By Walter Broeckx
Lots of changed of course in the starting line up. In fact apart from the man with 3 lungs Elneny we have 10 other players compared to last weekend.
So here is the team that started: Martinez, Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide, Ramsey, Iwobi, Lucas
On the beach today: Macey, Bola, Bielik, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mavidid
Arsenal with most of the ball and Southampton leaning back and hoping for the break in the opening 5 minutes of the match. Then Southampton with a better spell and when a player is in too much room on our right flank his cross is put in the Arsenal goal after two attempts. 0-1 after 12 minutes. First real shot on goal goes in.
Arsenal almost have a shot but the effort from Iwobi is blocked. Southampton defending in numbers now of course. Peres with some good runs in to space but the pass after that is missing. Too many loose passes from Arsenal so far in this match. Elneny going in the book after a pull back to stop a counter. Arsenal still 0-1 behind after 30 minutes.
Too many Southampton defenders around their penalty area so the passing has to be top and it isn’t so far. Iwobi also in the book when he chased a Southampton player after losing the ball. Boufal was also holding the shirt of Iwobi so a bit soft this one. Adelaide then being chopped in two by Yoshida who also goes in the book. There was a bit of space now but Arsenal now only have a free kick that is cleared for a corner. Finally some real pressure from Arsenal with a few corners in a row but nothing at the end of it.
Arsenal lose the ball on the right flank and Southampton capitalises on the error and score their second goal. 0-2 after 38 minutes. I’m sorry to say but the right flank with Jenkinson and Adelaide is no match for Southampton. And then Elneny is down with an injury and goes off and Xhaka comes on. Meanwhile Iwobi on the right flank and Adelaide on the left.
A poor first half from Arsenal who shot themselves in the foot with sloppy defending on the right flank.
My stream then going down for a few minutes so missing the opening 5 minutes of the second half. Xhaka with a free kick but Forster can save the ball. Holding at the other end with a good interception to clear for a corner after a Southampton counter. From the corner a collision between Martinez who played the ball and Van Dijck results in an injury for the latter. Ref didn’t call a foul on the keeper so can count themselves lucky they didn’t score from the rebound. Martinez also looks shaky. Arsenal still 0-2 down after 60 minutes.
Coquelin with a left foot shot from distance but a comfortable save for the keeper. After 61 minutes Adelaide is taken off and Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on. Adelaide is a prospect but he is counting too much on his skills and wants to show them off too much and isn’t using the teamwork enough. Still a lot ot learn for the young Frenchman.
Perez with a nice move but his shot is deflected for a corner. After 63 minutes Maitland-Niles comes on for Jenkinson. Meanwhile Southampton using every trick in the time wasting book. A shot from Coquelin goes just wide. Yoshide already on a yellow taking the ball away to prevent a quick free restart from Arsenal, that could have been his second.
Arsenal trying to shoot from distance a few times but not really troubling the keeper. Southampton with the counter close to a third goal but missing the target twice. The Ox at the other end with a shot from around the penalty spot but he blasts it over. Gibbs with a header after a good action from Xhaka and Maitland-Niles on the right flank but a grea save from the keeper prevents an Arsenal goal. Ramsey being tripped in the penalty area is ignored and Lucas Peres gets a yellow card when he makes a small foul. The defender in the Ramsey case didn’t touch the ball that is for sure. Lucas Perez with a cut back but Southampton can clear for a corner. A shot from Gibbs is somehow cleared in front of the goal for another corner. This is more the Arsenal we like to see.
At the other end Martinez has to push a shot wide for a corner. Maitland Niles with a super clearance after a low cross from Southampton. Arsenal almost gifts Southampton a third goal after giving the ball away in front of their own penalty area but Martinez with a good stop.
A few corners in stoppage time but the shots are always blocked or blasted over in the final minute by Gibbs.
Some sloppy defending in the first half on our right flank gave Southampton too much freedom and they took full advantage and then could play the preferred counter game and Arsenal lacked ideas to break down the Southampton defence.
If there was one match I wouldn’t have minded us to lose in November it was this. Bring on December.