Arsenal take revenge on Saints and move up to 8th by Konstantin Mitov
Well lovely Arsenal people, we put up a better side and managed to beat Southampton by 3 goals to one! This means we move up to 8th although all the teams around us have games in hand, and it probably won’t last more than 24 hours, but it’s nice to be climbing up the table.
We started the game with a 1 on 1 chance for Laca on their keeper which he missed. Then we were punished from a set piece and were down – just 3 minutes after kick off. I was incredibly disappointed with Pepe on that corner as he let their player have a free shot on our goal and it went in.
Luckily Pepe made up with a good finish after Xhaka slipped him in with another delicious ball just like for Laca, but this time it went in. Then we managed to take the lead, when Laca slipped the ball to Saka, who kept his composure to run past the keeper and pass it in. Incredible skill from the youngster, who was exceptional again.
The second half was nervy, but we managed to score right after a substitution when Cedric played an outrageous ball to Saka, who supplied it on a plate for Laca to wrap it up. I was incredibly impressed with our Portugese full back again. Put on the left, where it’s not his natural position, having to fill the shoes of Tierney, he did it in his own way. Some of the passes he played were spectacular.
The rest of the game saw a lot of sloppiness from us and some good saves from Leno, especially after a double error from Luiz which almost cost us. In the end we took 3 massive points thanks to fine displays from our form players.
Unfortunately Smith-Rowe came off and I don’t know if it’s an injury or a precaution. Same goes for Partey and we can’t afford to lose those 2 players. We don’t have alternatives for those 2 and that’s the real issue in our side. I look at the bench and I’m worried.
True that Auba was missing due to personal issues, but I feel more is needed on the wings and in attacking midfield to cover for Smith Rowe and Saka. I’m not sure if we’ll get Odegaard before Man Utd visit and even if we do, if he’ll be fit enough.
That said we made it 16 points from 18 in the last 6 games, conceding only 2 goals in that period. Another funny stat is that we haven’t lost a game that Smith Rowe has started. Finally this was the first time in 2 years where we’ve won 3 in a row away from home.
Now that we’ve picked up a bit of form, we’ll have the small matter of playing Man Utd who’re currently second and playing some good football, beating Liverpool in the cup as well. This will show where we actually are.
Southampton failed to take advantage today of the sloppiness we had. A better side will hurt us more if we allow some of the chances we gave the Saints on the counter. Hopefully by Sunday we’ll see a well-expected new signing, players like Auba and Tierney return for a really massive game against Man Utd. If we can get a positive result there, then we can truly lift our eyes to something bigger in the league.