CRITICAL POINTS FROM THE ARSENAL EFL CUP DEFEAT AGAINST SOUTHAMPTON
The Gunners lost 0-2 to Southampton last night in the EFL Cup at the Emirates Stadium when the might of Manchester United were demolishing visiting side, and Arsenal’s next opponent, West Ham United 4-1 on the night, thanks to a brace each from the duo of Anthony Martial and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The result means that the Arsenal side are out of the competition and would not be joining Liverpool and United who all made it to the next round of the EFL Cup tie. Whichever way we evaluate the game as regards the Critical points from the Arsenal’s demise from the EFL Cup challenge there is one thing we can agree on…..
SOUTHAMPTON ARE ARSENAL’S NEMESIS
The Saints put up a show at the Emirates and just before the intermission were (2-0) goals up much to the misery of the Arsenal faithful. It’s no fluke as the Saints have recently gained ground against the Gunners in recent times since returning to the Premier League.
A couple of seasons ago it was the Saints that eliminated Arsenal from the Cup competition, then known as the Carling Cup. On that occasion the visitors won 2-1 and at the Emirates Stadium for that matter.
Southampton, under the influence of Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne, were instrumental to the Saints win as Mane won a penalty when Rosicky tripped the forward in the box. Even this season in the League game the Gunners needed a late Penalty from Santi Cazorla to beat the Saints who are becoming Arsenal’s nemesis with a 2-1 scoreline at home.
ARSENAL ARE OUT OF THE EFL CUP
The hosts were beaten 0-2 by the visitors thus eliminating the Gunners under 90 minutes of football from the EFL Cup. Arsenal came into the season with the chance of picking up 4 pieces of Silverware (the EFL Cup, FA Cup, the Premier League title and, the Ultimate one, the Champions League) but with the EFL Cup defeat one cup is gone and out of their reach.
FORMER CHELSEA ACE HAUNTS ARSENAL
The Gunners have been beaten by Chelsea for a couple of times that prompted some people to believe that the Gunners are in a kind of jinx against the Blues.
This season the Arsenal, thanks to Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez, defeated the Chelsea side 3-0 to halt the Chelsea run against Arsenal, but seems to be a continuation of Chelsea’s inflictions on Arsenal. This time it was former Chelsea player and left back Ryan Bertrand of all people who had the last laugh against Arsenal. The full back flashed Sofiane Boufal’s inviting ball into the net to double the visitors advantage to make it two nil (2-0) condemning Arsenal to an EFL Cup exit, and it seemed that anything connected to Chelsea somehow gets the better of Arsenal even when the player is in a Southampton shirt.
SOUTHAMPTON WANTED IT MORE
The visitors seemed to want it more in the game and they grabbed the victory with both hands, as Arsenal decided to field a make shift 11 for this Cup meeting.
Despite the absence of Oriol Romeo, José Fonte and the talismanic Dusan Tadic, it was the Saints that drew the first blood through Jordy Clasie after finishing from Ryan Bertrand’s cross from the left. The visitors intentions to make it to the next round was confirmed when the provider of the first goal (Ryan Bertrand) turned finisher as he guided Boufal’s pass across the box to seal the win in the 38th minute of the match, leaving Arsenal thinking what might have been had they included some of their stars in the game.
ARSENAL GAVE IT AWAY
The hosts though started without some of their stars with Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez worthy of note but the Gunners still had quality personnel on the pitch to still pull the strings in the game. Players like Ramsey (Aaron), Iwobi (Alex) and Elneny (Mohamed) were present and should have stirred their side to the next round but were unable to rise to the occasion. The pair of Holding and Paulista was bridged twice on the night and would have been more if Boufal hit the target with his effort after the intermission. The back four was unconvincing on the night and gave away space in defence that Bertrand exploited to get in a cross for the first goal.
This is a cause for concern for Arsene Wenger’s side as tougher tests await the team (the defence line) as the season progresses by the day, but at least we will have Koscielny and Mustafi back when it matters.