There have been elements of controversy in both Southampton’s goals against Arsenal this Saturday afternoon, but the second one unquestionably shouldn’t have stood. Shane Long very clearly tripped Laurent Koscielny off the ball in the build up to the goal, a goal Long himself ended up tapping in unmarked at the back post.
There were hints of offside for the first goal, but it was certainly tight and you can’t blame the linesman for not spotting it. How nobody spotted the trip on Koscielny for the second goal is a mystery though, and those kinds of decisions are absolutely infuriating.
Long initially played the ball off to Sadio Mane, and it was already a dangerous looking situation. We’d been defensively exposed all game, and once again Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny looked to be struggling. The Frenchman arguably had Long covered, while Mertesacker was closing down Mane, but when Long stuck out a toe and tripped Koscielny we were left in a two on one.
Mane played a simple pass across goal to take Mertesacker and Petr Cech out of the equasion, Long able to tap in at the empty far post.
It has been a shocking performance by us, and you’d certainly argue we don’t deserve to get anything from the game. But everything was going against us throughout the game, whether it was refereeing decisions, the way the ball falls, or anything else that possibly could have gone against us.
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This certainly won’t derail our title push, but we’ll have to wait to move top of the table until at least the 28th.
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