Arsenal fans are understandably furious after the abject display witnessed on boxing day, with our confidence, title aspirations, and general holiday cheer taking a massive hit.
After having just watched Liverpool inflict a rare loss on Claudio Ranieri’s high-flying Leicester City, Arsenal fans can be forgiven for assuming that a win over Ronald Keoman’s struggling Southampton was three points in the bag. Arsenal could have been top of the Premier League on Sunday night, yet instead of victory, fans were subjected to a shambolic 4-0 loss.
They were forced to sit back and watch an Arsenal side get out-muscled and beaten to every 50-50 ball by a team that wanted the win more than Arsenal did.
Coming into the Boxing Day clash, Arsenal had lost just one of their previous 11 league matches and were on a high following their 2-1 win over fellow title challengers Manchester City. Conversely, Southampton manager Ronald Koeman was feeling the pressure following five winless games, a streak that left the Saints sitting just four points above the relegation zone (via the BBC).
Key to the win was Arsenal defensive midfield target Victor Wanyama, who the Metro claimed last week was Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger’s No.1 January transfer target.
The Kenyan international showed the world why he was wanted by Arsenal, with his match-high six tackles and 10 interceptions (via the BBC). He was also often seen bullying the Arsenal players with his physical approach to the game, which forced us to concede possession regularly.
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Apart from the opening 30 metre outside-of-the-foot screamer of a goal from Southampton’s Cuco Martina and some poor refereeing decisions from Jon Moss, star of the evening had to be Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long.
The 28-year-old former West Brom player brought memories of his hurling days with Tipperary into play as he ran ragged Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker all evening, scoring two goals and coming close to a third after hitting the post late on in the Saints’ 4-0 win.
Arsenal must now put the loss behind them and prepare for Monday evening’s match against Bournemouth at the Emirates, another game that, on paper at least, they should win.
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The fans’ reactions following the game were predictably volatile, with the whole Arsenal team taking a real battering.
— Marcus Hawkins (@mhawk_79) December 26, 2015
No fight at all from any player today the worse performance of the season by far #Arsenal
— Adam Jones (@adamj1193) December 26, 2015
Arsenal FC – The masters of doing the impossible and bottling the simple
— ♛AÖ♕ (@AssistantOzil) December 26, 2015
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