
yen

Agreed. In the end, he used to start at RB for freaking German National Team.

The real worry about him being used there is that we don’t have enough personnel to cover the CB spots:

a) we have to play Kos-Sokratis duo most of the times, which is certainly the best one, yet we have to respect their age & injury history

b) we can’t revert to 3 CBs (which is a system I don’t like, yet I understand it enables different game plan + helps rest certain players up front).

All in all, I’d like us to give more chances to Jenko.

yen
yen

By the way, any news on Mavropanos? Is he being eased back into action, are there any setbacks, does Emery plan to use him in A team?

atom
atom

Mav is a prospect – not an established 1st team player at this point.

Pkub
Pkub

He’s been involved in the U23 team, played last two games. Not sure if it’s for him to get match fit or maybe he hasn’t been in the best form since he’s back from an injury.

Naked cygan
Naked cygan

We should have won 5-0, and got a penalty. Poor finishing from laca and Abu. But a great team performance. Defence is better organized with Sokratis in there. We need to win against Bournmoth on We’d! Massive 3 points with chelski vs spuds.

Stephen
Stephen

I honestly think some of the chances took them by surprise. Southampton looked very bad.

Lion
Lion

Manure draw ,tiny tots lost ,mighty arsenak win …..what a week

shokim
shokim

A very welcome clean sheet. With the Mancs and Scousers drawing, we’re up to fourth. COYG!

David C
David C

3 point and a clean sheet. Hopefully the injuries aren’t too bad.

Players were dropping like flies in the Manure Liverpoop game so that should help us in the race to 4th.

Chelsea not starting any strikers against Citeh in the League Cup final. Hopefully they don’t fire Satri until after the season!

Santorini
Santorini

I think Leno’s acrobatic save was from Targett’s volley..

GuendouziBallonD'Or
GuendouziBallonD'Or

One of the best overall, team performances of the year in my opinion. Even if we were wasteful in front of goal, we created tons of chances and defended well.

Leno had a standout game. He’s been questioned this year, but if he continues on this trajectory it should be without a doubt that we have a quality goalkeeper on our hands.

Mhiki is showing that he is a valuable member of the squad. With Ramsey leaving, and Ozil in limbo, Mhiki could provide creativity and a goal threat for this squad.

Iwobi had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt. Litschenier had his BEST game in an Arsenal shirt.

Finally, Ozil. He’s showed his class on a couple of occasions today. I really hope that we can find some common ground here, because we are truly a better side with him in the team. If Emery can improve Ozil’s performance off the ball, we could be in a far better position next year.

Espen
Espen

First half was gold with those one two touch passes. Guess the squad go into low gear in the 2nd half. Dont get me wrong a win is a win but i only hope they would bang in more goals since the GD might be pivotal in the end.

Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

Mkhi great 1st half, 2nd not so great offensively but defensively superb. He might not be too consistent but Iwobi’s injury is unwelcome, combined well with Kola in the 1st half.

Ozil? He’s fun to watch today. Slick touches. Could have an assist, only Auba being a bit wasteful today.

Hantal
Hantal

I think iwobi was cramp

Knightly
Knightly

Iwobi keeps proving his doubters and haters wrong, yet they persist. He’s very valuable to the team. There’s a reason Emery plays him almost every game. He makes the team fluent in attack.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Very good day! Back in the top 4, and Liverpools title challenge setback. A City win would make it perfect.

Dobby
Dobby

Oh would you look at that. Players back from injury and we can field a strong 11 in the managers preferred system and suddenly we look well coached. I think this is a good game to show those saying emery is needlessly negative manager and plays with 7 defenders or whatever.

Badaab
Badaab

Nice of the PL refs to continue allowing Romeu’s blatant disregard for the rules against us… usually its a couple of dangerous tackles from him, but today, handball in the box.

dumdum
dumdum

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the game today, so the next best thing was reading Arseblog. When he described the first goal as “instinctive,” I imagined Lacazette backheeling it into goal. Then I watched the replay and that’s exactly what happened.

Hey Mangan, thanks for being true. You