Southampton v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: January 28, 2014 7.45 PM BST
Arsenal missed their chance to go four points clear at the top of the table tonight, after their 2-2 draw with the Saints. With Southampton probably feeling like it’s two points dropped, Arsenal played the final fifteen minutes with only ten men.
Arteta made his return for the Gunners, Jack Wilshere out with an ankle injury, however our captain looked a little off the pace today. Not surprising having only just returned from injury, but his presence was enforced due to our worrying lack of central midfield cover at the moment. If only there was some kind of January transfer window in which we could buy players to bolster our squad!
According to sports websites like SportsBettingDime.com and ESPN, Southampton have still not beaten Arsenal since November 2002 and long way it continue.
Arsenal were poor in the first half and were punished when Fonte climbed over Monreal to head down and past Szczesny to make it 1-0. Early in the second half the Gunners picked up the pace with Monreal and Cazorla linking up well down the left, the full back putting a cross into the box. Sagna picked up the heavy cross and drove into the Southampton area, he squared the ball to Giroud, who deftly placed the ball into the back of the net to equalize the tie.
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Arsenal looked like they were displaying the grit of true champions, when minutes later they scored again. Özil finding space in the box, and laying the ball off to Cazorla. The Spaniard lashed the ball towards goal with the outside of his foot, his shot always curling away from Boruc who had absolutely no chance. 2-1 Arsenal.
The Gunners appeared to switch off after taking the lead though, Sagna misjudging the flight of a long ball forward, allowing Jay Rodriguez to run in behind. He cut the ball back across goal, and it was met by Lallana who slotted it past Szczesny to bring the scores level once again. Arsenal’s defensive midfielders should really of tracked his run.
Özil almost gave the Gunners the lead again on the hour mark with an unbelievable run. His change of pace was unreal, ghosting past several players with Walcott-like speed. He chipped Boruc skilfully and was terribly unlucky to be denied by the crossbar. Monreal too had the chance to put Arsenal in front, but when through on goal he skewed his shot wide, instead of shooting across goal, or cutting back for a team mate.
Flamini was shown a red card in the 80th minute for a reckless two footed challenge which he had no reason to make, then Szczesny was called upon a couple of times to keep Arsenal in the game, but with ten men Arsenal were unable to commit men forward, and the game tailed off a bit. The whistle going after six minutes of extra time, the score remaining 2-2. Both teams may see this as two points dropped, Arsenal with the possibility of dropping into third after Chelsea and City play their games.
Here is the match report infographic: