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Arsenal – Southampton, the now completed incomplete match report

By Walter Broeckx

We are under  way after a delay of some 15 minutes because of some underground disturbance. This will have its affect on this article as you will be invited to update it in the comment section once it is published.  This is because of the delay I cannot see the final minutes of this game as I have to leave to do my own game as a ref.

Southampton pressing high up the pith as usual and in the opening minutes they see a lot of the ball as a result.  But gradually Arsenal taking over and resulting in Wilshere lobbing the keeper, the ball ending up against the post over the keeper but the rebound was kind for Southampton and the ball bounced back in the hands of Boruc.  The only goal chance in the first 15 minutes of the game.

Özil then with a cross for Ramsey who flicks it on with a back heel only to see it ending up the post with Boruc well beaten again.  Twice the post came to the rescue for Southampton in the first 20 minutes.  Oh well must have thought Boruc, after so many bad luck they deserve a break. So after a back pass to Boruc he thought he would dribble Giroud. But bad idea as Giroud nicked the ball away from Boruc  and could score in the empty goal. 1-0 to the Arsenal after 22 minutes.

Southampton reacted with some pressure and a few corners. Arteta with a miss and a shot from Lalana but Szczesny to the rescue.  Southampton making fouls on a thin line between over aggressive and within the laws. Ref lets it go most of the time.

Lots of offsides in this part of the game and Southampton pushing for an equalizer.  Hooiveld came in with a high foot and was rightfully booked.  1-0 at half time.

Time for me to do my final match preparations. A pasta meal, putting on my costume and my tie. After all refs in Belgium have some class.

Southampton tried to press forward at the start of the second half. Wanyama hacking down Cazorla earned him a yellow card. Then a good attack from Southampton but the shot was straight at Szczesny who smothered the ball comfortably.   Arsenal sitting back and defending most of the time.  Maybe bring in a quick striker up front to launch the counter attack.  Theo anyone?

One hour played and Arsenal still leading with 1-0. Cazorla being more involved in the last minutes and Arsenal has taken over again.  Özil with a good dribble and a shot but in the hands of the keeper.  Arsenal well in control. The crowd has been on Boruc his case ever since the goal and his kicking is poor.  Theo is preparing himself.  Wilshere with a header but at the keeper. Arsenal looking to score that second goal.

Theo Walcott comes on in the 70th minute in the place of Santi Cazorla.  Bad luck then as Arteta has to pull out with an injury a few minutes later. Rosicky takes his place. The absence of Flamini because of suspension is not what we need now.

Özil with a great ball to Walcott but his pass to Giroud goes to the Southampton keeper.  My time is running out now. I should be leaving now for my match. Lambert with a shot, but deflected.

10 minutes to go Walcott almost with a counter but Boruc first on the ball. Özil goes off and Monreal comes on. A shot from Theo goes just wide

UPDATED PART

Southampton try to go more forward but Giroud forces a corner to Arsenal. Fonte wants to try to swap shirts with Mertesacker when the corner is taken. He maybe thought the games was over already.  Pulling a player by his shirt in the penalty area is a foul and the fact that refs sometimes let it go is no real excuse to not give a penalty.

Giroud steps up to the ball and sends the keeper the wrong way and puts the game out of doubt. 2-0 to the Arsenal.

Arsenal then play the game out in a rather comfortable way.

My after thoughts on the game:

Southampton are a good side. They play a high pressing game all over pitch. This is very demanding physically and I wonder how long they can keep this up. Of course they don’t play European matches so they have more rest in between games but I wonder if they can keep this up all season.  Also this was also only their second defeat of the season, they are difficult to beat. But we did it.

About Arsenal. There is a lot of determination in the team. In a match against a team that could come level at the top of the league you not only have to work hard but also take your chances. We just did that.

We could and should have gone up earlier than we did with two balls hitting the post.  But once we took the lead we also showed that this team can defend. Our ‘superstars’ also work hard.

Our defensive cohesion was very much tested today. We didn’t have Flamini because he has earned himself too many yellow cards. And when we lost Arteta with only a 1-0 lead this was a moment that could be important. No real defensive midfielder to be seen at that moment. But after a few hesitant moments at first the team refound its balance and composure and Southampton couldn’t really take advantage of Arsenal playing with no defensive midfielder at all.

The combination Per-Kos once again was strong. Per being very important not only in his defensive work today but also being involved in the penalty we got. He is a beast!

And the same can be said about Giroud. As he hasn’t scored for a few weeks the first knives were out being sharpened by some. But the way he works for the team is amazing to see.  Just imagine the emotional way he has been through this week. First the ultimate joy to get that place in the world cup and then just days later losing his grandfather.  Our condolences Olivier and what a way to react to this emotional rollercoaster.

So here we are. After 12 games we are still top of the league. 4 points in front of Liverpool and Chelsea.  Not a bad position I think.  Where will it end? It will be an interesting season I think.

Let’s keep it rolling…. Oh reminds me…do I hear Tony singing: The answer is blowing in the wind…?

33 comments to Arsenal – Southampton, the now completed incomplete match report

  • Ian

    Just as well you had Clattenberg on your side, can we have all the penalties for holding of our players in the area. Nonsense

  • Stuart

    Ian,
    Are you complaining about a clear penalty? Seems like you are used to expecting to get away with that.

  • elkieno

    Wat bout wanyama, finally 2nd half got his deserved yellow from the 20th minute onwards.
    Saints are a good team btw, but trying to keep up that amount of pressure all year long is hard, real hard. But good luck to them and I mean that I like their game they could win a cup even. Swansea, saints, even stoke trying to play on the ground fair play. Still hate stoke though.
    COYG! Top!!

  • Gord

    It has been a long time since I got to see much of a game, seen the second half.

    I suspect that was the most important tackle Giroud has made all season, taking the ball off Boruc.

    When the TV camera was showing more of the field of play, the arsenal shirt sleeves tended to look light green to me, but when they zoomed, most definitely white. Odd. I didn’t see what might have happened to Arteta. I suspect Sagna might be a little sore tomorrow.

    No player should expect to get away with fouling, in the box or not. If you get caught, there is no excuse of “you let it go last time”. But in general, I seen a lot of pushes all over the park which bugged me.

    I thought Cazorla and Ozil did well.

    I gather Giroud got hit early in the game? In any event, a BBC commentator mentioned that Bendtner might have to replace Giroud, This generate a steady stream of negative comments throughout the game.

  • Gord

    Oh, a player reaction snippet from the BBC

    > 1718: PLAYER REACTION- Arsenal 2-0 Southampton Olivier Giroud

    [ snip ]

    > “Two days before [the match] I lost my grandfather so I’m really motivated to dedicate these goals to him and I hope he is proud of me in the sky.”

    I had seen nothing about this in the news prior to the game. My condolences Olivier.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Giroud’s first goal was wonderfully cheeky, and reminded me of the great Mr. Thiery Henry… What are the chances Mr. Henry had a little word in Giroud’s ear to be a pest for the GK!

    Great game, top of the league with 2.33 points average points per game.

  • ARSENAL 13

    hhahhahha……I heard someone say “we are not afraid of ARSENAL”. Well, you should have been. should have been….

    Domination of our midfield, yes their high pressing game and all, was such that the “we are not scared” guy was nowhere near the ball.

    Penalty, the right decision. And as expected the commentator thought that it was harsh because other people do the same and get away with it. Hah now take that for an excuse…….

    My only complaint…..RAMSEY and WILSHERE??? How come you guyz missed a sitter????

  • bjtgooner

    I have not yet viewed the match so I cannot comment at this stage, but I am looking forward to looking at it later tonight. However, Southampton are a fine team and it is good to get the win and three valuable points. I did see Thompson’s post match comments on Sky – he was so miserable he was nearly reaching for the Kleenex!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I thought that Southampton looked good on the ball but couldn’t do anything in the final 3rd. For the most part neitiher could we for long stretches. The difference, I guess, was that I always felt that something special was coming. We missed chances, yes, we overhit through balls but we were always going to try them again and maybe the next time. 1st goal..a gift. 2nd goal…that’s what having a BFG in the box will give you. Fonte didn’t need to pull his shirt so obviously but he thought he did and boy was it obvious…

  • Gord

    One report suggests Arteta has an ankle injury. In Germany at half time, it is scoreless between Bayern Munich and Dortmund. And it looks unlikely that West Ham are going to do us any favours in their game against Chelsea.

  • Persian gunner

    Jack was very good, bossing in the midfield!

  • TommieGun

    Great performance by the team, Southampton are quite good in it wasn’t an easy game. We deserved at least one more goal though 😀

    I thought Ozil had a very good game, he suddenly come back to life and did those out of the box things that make him such a tremendous player.

    All in all, a great result, and its really nice to know that Giroud finding the back of the net had special meaning to it …

    Now a boring draw with lots of cards between Spuds and City, please, to make this weekend really good.

  • AL

    Good result, well done Arsenal!

    Just watching the replay now and have seen 3 tackles on our players(Wanyama on Wilshere(twice) & on Carzola, and Schneiderlin on Ozil) that should have been yellow cards at least, but each time Clattenburg waved them away. I think he set the tone for the bad tackles that left some of our players with injuries. Ozil looks like he was really on fire in this match.

  • Blacksheep63

    Got back from the game at 7.30 thanks to all the delays on the tube. Looked like an obvious penalty from where I was (north bank lower). Crowd a little subdued I felt. Saints looked competent but not dangerous, wasn’t ever worried. Clattenberg was awful, giving fouls for them and not for us, then not playing advantage when he could have.

    We were rusty, bit hesitant at times, not free flowing. I’ll blame the defeat to Utd and the international break. Bring on Marseille and let’s hope theo gets to start.

    Oh and by the way… We are TOP of THE LEAGUE!

  • Yassin

    Pure tactics by Wenger, brilliant, this man is just unbelievable… How could he set the team to counter this high line pressure on our defenders by spreading the full backs and having ramsey and arteta at the back. And how he could give the opponent the ball and still not get enough shots on goals… And they say Wenger doesnt know tactics, will then u know no football.

    Brilliant fight, high spirit, yes the goals werent thoses brilliant ones, but dont forget we had two shots on post that could have been the best of the week.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Clattenberg set the tone in the first five minutes with three missed fouls on Arsenal players and continued like that for the whole game. I was really surprised by the penalty decision which seemed totally out of character with everything he had don’t through the rest of the game. A good three points against a very awkward team. I just hope Arteta isn’t out for too long.

    Now for Marseille on Tuesday. COYG

  • bjtgooner

    A very enjoyable and hard fought tactical match. Southampton played well but Arsenal were in control for almost all of the game. It was a good team effort – but Giroud was immense! Good to see Walcott back on the pitch.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just came home from my own match that went very well (thank you for asking 😉 ) and did the last minutes of the game and gave my final comments.

    I put it below the words UPDATED PART

  • WalterBroeckx

    Only now did I see Giroud pointing to the sky when he sat on his knees after the first goal.

  • Gord

    @Walter

    I am glad your game went well. I wasn’t sure if I should have posted Olivier’s comment about his grandfather. But it seemed important.

    WRT Marseille, football.co.uk is reporting that Gignac, Valbuena and Khalifa are doubtful. It is possible their information is accurate, it is possible it isn’t.

    COYG!

  • bob

    “the first knives were out being sharpened by some.”
    Walter,
    Perhaps, but I didn’t read any attacks on Giroud. What I did read, including from Kos, is that Giroud was beginning to feel the overuse on many fronts in so short a time. This is not knives out but the prudent call for a second quality striker before burn out and injury pay their seasonal visits. And Walcott off the bench – whom you call a striker – is not the same thing the likes of Benzema, say, or someone other than Nick the not-so quick and the untested Sanogo. Now that he’s blown the smoke of “making do” without another striker, I can’t wait for AW to strike early in the January window.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh, I have seen the knifes Bob.
    From supporters moaning about his lack of goals in the last games. He hadn’t scored since Palace they said. Can we buy a player that has the same physical presence and hard work and score even more goals?

  • OMGArsenal

    Walter….if you were in uniform before the game, why would you wear a tie? Does the official’s jersey have a white starched collar like the old days?

  • Florian

    We are the first team that scores 2 goals in a match against Southampton this season.

  • Florian

    Actually, if what I heard is correct, it’s the first time Southampton have shipped 2 goals in the last 15 matches.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ozil looks stunned every time hez tackled. Must be wondering…….wherz the space Cesc was talking about??????

  • AL

    Arsenal 13
    You’re right, especially the way he was taken out by the Southampton number 4 right in front of the ref and the ref saw nothing wrong with that.

    I thought clattenburg had a poor game, and apart from the penalty (which of course was a penalty) he didn’t give us anything. Wanyama could easily have finished the game with 4 or more yellow cards if Poll had been ref, but I think he only got punished once. Clattenburg only blew for fouls on us when he should have given us the advantage. There was quite a few bad tackles in that match,and all on our players; like the ones on Sagna,Giroud(took a few), Wilshere, Arteta,Carzola,& Ozil. Southampton are not a physical side, but for them to make that many bad tackles shows what can happen when a ref decides to let one continue fouling persistently freely.

  • colario

    Marseille played away to Ajaccio on Friday and won 3-1.

    Napoli played Saturday evening and lost at home to Parma.
    I saw some of this game and I thought Lets hope for their game against Dortmund is a draw both attacks looked tame.

    Lets hope their game against Dortmund is a draw. Dortmund lost 3 -0 to Bayern.

    Jam on the Saturday cake would be a nil nil at the lane.

    A Happy Week to all Gooners

  • colario

    If you haven’t seen the first goal here is a link.

    I’ve never seen this happen before.

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/early-doors/artur-boruc-tries-skills-arsenal-doesn-t-well-161946414.html

  • gouresh

    What I liked is the compactness of the team. I remember I had written some time ago that were all over the place. Players playing as individuals, heads down and just doing their thing. We can see after the duds loss last yr something has drastically changed. Weather the players got a real good kick up their bum or bouldy uncles organization is working. btw good luck to Southampton as they look a really good side.

  • nicky

    @ Blacksheep63,
    What was the trouble on the Tube?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Over and above the planned engineering works to the Overground linking Highbury & Islington with South London and the Northern line, there were severe delays on the Piccadilly Line due to points failures. This resulted in the Victoria line being the only one going anywhere the ground.

  • STEVE VALLINS

    @ Colario
    Reyes scored a similar goal against Fulham we won 1 nil Van Der Sar was in goal and he just dallied with the ball at his feet
    Clatternberg has history for giving penalties for shirt pulling he gave one this season at Norwich if players knew this would happen when pulling shirts it would soon stop