Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Vieira, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Walters, Kiwior, Jorginho, Nelson, Smith Rowe, Trossard, Nketiah
Arsenal staged late comeback against Southampton to take a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates this evening.
The Gunners were without Granit Xhaka who missed the game through illness, while Oleksandr Zinchenko returned at left-back.
We needed a good start, but got quite the opposite. Ramsdale played a pass towards Zinchenko, Alcaraz intercepted and slotted home despite the keeper’s best efforts to keep it out. 0-1.
Gabriel Martinelli drove into the Saints’ box but got crowded out, and after a corner Martin Odegaard hit the side netting. Zinchenko fired a shot over after another corner, but it got worse in the 14th minute when Theo Walcott made it 2-0 for Southampton, getting behind Gabriel to fire beyond Ramsdale. 0-2.
It took the life out of the stadium but in the 20th minute, Martinelli breathed life back into it. Odegaard picked it up, played it outside to Saka who burned beyond his full back, crossed it with his right foot, it fell for Martinelli who whacked it home first time. 1-2.
Ramsdale made a double save as Southampton threatened again, Alcaraz picked up a yellow card for a foul on Saka, before Odegaard headed over from a Martinelli cross. Perraud followed Alcaraz into the book, again for a foul on Saka.
The visitors had to make a change when Bednarek tumbled over Martinelli in an aerial challenge, he must have been knocked out and didn’t want to come off but the medical staff insisted and he was replaced by Caleta-Car. Walker-Peters was next to get a yellow, this time for a foul on Martinelli, and the game went into 7 minutes of added time at the end of the first half.
Odegaard saw a shot blocked before Gabriel headed over, Saka played Jesus in but Bazunu was there to deny him, and from the resulting corner a Ben White header was cleared off the line at the last minute by Alcaraz. Jesus had a header saved, while at the other end Southampton caused us some problems, taking their one goal lead into the break.
The Saints made a change at half-time, taking off the impressive Alcaraz for defender Lyanco, and going to a back five. It was all Arsenal in the opening stages, with a packed Southampton box dealing with crosses and through balls. Saka aimed a cross at Vieira but it was headed away at the last minute, and it was the midfielder’s last action as he was replaced by Leandro Trossard with 56 minutes gone.
It was one way traffic without the Gunners making clear cut chances. Saka hit the post but the ball had gone out of play beforehand, but it got worse when Southampton scored again from a corner. Corner came in, it was flicked on to the back post, and Caleta-Car headed in at the back post. 1-3.
There was a chance to respond immediately when Martinelli crossed for Jesus but the striker put it over the bar from close range. Eddie Nketiah replaced Zinchenko, but we continued to struggle to make chances. Saka had a shot blocked, by Eddie, and Jesus couldn’t make contact with a good Saka cross.
Bazunu saved a Saka shot/cross, Reiss Nelson came on for Martinelli, and in the 88th minute we got a goal. Odegaard fired into the bottom corner after a good combination with White. 2-3.
Incredibly, it was level 2 minutes later. Arsenal crossed it in, it fell for Nelson, Bazunu saved his shot, and Saka fired home. 3-3.
With the crowd reinvigorated, Trossard smashed a shot off the bar, as 8 minutes of added time were announced. Jesus went down in the box, Nelson shot just wide via a deflection, there was all kinds of late pressure, a VAR check for a penalty that didn’t come, and in teh end it’s another two points dropped.