Early goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were enough to give us a comfortable home win, and lift us back into the top four.
Bernd Leno had to be alert to keep the Saints out – who started both halves well – but ultimately we were good value for the three points, and indeed had late chances to increase the advantage.
But most of the goalmouth action came in the opening 20 minutes - it was a case of two chances missed by the Saints, and two taken by us.
Southampton's lone forward Nathan Redmond had the first opportunity of the game, racing through one-on-one when our defence was caught out by a long ball forward. Bernd Leno came to our rescue though with a good save.
Immediately we broke forward, and opened the scoring through Lacazette. Lucas Torreira appeared to be shoved over in the box, but while the referee turned down the penalty appeals, Mkhitaryan struck a low shot that was turned in from close range by the French striker.
Leno was again call into action five minutes later, this time palming away Matt Targett's drive, and again we took full advantage.
Alex Iwobi supplied the low cross this time, picking out Mkhitaryan just inside the box. The Armenian's aim was true, tucking home his first time finish low into the corner.
We had raced into a two-goal lead, but there were still signs that we needed to improve our defending.
As the game developed we began to move through the gears in an attacking sense however, and could easily have added to our lead before the break.
Lacazette had two great chances - one he skied, the other was kept out by Angus Gunn – our attacking players were linking up superbly in the final third.
The interval seemed to disrupt our rhythm somewhat though. Southampton introduced Charlie Austin and Michael Obafemi for the second half and had their best spell of the game for 20 minutes after the break.
We weathered the storm however, despite losing Stephan Lichtsteiner to injury, forcing a reshuffle at the back.
Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were introduced late on, and a wonderful combination between the two nearly brought the third goal. Ozil's flick into Aubameynag's path released the striker, but Gunn did well in the Southampton goal to clear the danger.
The damage had already been done, and the points were safe.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
With Manchester United drawing at home to Liverpool, and Chelsea not in Premier League action this weekend, we are now back in the top four, a point ahead of United.
In just three days' time we are back at the Emirates to take on another south coast team – Bournemouth, in a 7.45pm kick off.
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