Southampton 0-5 Arsenal

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Ainsley - The boys congratulated me

The most tackles, the most interceptions and the most passes. Ainsley Maitland-Niles can be proud of his contribution as we cruised to a 5-0 win at Southampton in the Emirates FA Cup.

Stationed in his preferred central midfield role, Ainsley rose to the occasion. Here’s what he said after the match:

on the game…I thought the team liked to press from the start, we tried to do that as much as possible so I think it was just the first 10 minutes that got us going and the rest took care of itself.

on learning a lesson from the Preston game…Yes, we had to because we know we’re out of one cup already, so we need to make the most of our chances in this one.

on whether central midfield is where he likes to be… Yes, it is! I prefer to play centre mid than right back, but I’m happy to do a job for the team.

on how he thinks he performed… All the boys said congratulations and well done so I’m guessing I played well and I feel that I played well as well, so I’m happy with my performance.

on what he enjoys about being in midfield…You’re just in the centre of everything and most of it was going through me today, so I just like to be involved in the play really.

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'From the word go, we were ready'

Theo Walcott has fond memories of his years with Southampton, and he was applauded by home and away fans alike as he walked off the St Mary’s pitch on Saturday.

Our returning forward left his old stamping ground with the matchball after three goals that showcased his desire to get into good positions, and his clinical finishing.

Here’s Theo take on our 5-0 win:

on winning comfortably…We know how it’s been when we come to Southampton, they tend to be our bogey side to be honest. But from the word go, we were ready. We’ve been lacking on poor starts lately. It’s nice that we created a lot of chances and we tucked them away, and it’s a clean sheet which is what we aim for in any game.

on whether walking away with the match ball is payback…I wouldn’t say it’s payback at all. It’s been so long now, I’ve had some great memories and Southampton always will be in my heart without a doubt. I enjoyed playing football here at the time and obviously I’ve enjoyed tonight. Fantastic game today, but Southampton are a strong team. They’ve obviously done very well in the [ERL] cup competition - I’ll be cheering them on in the final and they’re very strong in the Premier League. But going back to us, a lot of changes today were made. We’ve managed to do our talking on the pitch.

on the absence of the manager on the touchline…We’re on the pitch, we just try to do our job. When things are going well it’s great, it’s obviously important for the manager to be there, but he was in the dressing room before and after the game and during half-time, but we know our jobs. We’ve been in the game for a long time, we’ve got so much experience and we wanted to get the win today.

 

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Watch Theo's hat-trick and Welbz's brace

What a performance!

We reached the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, thanks to a comprehensive 5-0 win away at Southampton.

Danny Welbeck marked his first start since May 2016 by scoring twice, before Theo Walcott came to the fore, scoring a hat-trick against his former club to seal our place in the last 16.

Press 'Play' to watch our 12-minute highlights package above, or our bitesize round-up below, while you can also:

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