By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal starting with : Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Özil, Alexis, Lacazette. On the beach we had Ospina, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Wilshere, Iwobi, Giroud, Welbeck.
The first real attack from Southampton and Austin scored. Arsenal losing the ball in their own defence and Southampont with a quick move setting on his own and he made no mistake. 1-0 after 3 minutes.
Kolasinac tried to reply with a long run but he overran the effort and lost the ball. Austin then again almost away but Cech stopped the low effort. Bellerin and Kos losing the ball high up the field but luckily the offside flag went up. Austin then hitting the post but he was well offside and the flag went up. Arsenal really having a bad start to the match. Only after some 10 minutes Arsenal starting to use the ball a bit but no real goal chances apart from Alexis having a shot on the turn but straight at the keeper at the stroke of 15 minutes.
Arsenal then with a copy book counter over Alexis – Bellerin to Lacazette but a defender slid in just when the Frenchman wanted to take his shot and saved for a corner. The ball bouncing in the Southampton penalty area after the corner but no Arsenal player could take a shot at goal and Southampton could clear. A tame shot from Ramsey and an infiltration from Bellerin but he just overran the it. Southampon pressing up high up the pitch getting a free kick and Cech has to puch it over his crossbar for a corner. The ball is not really cleared and the ball bouncing dangerously in the Asenal penalty area but luckily ending in the arms of Cech. Arsenal get a free kick but Southampton can clear almost start a counter but som strong tackling prevents the counter. Arsenal stil 1-0 down after 30 minutes.
Alexis and Ramsey running in each others way when a ball falls almost kindly for Arsenal and then seconds later Alexis with a low cross to Ramsey who has a goal bound shot but a great stop from the keeper preventing an equaliser. Alexis with a ball to Bellerin and his low cross finds Lacazette but he blazes his effort wild over. Cech first heading a ball away and a bit later slipping but he can get up in time to smother any possible danger. Arsenal has to watch out for the Southampton counters. Cech being very attentive so far. Arsenal cannot score in the first half and we go in at half time 1-0 down.
Arsenal pushing Southampton back around their own penalty area for minutes but they defend with all 11 players and it difficult to find openings. Kolasinac close to some openings but always a body in the way. So no real goal chances for the moment. Still 1-0 down after 60 minutes.
Out of nothing Romeu shoots from distance and hits the crossbar. Cech looked to have it covered. Welbeck will be the first to come on and Per goes off after 63 minutes. That will mean we go to a back 4 I tink. When Koscielny loses the ball Southampton can break and they are one on one with Cech but the shot goes wide. Koscielny then with an excellent tackle to prevent another Southampton counter. Monreal at the other end with a shot from distance after an Arsenal corner but it went wide. Jack Wilshere comes on for Xhaka after 68 minutes. Arsenal attack but nobody dares to take a shot it seems? Giroud also getting ready to come on. Lacazette is the one who goes off after 71 minutes.
Bellerin gets a yellow card for stopping a Southampton attack. The match now very much standing still whenever the ball goes out as Southampton taking all the time and more to run down the clock. Stephens gets a yellow card finally for time wasting. Romeu gets one for stepping on the foot of Wilshere. Alexis with the free kick but Foster punches it away. And finally Alexis with a cross and Giroud heads it over the line. GOAL ! 1-1 after 87 minutes. A glancing header from the Frenchman.
Wilshere gets a yellow card for a tackle from behind. Ramsey can’t run anymore so Arsenal in fact playing with 10 man. But he still manages to get in the Southampton penalty area but his backheel is too soft to beat Foster. Arsenal has to be satisfied with a draw. A typical day at Southampton like we have had a lot over the last years. But this time we managed to get a point in the end. We didn’t play as well as we could today and again were taken cold from the start. Something we should start working on as it also was the case when we played against Manchester United.
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