With Arsenal knowing that a win at St. Mary’s would send us to the top of the Premier League table and with five days since the last game against Man City, I would have thought that the Gunners would have started fast and put a struggling Southampton team under big pressure from the off.
It was the other way round though, with the home team reacting to thre public criticism from Ronald Koeman and Arsenal looking like we were not ready for it. Perhaps it was the pressure to go top or a bit of complacency after the recent run of results, but we just could not get it going in the first half.
Mertesacker was looking defensively suspect and most of us the team were a bit sloppy in possession. We failewd to match their effort and our usual fluency and energy was missing. Having said all that we were a bit unlucky because it was a wonder goal that put us behind at the break, although Mertesacker’s clearing header in thre build up left a lot to be desired.
We had also got away with a few moments when the Saints could have added to their lead but at least Arsene Wenger still had the chance to turn things round in the second half. Whatever the boss said had no effect whatsoever though, and with 20 minutes to go we were 3-0 behind and had not looked like scoring ourseleves.
There was cause for complaint on all three goals, with a slight offside on the first, a trip on Koscielny which the ref missed on the second and the third came from a corner which should have been a goal kick. But that is really no excuse and Arsenal were second best from start to finish.
A late fourth from Shane Long added to the misery and to be fair we deserved nothing more. Hopefully this will serve as a big wake up call because we need to bounce bavck and beat Bournemouth on Monday.