Southampton v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: January 28, 2014 7.45 PM BST
A woeful first half, followed by a somewhat acceptable second forty five, although a late Flamini red card left us holding on for the draw. A strong Southampton side and a poor Arsenal side played out a 2-2 draw. Here are the player ratings:
Wojciech Szczesny | 7.75: Despite conceding twice, and arguably being able to do better for Southampton’s first goal, Szczesny was great today. He pulled off a number of fantastic saves, keeping the scores level, and keeping Arsenal in it in the second half.
Bacary Sagna | 5.75: Sagna really struggled against Shaw and Rodriguez tonight, and was largely at fault for the second goal. He did provide a good assist for Arsenal’s first goal, but overall he was poor tonight.
Per Mertesacker | 7.25: Looked a bit shaky in the first half, missing a couple of interceptions he would normally make. Was better in the second half for the most part though, and as usual made a number of vital headers, clearances and interceptions throughout.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.75: (MotM) The reason Koscielny gets my Arsenal Man of the Match award, is because he was the only player that was actually switched on in the first half. He was alive and alert to danger, and got back to put in some good blocks and tackles. He also went the closest for Arsenal in the first half, Boruc saving his effort from a corner.
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Nacho Monreal | 5.5: Was largely at fault for the first goal, even if it seemed like a bit of a foul by Fonte. He was involved a lot offensively, but his decision making for the final ball was lacking a bit. Defended better in the second half, but this might be Gibb’s chance to get back into the starting eleven.
Mathieu Flamini | 5.5: Put in a couple of vital last ditch tackles that needed to be made, and showed good strength and resilience in midfield. Unfortunately he put his team mates under massive pressure, when he got sent off for a ludicrous two footed challenge that there was no need to make.
Mikel Arteta | 5.0: Arteta looked nowhere near ready to start tonight. He was sloppy on the ball getting dispossessed several times, and his forward passing was often wayward. He was slightly better in an attacking sense in the second half, but his defensive play was poor throughout. He really looked off the pace at times.
Mesut Özil| 7.5: A quiet first half, which was to be expected with Arsenal’s lack of possession. He really came alive in the second half though, supplying the assist for Arsenal’s second, and almost getting himself a goal with an unbelievable run and a deft chip which hit the crossbar.
Santi Cazorla | 7.25: Took the second goal well, his 5th in 5 games. Was involved in a lot of Arsenal’s good attacking play, but didn’t do his part defensively. Was caught with the ball in a dangerous area at least once.
Serge Gnabry | 6.5: Looked up for the game, but things weren’t quite coming off for him. Made a great run in the first half, but was fairly anonymous in the second. Could have been replaced sooner.
Olivier Giroud | 7.25: Grabbed the first goal, and displayed some decent hold up play. He wasn’t given much to work with though, and he isn’t the type of player that creates goals on his own.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | N/A: Didn’t have much of an impact on the game, had to drop into midfield after Flamini was sent off. He’s an attacking player and we were in defensive mode.
Keiran Gibbs | N/A: Came on in place of Cazorla late on, was solid if not outstanding.
Lukas Podolski| N/A: Was anonymous in his 8 minutes on the pitch, but seemed lethargic and uninterested when Arsenal did get the chance to break forward.