Southampton 3-2 Arsenal: Austin ends Gunners’ 22-game unbeaten run
Arsenal were beaten by Southampton 3-2 at the St. Mary’s stadium as the Gunners’ unbeaten run came to an end. The Ralph Hassenhuttl era has truly begun, with a superb win which lifts the Saints out of the relegation zone for now.
Unai Emery’s men were not clinical enough with their chances and wasted a number of good opportunities. They were unable to break down a rigid and disciplined Southampton backline that defended its heart out on the night.
Danny Ings opened the scoring for the Saints via a superb header which the Gunners could do nothing about. But Arsenal immediately equalised through Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who headed home Nacho Monreal’s cross.
The Liverpool loanee continued to torment Arsenal’s backline with his constant running. Laurent Koscielny looked slightly shaky in his first Premier League start of the season. The Frenchman has returned after a very long injury layoff and his return was timely as well given Arsenal’s injury crisis at the back.
Once again, Danny Ings headed home from close range just before the half-time whistle to send the Saints back into the lead. Southampton piled the pressure on the Gunners and whipped in a number of dangerous deliveries that troubled Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka, the latter had been deployed as a third centre-back.
Unai Emery then brought on Alexandre Lacazette in the second half to add more threat in the final third and that’s just what the Frenchman did. The Arsenal striker did well to turn away into space and find Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose shot came off Jannik Vestergaard before rolling into the back of the net.
The Gunners then started to ask questions of the Southampton defence but the home side defended everything that came their way. The new manager then sent on his best option in Charlie Austin. The former QPR forward had scored in every appearance against the Gunners prior to this game and did just that once again.
Shane Long was given acres of space outside the box and the striker lobbed the ball over to Charlie Austin who headed home from close range. Bernd Leno charged to make the clearance but miserably failed in his attempt.
The Gunners were given a late free-kick but some astute defending from the Saints saw them clinch the win. Unai Emery will definitely be disappointed with the loss as Arsenal’s long unbeaten streak came to an end.
Here’s how some of the Arsenal fans reacted to the loss against Southampton.
Laurent K. wasn’t in the match at all. We were also very wasteful upfront.
— Cliff Okoh (@cliffokoh) December 16, 2018
Prefer Ramsey than ozill
— poshh bae (@Herminat9) December 16, 2018
Aubemeyang shld have buried 3-4 chances
— Melvin (@Melvinlxz) December 16, 2018
Koscielney out for good
— OfficialConz (@conzzinho) December 16, 2018
it’s not southampton. koscielny and leno did.
— I’m her bread. (@mariofficial01) December 16, 2018
Sell iwobi to Ipswich
— ✖️ (@Rhys_Mayes) December 16, 2018
This game shows our defence was built on Mustafi, Sokratis and Holding, if any of these were available those two first goals wouldn’t have been scored!!
— SenseiLino💯 (@louolotus) December 16, 2018