Second half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud saw Arsenal leapfrog Manchester United into fifth, and within three points of Manchester City. I still have doubts about a top four finish, but its not over until the fat lady sings. But has she sung already?
This half saw plenty of chances from both sides, with the likes of Ryan Bertrand, and Steven Davis having chances, but neither coming to fruition.
Claude Puel’s side continued to threaten as they created some chances for themselves.
Arsenal made some chances for themselves as well when Aaron Ramsey struck close, but his effort went just wide, and the home side could’ve taken the lead with 30 minutes gone had Petr Cech not come to block an effort from Manolo Gabbiadini.
In short, this half wasn’t the greatest of halves, although, the best chance of the half was Nathan Redmond’s long range strike which forced Cech into making an important save.
The only downside to a rather tiring (to say the least) half was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being forced off with a hamstring injury. I feel sorry for him as I reckon that he’s done well so far this season, and to lose him in that fashion is just so unfortunate.
Second half (Lets hope this half was better)
Aaron Ramsey was the first to have sight at goal after a pass from Hector Bellerin. I have a feeling that had he left it for Alexis Sanchez, that maybe would’ve seen his side go one up. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, right?
Mesut Ozil had a “half chance” from a cross by Sanchez, but his effort went wide following an awkward ball judgement.
The deadlock was eventually broken with 30 minutes to go (thank goodness for that) by Sanchez who found space by messing up the defence of Southampton.
Substitute Olivier Giroud made sure of the win by slotting in a header which was handed to him by Ramsey. Sanchez should also be given plaudits for starting the move which lead to the goal. With that goal, Giroud became a seasons best record of scoring the most goals as a substitute with six goals to his name.
Thoughts on the game
Given that we’ve now won two on the bounce bodes well given that we’re three point behind Pep Guardiola’s side. Do I think we’ll do enough to catch the likes of them, and Jurgen Klopp’s side? As I said at the start, it’s not over until the fat lady sings.
On the game itself, the first half was almost the same as the last game. Chances being made, but nothing coming of them. And much like the win over Manchester United, the game didn’t burst into life until the second half.
I can’t be too disgruntled however, although, I still can’t see us finishing in the top four. But hey ho, let’s see what’ll happen.
Arsenal visit Stoke City next in the hope to put away another dreadful away record, having not beaten Stoke since the 2009-10 season.
As for Southampton, they face already relegated Middlesbrough. They’re raring to end a run of what is now five successive games without a win.