Southampton 3-2 Arsenal: Ralph Hasenhuttl's revamped Saints end Gunners unbeaten run
PUBLISHED: 15:26 16 December 2018
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Southampton hosted Arsenal on Sunday at St Mary's. Read on for Rosie Tudball's match report.
Arsenal’s 22 game unbeaten streak came to an end on the South coast as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s revamped Southampton defeated the Gunners 3-2.
Things looked encouraging for the visitors early on as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went close after just five minutes of play. A sublime ball from midfield by Matteo Guendouzi found the striker in the box, with a fantastic first touch and shot the Gabon international almost gave Arsenal the lead but McCarthy was there to push away the danger.
Unai Emery’s side looked to be in control in the first 15 minutes of the game, however to follow the trend this season, the Gunners went behind on the 20 minute mark. Arsenal are yet to go into the break in a winning position this season and things didn’t change at St Mary’s.
Out of nowhere, a great cross from Stuart Armstrong found the head of Danny Ings in the box, the Englishman made no mistake in burying the ball past Leno to put the Saints ahead early on.
Arsenal seemed to wake up after the opener, as just seven minutes later through Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Gunners copied Southampton’s opener, as a fantastic ball from the left flank courtesy of Nacho Monreal was converted by the Armenian with a strong header in the box.
Moments later, Aubameyang looked certain to give the visitors the lead. Arsenal used their threat from out wide once more, this time Lucas Torreira fired a low driven cross into Aubameyang who scuffed shot in front of goal.
Just before the break, Southampton reminded Arsenal just how dangerous they could be in the box. Ings treated the Gunners to a repeat of his first, Nathan Redmond was the provider as the Saints went into the break 2-1 up.
Arsenal started the second half exactly as expected, securing the equaliser after just five minutes played. Mkhitaryan claimed his second of the game with a deflected shot after some fantastic play from substitute Alexandre Lacazette and Guendouzi to get the ball back.
It was a half of high intensity, as both teams looked to go ahead as the minutes went on. Southampton thought they’d grabbed the decisive goal fifteen minutes from time as Shane Long found the back of the net. The number seven’s goal was rightly ruled as offside by the lineswoman.
After ninety minutes of constant pressure on Arsenal, Southampton got their goal. It was an extremely poor goal for the Gunners to concede, as a combination of dire goalkeeping and defending gifted Charlie Austin the crucial goal.
It was a dreadful day for the visitors, who looked off par from the kick off. Arsenal will be expected to bounce back almost immediately, as Tottenham Hotspur come to visit on Wednesday night in the Carabao cup.