Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal 3-0 Southampton

Arsenal celebrate after scoring against Southampton

Southampton -

Emirates Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Arsenal
      
                  Lacazette (21)
                   Odegaard (27)
                   Gabriel (62)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Lacazette (21)
Odegaard (27)
Gabriel (62)
3 0
  Southampton
   crest
Southampton

WHAT HAPPENED

After weathering an early storm, the Gunners turned on the style to see off Southampton at the Emirates.

Alexandre Lacazette, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel were all on target, while Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli both hit the post, but there was little to suggest that was in store after we were pinned back in the first 15 minutes.

The visitors forced Aaron Ramsdale in to three stops in that opening quarter of an hour, the best of which was from Adam Armstrong when the striker found space inside the penalty area.

In truth we were struggling to get out of our own half at all at that stage, as the wintry rain tumbled down in north London.

But then, against the run of play, we suddenly woke up and took the lead with a goal of real quality.

Despite the pressure we had found ourselves under, we played out bravely and swiftly from the back, creating the opening with some quick one-touch passing before Bukayo Saka was released on the right wing. His cut back was met powerfully first time by skipper Lacazette to thunder the ball into the net.

There was 16 passes in the move, and the goal breathed life in to our performance at last. Six minutes later we doubled the lead. Takehiro Tomiyasu's deep cross was controlled by Kieran Tierney, whose own cross was blocked. But the full back was alert enough to head the rebound into the middle where Martin Odegaard nodded the ball home from close range.

It was the Norwegian's third goal in three games, and all of a sudden, despite our sub par start, we were two goals to the good.

Lacazette then had a chance when he was sent through by Martinelli, but the striker was dispossessed inside the area when bearing down on goal.

Late in the half Laca was through on goal again, dancing his way into the box, but again couldn't get his shot away on time.

The chances continued to come. Odegaard's excellent backheel set up Saka inside the area, but 40-year-old keeper Willy Caballero - making his Saints debut - made himself big to deny him.

We were well on top by now, and finished the half with another chance for Gabriel Martinelli - set up by a superb goal kick from Ramsdale.

Granit Xhaka and Odegaard had shots off target early in the second half, and Gabriel had a goal disallowed for offside after he thought he had bundled home from close range.

It didn't matter, because only moments later he did score a legitimate goal, powering home a header from Martinelli's in-swinging corner.

We were in control now and could have scored three or four more in a five-minute burst. First Martinelli curled against the post from 20 yards before Odegaard had an effort blocked, and Takehiro Tomiyasu - impressive all afternoon - forced a good low save with his header from a corner.

Then Bukayo Saka struck the other upright after good work in the box, with Caballero well beaten.

To their credit though Southampton didn't crumble. Nathan Redmond tested Ramsdale with a rising shot in the area, then Tella brought a full-stretch stop from the keeper.

Saka shot just wide after a neat one-two wide Odegaard late on, but we had done enough to record a fifth consecutive home win in all competitions, and fourth successive clean sheet at the Emirates.

WHAT IT MEANS

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TEAM NEWS

The starting XI was unchanged from the side that lost 2-1 at Everton on Monday, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropping out of the squad entirely, to be replaced by the returning Emile Smith Rowe on the bench.

It meant Alexandre Lacazette continued as skipper, leading the line with Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka on the wings supporting him.

WHAT'S NEXT

We're back at the Emirates this Wednesday for another Premier League clash - against high-flying West Ham United - before we travel to Leeds United next weekend.

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