By Walter Broeckx
A few changes mostly down to give some rest to players with a busy week ahead and the midweek match. Özil and Aubameyang drop on the bench and Ramsey and Lacazette come in their place. Sokratis starts in the playce of Koscielny and Kolasinac starts in the place of Monreal in a 4 man defence. Torreira comes in for
Arsenal team : Leno, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Iwobi, Lacazette
On the beach: Cech, Koscielny, Monreal, Guendouzi, Suarez, Ozil, Aubameyang
The match starting at a hectic pace and both teams struggling to get the ball under control for a longer time in the opening minutes. Southampton with the first chance when Redmond is send clear but Leno with a good block from point blank range. Arsenal attack and Ramsey is bundled over in the penalty when Iwobi crosses. The ball comes to Mkhitaryan who has a shot that would have gone wide but Lacazette backheals it and it goes in. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 6 minutes.
Xhaka with a good shot but just over the crossbar. Southampton with a few moments where Leno has to push a shot away and then the defenders can clear. Arsenal with an attack but the ball seems lost and the keeper slips when clearing. Iwobi wins the ball and runs in the penalty area. His cross is deflected in the feet of Mkhitaryan who makes no mistake shoots the ball in the net. GOAL!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 17 minutes. Sorry for the lack of updates for the moment but we have a technical error. Hope to solve this at half time.
Kolasinac has a shot and Romeu spreads his arms and blocks the ball but the ref gives no penalty!!!!??? Spreading your arms is a deliberate move ref and so should have been a penalty! The ref keeps on ignoring each foul made by a Southampton player….Xhaka with a great ball to Lacazette but he takes too much time to come to his shot and a defender can block the final effort. He could have taken the first time shot with his left foot. Arsenal controlling the game most of the time. Still 2-0 after 30 minutes.
A free kick from Torreira is cleared and the follow up from Mkhitaryan is also somehow cleared. Southampton players keep on kicking at every Arsenal player without any card being given. Well at least he calls the fouls now… Iwobi with a good run but his shot is blocked by a defender. A corner from Xhaka is headed towards goal but the keeper with a stop on the goal line. I feel when we keep the tempo up at high pace Southamtpon don’t get a chance. A low cross from Lichtsteiner ends up in front of Kolasincac who gives it to Lacazette who from 6 meters out misses the target. That should have been a second goal for our French strike who can’t believe he missed it. Again Kolasinac sets up Lacazett but the keeper this time with a save with his foot. After his first real strikers goal Lacazette is a bit unlucky in his finishing. A defender can just intercept a good cross again so the ball just goes out of reach of Mkhitaryan. Xhaka didn’t like a tackle from Redmond but he can keep himself in control. No need to get stupid yellow cards in this match, Granit. 2 minutes of extra time before I can start solving the publishing problem. Lacazette then is being fouled a dozen times but the ref decided to give an advantage that leads to Southampton almost starting a dangerous counter. Having possession in your own half is NOT AN ADVANTAGE! A basic referee rule. Arsenal go in at half time with a 2-0 advantage. It should have been more.
A nasty kick on the ankle of Xhaka from Obafemi but again the ref sees nothing to give a card for. Again a rather hectic start of the second half with not much fluent football from both sides. Xhaka giving the ball away just outside theie penalty area but the shot from Prowd-Warse goes wide. Lichtsteiner struggling a bit as is Arsenal for the moment. Southampton the better team in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Koscielny is getting ready to come on for Lichtsteiner. And so happens after 55 minutes. Koscielny having difficulties to get in to the pace of the game. Mustafi now playing at right back. A first real Arsenal attack just after 60 minutes. Some good footwork but we can’t come to a shot. And followed by a good low cross from Ramsey but again nobody to put the ball over the line. Still 2-0 after 60 minutes.
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özil comes on after 62 minutes and Ramsey goes off. Özil involved in a first combination that finds Mkhitaryan in some space but his cross is blocked. Obafemi from Southampton who came on at half time has go off as he pulled a muscle. Still 2-0 after 65 minutes.
The ref really punishing everthing from Arsenal even a clean tackle on the ball from Mustafi. I think he knows having 3 clear Arsenal wins on your CV is not a good thing. And giving corners when a goal kick should have been given. Luckily Leno can stop the goal bound effort from under his crossbar. Iwobi also having muscular problems for the moment. Aubameyang is standing ready but Arsenal hold on to see if he can continue or not. And Iwobi is taken off and Aubameyang comes on after 74 minutes. Still 2-0 after 75 minutes.
Aubameyang setting up Mustafi with his first touch but the shot goes well over. Trips Southampton are no foul, the slitghtes brushes from Arsenal players are fouls. This brings us even under more pressure of course. Kolasinac with a good block on a dangerous looking effort. Arsenal don’t really set up good attack in the second half so far a part from the odd exception. A cross from Aubameyang gets a deflection and ends up on the top of the net. Özil sends Aubameyang away but he tries to find Lacazette at the far post but a defender can intercept the cross and then the keeper stops the goal bound ball with his foot. Özil sets up Aubameyang but his shot is blocked. Well I must say that Southampton defenders have been excellent in throwing themselves in the line of shots. Leno has t make a good shot as a shot on target from Targett looked to go in.
3 minutes of extra time. Xhaka to Aubameyang but again the finish not up to it.
An excellent first half but a poor second half. Maybe a lot to do with the midweek match against Bate. But we were under too much pressure in the second half but it is 3 points in the table and that is all that matters at the end of the day.