Post-Match Report

Match report: Southampton 1-0 Arsenal

Mikel Arteta

Southampton -

St Mary's Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Southampton
      
              J. Bednarek (44)
          
   crest
Southampton
J. Bednarek (44)
1 0
  Arsenal
   crest
Arsenal

By Aidan Small

WHAT HAPPENED

We suffered another disappointing Premier League defeat on Saturday as we were beaten 1-0 by Southampton. 

We had chances to take control of the game early on at St Mary’s - but with a brief lapse in concentration, we allowed the hosts to take the lead on the stroke of half-time and failed to find a way past Fraser Forster. 

Right from kick-off, Mikel Arteta decided to start Bukayo Saka on the left and Gabriel Martinelli on the right, a direct swap from their usual positions, and this caused the Saints all sorts of trouble in the opening exchanges. 

First up, Saka saw his powerful effort blocked on the edge of the area from a well-worked corner routine, before Martinelli cut inside from the wing and worked Forster into a difficult save down to his right-hand side. 

There was a moment of worry when Armando Broja wriggled free inside the area and rolled the ball across the face of goal, but the best chance of the opening quarter fell to Saka, who looked certain to score from a sweeping counter-attack. Martinelli was played through down the right and squared for our No 7 on the opposite side, only for Forster to produce an outstanding save on the goalline. 

We had the chance to put in some dangerous deliveries before the break after winning free-kicks in two promising positions, but we failed to make them count and we were punished by the hosts on the stroke of half-time. 

After clearing our lines from a trademark corner delivery from James Ward-Prowse, the ball was picked back up by Mohamed Elyounoussi and crossed for Jan Bednarek, who fired past Aaron Ramsdale at the near post. 

We came out fighting in the second half and Nuno Tavares tried his luck twice in quick succession, before Eddie Nketiah’s instinctive backheel effort rolled just wide of the far post. 

Still searching for an equaliser, Arteta opted for a change of system on the hour mark with Emile Smith Rowe replacing Cedric Soares, and Ben White shifting out wide to cover the right flank. 

The travelling Arsenal fans thought we’d equalised when Saka cut inside from the right and fired towards goal, but his curling effort sailed just wide of the top corner. 

Perhaps our best chance of the second half arrived shortly after, though, with Forster producing another outstanding save to deny Smith Rowe an equaliser from inside the area. 

Saka came close once more with a low driven effort and so too did our captain Odegaard, followed by a stunning Xhaka strike from distance, but we were unable to find a way past Forster and secure a share of the spoils late on. 

WHAT IT MEANS

We sit sixth in the Premier League table after 31 games, three points behind our top-four rivals Tottenham with a game in hand. 

WHAT'S NEXT

We’re on the road again on Wednesday night when we face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with kick-off at 7.45pm (UK time). 

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