We faced one of our bogey teams in the premier league this weekend in Southampton. We were expected to win as we were at home but we know its never easy against the saint & it turned out to be more of a fight than expected.
There were some big changes made to the squad as Wenger rotated as he prioritised The Europa league game. Nelson was handed his full debut and Iwobi, Welbeck & Kolasinac started as we rested some key players in Özil , Lacazette and Monreal who were on the bench. Mkhi missed out due to injury which could keep him out for at least 2 weeks. Ramsey & Koscielny were completely missing from the squad as they were given a breather. All this meant that we had Elneny-Xhaka pivot & our CB partnership was Mustafi-Chambers.
Game started in similar fashion against saints as they scored after some abysmal defending by Mustafi. Then soon Auba equalised smartly after some good play between Welbeck & Iwobi. Then we got the lead through Welbeck who took his shot with power & got a lucky deflection which gave the keeper no chance. We were in control of the game after we got back in the game & created numerous chances. It was 2-1 at the break & we deserved our lead. Our attackers & midfielders were having a good game.
Second half started with us dominating but Southampton also got stronger. We looked comfortable with our one goal lead & wanted to see the game out. Then Southampton put in Austin as a sub who made instant impact & scored within one minute again showcasing our poor defending bringing the scores level. We also made our substitutions as Wilshere came on for Nelson & Lacazette replaced Auba to inject some more running power. Wilshere had a horrible game while laca continued to look sharp. Welbeck missed a sitter after a very good cross by Wilshere which saw danny miss an open goal from 2 feets. Welbeck then rectified his miss by scoring a brilliant header to give us the lead back. Southampton then tried hard to get a goal but we stood strong and made a defensive sub as Holding replaced bellerin. There was drama towards the end in the extra time as jack foolishly pushed stephen’s shirt which infuriated him and he reacted by pushing jack to the ground which saw him get the Red. Then Elneny was wrongly sent off for a soft push by the brainless referee marriner. It was pure frustration from jack which started all of it who is not in good form & was having a very poor game. He should just concentrate on his game at this time.
It was a hard fought win by the team & it is something to build on. We also need to improve defensively if we have to end the season in a high.
FIRST TEAM :
Cech – 6.5
Mix up with mustafi for the first goal but that was largely mustafi’s mistake. Looked solid otherwise & made some good saves towards the end.
Bellerin – 7
Had another decent game where he wasn’t troubled much. Tadic got the better of him at times but he dealt with the danger mostly.
Mustafi – 5
The first goal we conceded was very poor defending by him, even for the 2nd he could have done better. Didn’t have a good game.
Chambers – 5.5
Not a very good game by him as we conceded twice. 1st one wasn’t his mistake but he could have done something to prevent the 2nd. Had some bright as well as dull moments.
Kolasinac – 6
Could have done more to prevent the cross for first goal but otherwise looked ok. Needs to improve to start week in week out.
Xhaka – 8
Another Solid game by Xhaka. He controlled the tempo of the game with his passing & his positioning was top class too. One of the most consistent performers in recent weeks
Elneny – 7
Was wrongly sent off and had a bright game. Defended well & supported xhaka well too. Another inspiring performance by the egyptian.
Started his full debut with promise as he had a good first half. Faded towards the 2nd half as he was subbed off. High hopes from him in the future & the signs look good.
Iwobi – 8
Got 2 assists & always looked bright in the game. Rare good game for him which will only build his confidence.
Welbeck – 9 (MOTM)
Scored 2 good goals & could have had more as he missed few good chances. Created another goal with a superb flick. Hope this continues from welbeck in the future as we could do with this high level of performance from him.
Aubameyang – 8
Got his goal well as his speed terrorised Southampton’s defence. Looked sharp as usual & is really enjoying his football at the moment.
Holding – 6
Thats all from my ratings. Thank you for reading & try interacting with us at Arsenal-ClockEndTalk on Facebook & Twitter. All your comments are welcomed and we appreciate them.
UP THE ARSENAL♥️
Tejasvi Bhandari ( @SaviAfc on Twitter )