Arsenal vs Southampton: The Gunners survived a ropey, slow start before settling in and cruising to a 3-0 victory over Saints at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
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Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring after 21 minutes, much to the relief of Mikel Arteta, whose side on any other day might have been 1-0 or 2-0 down by that point. Martin Odegaard made it 2-0 not long after, and Gabriel Magalhaes completed the rout just after the hour mark.
The victory snaps a two-game losing skid for Arsenal, who are now up to 5th in the Premier League table (with Manchester United still to play this weekend, and Tottenham Hotspur inactive due to postponement). Southampton, meanwhile, are 16th after 16 games, just six points above the relegation zone.
Arsenal vs Southampton final score, stats, results
Final score: Arsenal 3, Southampton 0
Goal scorers: Arsenal (Lacazette 21′, Odegaard 24′, Magalhaes 62′), Southampton (None)
Shots: Arsenal 15, Southampton 11
Shots on target: Arsenal 5, Southampton 6
Possession: Arsenal 62%, Southampton 38%
3 things we learned – Arsenal vs Southampton
1. Slow start erased by onslaught of goals: Nearly 20 minutes in the game, Arsenal were without a single shot to their name and appeared to be firmly planted on the ropes, awaiting a heavy blow that would never come, until the moment that Southampton’s spirit broke and the floodgates opened. For those 20 minutes, Arsenal were under all kinds of pressure as they repeatedly passed the ball out of their own six-yard box and, on three occasions, were nearly beaten for the opening goal as a result of their insistence and sloppiness. A minute later, Lacazette scored. Three minutes later, Odegaard scored. It was as if the opening 20 minutes never happened, for either side.
2. Time to talk about Hasenhuttl: By now, most everyone knows that Southampton have dropped 71 points from a winning position — a truly incredible record, in all the worst ways — in three years under Ralph Hasenhuttl. There’s also the wild inconsistency in results which has plagued Southampton for much of his tenure — this season, for example, Saints began seven games without a win, followed by three wins and a draw in their next four, and now a five game run of 0W-2D-3L. 16 games played, only 14 goals scored (0.875 per game) and 24 conceded (1.5 per game). Part of the problem is the lack of investment in the first-team squad, and Hasenhuttl is hardly to blame for that, though it’ll hardly save him once the board sits down for a full assessment of his employment in the coming days or weeks.
3. Aubameyang dropped for disciplinary reasons, again: According to a report from NBC Sports’ Premier League insider David Ornstein, captain and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for returning late from a trip abroad. It’s not the first time Aubameyang has been disciplined and dropped by Arteta, who was asked for further details in his post-game interviews.
Man of the Match: Bukayo Saka – The 20-year-old assisted Lacazette on the opening goal, completed three key passes and nearly scored a goal of his own. The inconsistency between his performances is waning.
Arsenal vs Southampton highlights
Alexandre Lacazette finishes Arsenal’s free-flowing move for 1-0 (goal video)
From Aaron Ramsdale nearly giving the ball away six yards in front of his own goal, to the incredibly slick passing triangles all the way up the right side of the field, the opening goal was some of the worst, and the best, of Arsenal.
Martin Odegaard heads home to make it 2-0 (goal video)
This is the kind of lackluster, disinterested defending that gets managers fired. When four defenders are standing, and only standing, within five yards of the ball and no one comes to close him down, it’s a sure sign the players are simply going through the motions. The rot of having a lame-duck manager.
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Gabriel Magalhaes rises highest to complete the Arsenal rout (goal video)
Gabriel Martinelli’s corner kick came in, and Magalhaes simple wanted to put his head on the ball more than anyone else in the penalty area. 3-0, and game over.