Result: Southampton 1-3 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 26 January 2021
Venue: Saint Mary’s
Starting lineup: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette
Subs: Ryan, Gabriel, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock, Willian, Martinelli, Nketiah
Arsenal came from behind to seal a creditable 3-1 win against Southampton that sees Mikel Arteta’s side climb to eighth in the Premier League.
Nicolas Pepe cancelled out Stuart Armstrong’s early strike before Bukayo Saka calmly finished six minutes before the break. The winger then turned provider with 18 minutes remaining crossing for Alex Lacazette to score from close range.
The win at Saint Mary’s extends the Gunners unbeaten run in the league to six games ahead of a tasty encounter with Manchester United next weekend.
Mikel Arteta made five changes from the side that started at Saint Mary’s on Saturday. In came, David Luiz, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Alex Lacazette. Gabriel, Mohamed Elneny, Gabriel Martinelli, Willian and Eddie Nketiah dropped to the bench. Kieran Tierney missed out with a calf problem, as did Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stayed back in London due to a family issue.
When Alex Lacazette missed a sitter inside the first minute, you wondered what kind of a night it was going to be for the Gunners. The Frenchman, put through on goal by Xhaka, looked destined to score only for McCarthy to charge out and block.
When the Saints replied with an attack of their own, Rob Holding had to be alert to force an Ings header for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Ward-Prowse spotted Armstrong unmarked on the edge of the box and the Scot swept home on the bounce. Leno got a hand on the effort but there was too much pace. (0-1)
Not the start we wanted, but you could see there was more energy in the side compared to the weekend. Our pressing from the front paid dividends five minutes later. Lacazette forced Stephens into a loose pass. Saka picked up the ball, flicked it to Partey who in turn fed Xhaka. The Swiss looked up, spotted a run of Pepe inside his marker Valery, and the Ivorian held off his man to fire home on the diagonal. (1-1)
In the pouring rain, the game continued to swing from end-to-end. Cedric, who had a decent opening 45 minutes, sliced a volley just wide. Hassenhutl’s men are canny operators these days and they weathered the storm. For 10 minutes, the found ways through our press, Ings and Adams picking up the ball between the lines to free the likes of Walcott and Armstrong.
Walcott scuffed wide, Ings tried a cute volley from a Ward-Prowse free-kick, an Adams header forced Leno into a save and Armstrong and Valery both tried curlers from opposite sides of the box.
The home side looked the more likely to score, but it was the Gunners who had the cutting edge. There were six minutes to go in the half when Pepe challenged in the air for a Leno goal-kick. As the loose ball dropped to Xhaka, he was quick to find Lacazette who in an instand fed Saka racing through the defence. The youngster, faced with McCarthy charging out, dribbled around the keeper and tucked home from the edge of the box. It was a classy finish. (2-1)
Walcott stung Leno’s palms with a decent effort to signal the home side’s intent in the opening stages but again we forced them back.
Smith Rowe came close to extending our lead when he nicked an effort over McCarthy but was mopped up by Stephens. Not long after Bellerin, after some neat interplay with Saka, came close to picking out Pepe at the near post.
Cedric’s marauding down the left on 59 minutes resulted in more pinball in the Saints box but again the ball was scrambled clear. Four minutes later the Portuguese sprayed a fine cross-field pass to Saka freeing the winger to try his luck from range. His effort skipped wide.
Ings set pulses racing with a slaloming run through a packed Arsenal defence before Leno did the dirty work with his feet.
Arteta was set to send on Martinelli for Pepe with 21 minutes remaining but had to change his mind when Smith Rowe went down with an injury. Willian was sent on instead but not before referee Kevin Friend booked Pepe for time-wasting after he trudged to the touchline for a substitution that never was.
Almost immediately we grabbed the vital third goal. Cedric again sprayed a beautiful pass to Saka and this time the England international rolled an enticing ball across the six-yard box for Lacazette to bundle home. He ploughed into the post in the process and had to celebrate his 10th goal of the season in pain on the turf. (3-1)
Despite the extra breathing room, the Saints still looked capable of snatching something from the game. Leno twice came to the rescue. First, he bailed out David Luiz who’d had a brain freeze in the box under pressure from Adams and then he parried away a Ward-Prowse free-kick.
A speculative effort from Pepe aside, that was pretty much that. After the weekend’s disappointment, this was a very decent performance and an even better result. The games continue to come thick and fast but 16 points from the last 18 is evidence that something is clicking.
Was expecting a draw, we played a lot better than expected. 4 points behind Liverpool! Saka is great and ESR has never lost an Arsenal match that he’s started!
Plenty of our players deserve a lot of credit after that performance. But I want to give massive respect to Arteta. I don’t know if we win this game had he not rested players on Saturday. He took a lot of shit for it from twats in the media but I think the decision was vindicated tonight. As well as this, he got it bang on playing a high press which created problems for soton all game. And he got it right about Pepe too which was a big call with Martinelli and Willian waiting in the wings. Cedric did… Read more »
On a side note – If Pepe doesn’t score there with all those passes on, he defo would’ve been looking for a new club this January.
He’s turned it round so hats off to Arteta!
great result, hope we can emulate the performance against good manure side this weekend
Agreed on pepe. Anyone noticed how frequently Pepe won those long balls? Good feature of our attack going foward
Agree but I also remember you wanting Arteta sacked, not long ago.
And that means I can’t praise him because…?
I’m so happy he’s turned things round. It’s important to remember we are Arsenal fans. I’d much rather be proved wrong than watch us struggle.
He took a lot of shit from people in comments who were getting equal downvotes so..
Martinelli was waiting in the wing. Almost came on but William came on instead. I guess William was central to arteta’s plan. He got past martinelli and set up a pre pre assist. He’s Just 1 step away from being hleb. Baby steps for him.
Revenge best served… straight away.
On a more sensible note, lovely performance. Saka is now what Ozil and Alexis were on their heydays. ESR is the Santi to stitch it all together.
Elneny and Luis contravening to make it a closer contest!
Leno is both agile and a rock. He seems to be getting his confidence back.
Holding the rock at the back.
Bring on Man U, lets do the double and as a bonus rile up Roy Keane.
I really like Saka. But let’s not be ridiculous; whatever the future holds for him, Alexis in his heyday for us was arguably the third best player in the world. I don’t want to start a battle about Ozil generally, but no one doubts he was also, at that time, one of the very best anywhere.
The movement off the ball, the cheeky flicks, the runs in behind, the through balls, the high press, not being afraid to shoot… this is the Arsenal we have been missing. Long may it continue!
we won without auba and tierney, and we’ll soon have odegaard at our disposal. i’m excited like i haven’t been in a long time.
Here is my dilemma!! Given his performances and results, ESR has to start every game from now on. We are out of the league cup and fa cup. There is no reason to rest ESR anymore. So where is Odegaard going to play? Surely he won’t take the place of Saka or ESR. I really think the 2million we are wasting on Odegaard should have gone to find a good 2nd choice natural LB to cover Theirney. We should also send Nketia on loan ASAP and convince bolagun to sign a contract and sit on the bench as a cover… Read more »
Odegaard can play, so that we’ll never see Willian again. He’s there in case ESR is injured or needs to rest.
ESR can’t play every minute, he already has an injury history. Odegaard is cover for when ESR needs to rest. And competition to keep him sharp.
It’s a smart move; our attack has zero fluidity without a threatening #10. Without Odegaard, if ESR gets injured we’re back to square one.
Odegaard is coming for game time, not to sit on the bench for ESR cover. Who will we drop for him Odegaard? What happens if Benfica beats us?
There is a possibility that ESR will get injured as he may well be now and he will have to be rested at some time, so why is it a waste to bring in another creative midfielder for a little money. On his performance tonight we have very good cover for Bellerin with Cedric.
He could have come in to replace ESR instead of Willian.
ESR can’t start every match.
you must rest
Why are you trying to help Kronke save money?
I know it is easy to say after win but Cedric was great today. Many questioned signing of Mari and Cedric but they both proved to be good players, if not first choice then at least sub. On other hand, hope today’s goal will increase Pepe’s confidence.
Laca has been immense this season for us and his chemistry with Saka and ESR has been good.
Overall good game to win. Next we beat Utd to stop their title challenge.
Laca absolutely busted his arse tonight, ran like a man possessed. I thought he was brilliant.
Pepe looks like a confidence player. He is feeding from it and MA should make it work this for us
We need to take a big shit in Utds cornflakes
Cedric’s best game by far and it feels like he’s improving with each game for us. That cross field pass to Saka for the third goal was sublime. Hopefully this will push Bellerin because while he hasn’t been awful we could use a bit more out of him.
Agree – but probably because he’s getting consistent PL game time now.
He was just a Europa League starter – so fairly sporadic, lets be honest – but still nearly 90% of people on this blog were laying shit on him.
As John Lennon once said ‘…Give Cedric a Chance’..or was that Peace?..dunno…could be wrong..
Don’t believe I’ve seen Pepe have a bad game from the Left
Saka saw them off
That’s gonna hurt!
Fantastic win and a great game to watch but Arteta I beg you please please please stop playing Willian! I was so excited to see Martinelli and then boom, my hopes were shattered when I saw Smith Rowe down
I hope you understand it was due to ESR injury. Martinelli was coming for Pepe and then ESR gone down which forced Arteta to change his mind
Odegaard might have arrived just in time, if ESR is feeling the pace.
Just a side note the referee tonight was awful summer up by booking pepe for time wasting while a player was down injured, who ended up staying on anyway. Mug
That was really stupid, but I thought that late free kick against Xhaka was more worrying. Ward-Prowse forced Leno into a good save–but it was never a foul. I’m sure Friend couldn’t see anything that looked like a foul–he gave it based on Xhaka’s reputation. The worst kind of refereeing.
Pretty good chance that Blogs’ Bonus Rating will be 0/10: Referee Kevin Friend.
Never seen a more determined referee!!?? 😂😂
He was particularly hard on Xhaka. Also, the announcers (in the U.S. anyway) said there was nothing in the challenge on Laca in the box, but I thought it could have been called. If it had been called a penalty, I don’t think VAR would have reversed it.
Completely agree mate, if that was Vardy, Salah or Fernandes, instant penalty. But as it’s Arsenal no call, and commentators says there’s nothing in it.
Also, I liked how he called a foul for Xhaka spinning in the ball and slightly catching the player, and yet Fernandes can pirouette into someone standing still up without the ball and get a penalty. Love PL Ref Quality.
Look at the positive — from the 3rd goal, I think we might have just found the best role for Willian. With Willian being genuinely incapable of progressing the ball, the opposition would fall into a false sense of security, such that whoever that ends up receiving Willian’s back pass (it’s always back pass) is now primed to launch a counter-attack.
Also was it the first time where Willian, Cedric, and Luiz all played together? Yay for Kia
To be fair, it was Willian who kept possession and passed to Cedric for the 3rd goal
That pass was about as strong as a shot haha I’m surprised he was able to control it.
We can’t keep bashing our Willi
3 goals & 3 points.. bring up Man United next we’ll wake them up from their table top Dreamland and put them back down where they belong!
Kevin Friend can go fuck himself. Really didnt want us to win today
Some of the calls really stunk…wtf
Fellas he meant Kevin-who’s-obviously-not-our-friend didn’t want us to win.
I say yeah, fuck him and thumbs up to that. 😁
Agreed, and that’s a strange thing. Usually we do very well with Friend in the middle, but today it was as if Mikel had pissed on his pre-game dinner. The cards to Bellerin and Pepe were ludicrous, and Soton should have had a couple but didn’t. There were so many little fouls that weren’t called when Soton did them to us, but were called when we did it to Soton.
Still, no worries. 3-1 to the ARSENAL
I don’t think he’s biased, just a crap referee. Even worse when there’s a home crowd to influence him.
So Shocking I couldn’t even laugh at how shocking they calls were 😂
Great Arsenal win! I just really hope to see Willian’s first Arsenal goal, still waiting…
Winning here shows how the FA cup exit few days back was totally avoidable if onl
Very good performance away to this Southampton side. Vindicates Arteta abit for the weekend.
Bellerin is so shit. Cedric the Southampton reject playing on the wrong side is a million times better. And player like Cedric is supposed to be bare minimum for us in the fullback. We’ve been conned by frauds like Belllerin for too long!
If that’s what you took from the game, I feel sorry for you brother!
Bellerin put in a cross that was on a plate for Laca if Pepe hadn’t studded it.
Toxic idiot. Can’t you enjoy a good win without having a moan. Where was he so bad anyway
This is your principle take away from the win?
Jog on and fork yourself.
Can you give some actual detail or football analysis? Bellerin is shit is a bit basic .
Titi is the Tagalog word for penis, seems to fit you well.
You are having a fucking laugh, son.
Both Bellerin and Cedric had good games this evening. In fact, everyone worked hard and played well.
If you can’t enjoy this result, then supporting Arsenal or indeed any football club really isn’t for you.
You’re the worst.
You chose the wrong day to mock the wrong player, should for Xhaka to make a mistake, Willian is also an option
How about we don’t mock anyone and just enjoy the win? If every player, played 100% to their capability, and turned in a 10/10 performance, in every game….
Bellerin was good. Cedric was not a Southampton reject–they are a selling club (three words: Virgil Van Dijk). He was first choice for Portugal when they won the Euros. A very good player as a backup, but the contract is too long.
Very very good performance all round. All worked hard and showed real determination. Proud of the boys today. Xhaka, and Saka. Both brilliant.
The second goal was a Xhaka-Laca-Saka connection.
Great result! Love watching Partey pull the strings in midfield. Love seeing our youngsters get better and better. ESR is a real talent! COYG!
That was fun! We should do that more often
Winning here shows how the FA cup exit few days back was totally avoidable if only we played with the right players.
You mean, if ESR had gone off injured and not been available for the league? And Laca had been knackered?
Or, we play all those players and everyone is knackered for this game? I know what you mean but I think we have to accept some rotation has t happen especially with very young players and players returning from injury
You mean if we’d started partey and he’d pulled a hamstring.. after cramping up in the 75th minute this game?
Players never need to be rotated in video games, so why should they be rotated in real life?
Physio: yes that’s right we will have to play a 6-3-1 formation with Willian up front for the remainder of the season. Nicklas Bendtner has just passed his medical though. But hey that Southampton win back in January was great, really showed’em.
Can’t argue with that. A fine performance. More of this please.
Excellent nights work.
Why couldn’t we play like this on Saturday?
Would love to do it next Saturday! Bellerin against Rashford is a key battle. Partey on Fernandes another.
Seriously, wouldn’t you rather have AMN marking Rashford than Bellerin? Just sayin’…..
Not got that ‘strength in depth’ they talk about I guess. Luiz was a liability tonight, too.
5 changes to the side.
That personnel was disjointed and inferior. Simple answer.
Hope the ESR substitution is just a precaution.
Well done the boys, excellent performance. Especially because at several stages they were playing against 12 men. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw such a shocking refereeing display. Pépé did brilliantly, dogged in defence in the 1st, though dropped off alot in the 2nd. Concentration definitely an issue. ESR and Özil are like chalk and cheese, I hope it’s nothing serious 😕 Glad that Cedric pulled it back together and anyone who says Holding isn’t good enough to be the future of our defense can do one. I hope Arteta puts in a complaint about that disgrace… Read more »
Really good watch tonight. Great response from going behind early. Cedric played a blinder and is qualty cover at right or left back. Saka and Smith Rowe outstanding again,lets hope no injuries for Saturday!
What a difference a month can make! COYG! Would like to praise slightly less sung heros Lacazette who has after a slump has really excelled bringing others into play ..and Leno who is so solid right now. Special thanks to Holding for doing the tidying up at the David Luiz State Circus. Hope ESR is ok and bring on Man Utd!!!
Pepe looks a much better player on the left and less predictable.
1. God bless academy one more time.
2. What ESR and Saka provide is not just talent. Is effort determination and ambition.
3. The contrast between our 1st tier today and 2nd tier Saturday is mind blowing.
Give Saka a lifetime contract. The kid is super talented! COYG!!!
A lot to like – and enjoy. But I’d like to put a word out for Lacazette who was busting his gut well after the 80th minute. Respect.
Pepe showing a bit more of what he can do – in the right set up and with support. First goal was a big one.
He’s like the anti-Gervinho….can’t dribble but scores when he gets there
Up and down game for Laca. Misses a 19/20 chance in the second minute then gets a goal and an assist. Pretty energetic all round from him though which is encouraging. Looks like he’s playing for the new contract he won’t be offered.
He tries hard playing good or bad.
He played a great game bringing others into play.. High workrate and a goal. I wouldn’t call it up and down.. He had one bad moment and then 89 minutes of great play.
We just went all out attack on this one and got the result. Cedric, Partey and even Xhaka were higher up the pitch than usual. Glad Pepe got a goal, Saka is excellent. Cedric did very well and would like him to be the RB when Tierney returns. Holding also was superb especially considering Luiz’s mind freeze. Incredible restraint from Holding and Leno not to smack Luiz on his head after that moment.
Cedric MOTM closely followed by Saka Holding Leno and Laca. Pepe showing green shoots too which is fantastic. He’s a dangerous player which is why teams double and triple up on him, if he could be coached to release a pass almost immediately it would open up so much space in attack for us and make him such an asset.
Pepe , one touch , shoot score –or one touch pass assist . Thats something what I remember him doing well his french highlights clip s video , from left side or centre his body is open to do that quickly imo
Fine stuff, I’d prioritize 3 points in the league over the cup these days, and with this squad yer probably not likely to get both.
Only City, Spurs and Villa have conceded less than us, Would you ever have thought?And they’ve played less games 🤣
Whoooah! Breath of fresh air! So glad we got the 3 points, handful of sublime individual performances tonight from the likes of Leno, Holding, Soares, Partey and our attacking section. Could even afford the disastrous presence of Luiz not to mention the last 20 minutes after we went down to 10 men with ESR’s substitution.
Full credits to the lads tonight, I can feel the energy in the air again!
People ridiculed arteta for the loss You can’t knock a manager because he utilises an emerging talent. We will be 8th tonight. I have always said that is about par for us…give or take. If anyone expected much more when you look at the quality of teams above us, that would be insanity.
We are above Chelsea and four points behind Liverpool. Yes Liverpool have had a blip but you could say Arsenal had one too
I really enjoyed the third goal, or more precisely, the time at which it was scored. After a lengthy stoppage, it’s usually us who have a lapse in concentration and concede. Even though we had been on the backfoot for most of the second half, when the stoppage came, we jumped at the opportunity to flash the opponent and score a quick one. Noice.
Anybody noticed that Partey is a wall?
His composure on the ball is a sight to behold. He is one cool customer.
Very very satisfying. That Saka finish! How he gets it out from under his feet with that pace on it is so good. And Cedric’s pass for the third was so good.
Big result. The teams form in the league is something to be excited about.
Laca, yes he was in pain but he still had that grin on his face.
Respect to the players and Arteta for the selection. I only comment on the goals from the report as that’s all I’ve seen of the game and I’m blown away by the sheer variation of them tonight as none were possession based. The first from the high press and a zinger of a through ball by Xhaka for Pepe who could’ve taken made the easy pass across the box but had the belief to take the finish for himself. Second from a goal kick and a sublime telepathic ball by Lana between the two defenders for Saka and the third…a… Read more »
Great performance. Arteta must be breathing a huge sigh of relief, because, once again, ESR and especially Saka – who were both superb – have dug him out of another hole. Elsewhere, Pepe had his best game thus far in an Arsenal shirt, Holding and Bellerin were immense at the back, Partey showing his vast experience and composure and Lacazette continues to make a mockery of all those who were calling for him to be sold last summer. Saka and ESR need to start in this side for the Premiership, no matter what (injuries permitting). Save the incoming loan dude… Read more »
3 wicked goals and all so different coming from a laca press, Leno goal kick and Soares ping. the pre-assist, the assist and the goal…so simple, so efficient, so arsenal…PERFECT!
Gotta be a negative nancy but
Bellerin should be our third choice RB once Tierney is fit. Maybe 4th choice, I bet Willian would do better at RB.
Cedric is turning out to be a beast, LANS!!!
Good win against a tough side. We’ve really struggled against Southampton in recent years so it’s great to get a fairly solid win against them. I guess we’re not relegation rivals with West Brom anymore then! Great to see Allardyce eating his words. Here’s hoping we can keep up this run and see where we’re at in late March. That should be when it’s clear what we’re fighting for.
Does Bukayo Saka know this song exists? And is it about him? I need answers. https://xibalbasl.bandcamp.com/track/saka
I was expecting 4-0. Saka, ESR, Partey completely change the team. It is amazing how much better a player xhaka is next to Partey.
Holding solid as always. Excited for Saturday for the first time in a while.
Anyone else concerned about how Leno keeps making good saves but pushes the ball into dangerous areas ? I love him as a keeper but this has always been a weakness of his. Recently , i feel it is becoming a more prominent feature.
Lawro said in his prediction on bbc, although we would put stronger team than last, he still saw saints winning..that loserpool bias fucker..
Great win today. The overall team performances are inspiring a lot of confidence at the moment. I have no fear of United this weekend. F*^% United. We can beat them. Just hope Partey and ESR will be ready for 90 minutes on Saturday.
Best u-21 right winger in the premier league
Best u-21 left winger in the premier league
Best u-21 right sided attacker in the premier league
Best u-21 left sided attacker in the premier league
Best u-21 left back in the premier league
Most important player at AFC this year by a country mile…!
Good win. In the league we are in good form going into a tough match up this weekend. and whilst we are in 8th worth reminding ourselves that there are a thick bunch of teams around us many of which have a game or 3 in hand over us, so before we get too ahead of ourselves, realistically depending on results coming up next 2 or 3 matches, we are still around 10th or 11th. But it is clear we have a selection we should try not to deviate from or over rotate. 1) Laca and ESR clearly play to… Read more »
They thought they stood a chance. Luiz teased them with a defensive lapse. And Just as that lIGHT shone down on them and they thought that their glimmer of hope had turned into a beacon of hope, in stepped the French Charlie. Laca went boomz! Boom the boomtown charlie! 2-goal cushion. Sweet dreams for us. A long night for them.
16 from 18. I’d have sawed my arm off for that a few months ago, and still I occasionally wonder if we’re on the right track. Must be all the negativity on here from some people. Could we all please stop that? I like this “getting points, winning games, young guns showing the world” nonsense that’s going on. What a performance – Xhaka was absolutely massive, Laca ran until the final second, Cedric banging in sniper shots from distance… I LIKE THIS. Can we be happy now? Just.. you know.. even if we don’t beat ManUre, this is still a… Read more »
Great performance after an insipid one on Saturday. Cedric for me was MOTM, playing out of position and doing a fantastic job. My moan is Kevin Friend booked Bellerin straight away and yet 10 minutes later a similar foul was committed, a late tackle and nothing was given and was Lacazette’s shirt being tugged in the penalty area towards the end of the match. Isn’t that a penalty. And I almost forgot, Luiz was cack last night.