Southampton 2 - 0 Arsenal
Southampton and Arsenal both went into this game level on points. Getting within a point of Manchester United was the aim, with a draw not doing much for either side.
Unfortunately though, the first half wasn’t a pleasant one.
Southampton were getting forward plenty, while The Gunners were struggling to string two passes together. It was the first time all season that Arsenal could field a first-choice back four, but ironically, we were looking as weak as ever defensively.
But Southampton’s first goal was a real kick in the teeth. Szczesney left his line to meet Mane on the flank, who had broken through the defence. He realised he’s come too far, tried to turn around, but only for Mane to curl it into the empty net, where Mertesacker had failed to provide cover.
“It was the first time all season that Arsenal could field a first-choice back four, but ironically, we were looking as weak as ever defensively.”
Nothing changed going into the second period. Southampton were extremely comfortable, and Arsenal just didn’t seem bothered.
Szczesney though, wasn’t finished. In a bizarre moment, Debuchy touched the ball down in the box for the Polish keeper. Szczesney was under no pressure, and could have easily gathered up the ball. But instead, he stabbed it away with his foot, to the feet of Tadic just yards from goal. An easy finish for him.
It was an absolutely crazy moment. I couldn’t believe what I had just watched.
“We didn’t deserve any points, and we were sent packing as a result. “
Szczesney’s double-blunder had cost us dearly, but the worst part was, we simply didn’t care. We had limited penetration going forward, while Southampton were running at us with ease.
It was a shambolic performance. We didn’t deserve any points, and we were sent packing as a result.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Two terrible blunders cost us the game. His performances have been steadily dipping for a long while now.
Played okay. Not sure what he was doing for Mane’s goal though. Ineffective going forward.
Why didn’t he cover Szczesney on the line? Per was always slow physically, but now he appears to be slowing mentally. A big, big problem.
Didn’t do much wrong, didn’t inspire anything either.
Solid and hard-working. Can’t fault him.
Average performance. Worked hard at times, but couldn’t make a difference.
Played at defensive mid, and I thought he did okay. I prefer him at centre back I think, but it’s nice to know he’s capable of stepping forward.
Coquelin: [7.5/10] - MOTM
Nothing hugely spectacular, but he did a lot of the dirty work. I really like what he brings to the table. Tough tackler, wants to win the ball.
Drifted in and out of the game.
Isolated up front. I much prefer him on the wing, were he can drift and roam free.
The Ox: [6.5/10]
Unleashed himself on Southampton’s defence a few times, showing blistering speed on the ball. But he couldn’t find the end product.
Rangers & Refs
The team performance was awful, but the game was lost by Szczesney.
Our back four wasn’t looking on top form, but they were handling Southampton well for the most part. Two huge mistakes allowed them to creep two goals in.
Chambers and Coquelin in the middle was interesting. Funnily enough, I think it worked quite well. They both hassled and broke up play very well. I’d much rather see one of them partnering Arteta, rather than Flamini.
It’s a bas result from a terrible performance. But we’re still only four points behind third place. It’s not the end of the world, nor the end of the season. Top four and maybe top three is still very much on the cards.