Sincerely writing this, I’m usually drained anything Arsenal have a terrible outcome to a competitive match, it’s just a vivid difference when the Arsenal play and perform better than when they just seem to act like spoilt men who feel like they’ve attained god-like level – and yes I’m referring to Alexis Sanchez who I think is now a total nuisance to the rest of the team.
I’m starting to think Wenger doesn’t discipline his boys well enough since everyone but Wenger can seem to drop under-performing players and replace them with players showing signs of improvement lately. The Gunners travelled all the way to Southampton for their Lunch-time Sunday kickoff. It was the same lineup that started against Manchester United at the Emirates with the only change which was Mertesacker replacing the injured Mustafi.
Things got on to a rough start for the Arsenal as early as the 3rd minute when the poor positioning of Per Mertesacker cost us to go a goal behind. The soon-to-retire German gave away possession cheaply in the Gunners half and Tadic pounced on the loose ball and was brilliant in picking out the run of Charlie Austin with suspicion of offside – as the Englishman broke free from a very disjointed Arsenal defence to open the scoring for the Saints.
A minute and a half later, we could’ve been two goals down with the threat coming from goalscorer Charlie Austin as he came to doubling his tally of the day, but was rather unfortunate not to have extended his team’s lead. Austin broke free from the Arsenal defence once again and was able to line up a shot at Petr Cech who did well to save this effort.
Arsenal’s real chance came in the 16th minute from a counter-attack which Alexis initiated to setup Lacazette, driving forward with Bellerin to his left and Ozil to his right but opted to pass to Bellerin which I felt was the wrong move as he had Ozil totally isolated. Bellerin instantly gave a pass back to the Frenchman who lacked balance in his pace as he tried controlling the ball back but would even get close up and watch the ball get cleared out.
In the 31st Aaron Ramsey forced Foster into making a powerful save for his side when he and Sanchez combined well to have pulled off a true midfielder’s goal. Alexis was able to pick out the run of Ramsey into the box and the Welshman who hit a nice shot took aim at the corner of Foster’s post but the English goalkeeper was alert to stop the danger Ramsey and Alexis almost lined up.
Romeu came close to extending their lead in the 61st minute of the match when his effort rattled the crossbar. An unmarked Romeu was fed the ball so close to the Arsenal box, with no one marking him out which gave him room to measure a shot at goal and took it. Cech misjudged the flight of the ball as he didn’t stick out a hand in an attempt of parrying the ball.
Arsenal’s saviour came in the form of Olivier Giroud who was able to provide us with good height in the box. Alexis Sanchez provided the assist as he kept in a cross which Giroud was able to head first, sending the ball to the far corner of Foster’s post which was difficult to keep out. This is the Frenchman’s 17th Premier League goal as a substitute.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw and Arsenal must feel happy going back to London with a point, although they were poor with their play and the defence was in shambles. Jack Wilshere replaced Granit Xhaka late in the match and seemed productive than the Swiss international was. Wilshere deserves to start over Xhaka, as the latter needs to be dropped to the bench.