From the vault

From the vault: Five classics against Southampton

Dennis Bergkamp scores against Southampton in 1995

From glorious goals, hat-trick heroes and sensational scorelines, our home games against Southampton have been filled with some magical moments for Gooners of all ages.

The Saints haven’t tasted victory on our patch of north London since 1987, and in that time we have seen comfortable wins as well as end-to-end dramas where the Saints have more than played their part in some classic encounters.

Here are five of the best:

May 2, 1992
Arsenal 5-1 Southampton

In the final game before the North Bank terrace was demolished, Ian Wright was hungry for goals as he tried to hunt down Tottenham’s Gary Lineker in the race for the Golden Boot, but his quest looked in vain after a quiet first half.

Things sprung into life after Kevin Campbell and Glenn Cockerill found the net, before Wright tucked away a penalty. Alan Smith would add a third, but despite the game ticking into injury time, Wright was a man on a mission, typified by an incredible solo goal. A minute later he poked home his 29th league goal of the season to pip Lineker to the award.

September 23, 1995
Arsenal 4-2 Southampton

Having not scored in his first seven Gunners games, Dennis Bergkamp rammed the critics’ words back down their throats. The Dutchman drove home his first goal with a sweet volley after 17 minutes to send Highbury wild, and then Tony Adams headed us 2-0 ahead five minutes later.

However the Saints went in level at the break thanks to Gordon Watson and Ken Monkou, but Bergkamp went one better with his second strike, dribbling forwards before firing into the top corner from 20 yards. Wright added a fourth to seal the win, but Bergkamp was the talk of north London.

May 7, 2002
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton

Our legendary 49-game unbeaten streak began just 10 days before we met the Saints in the FA Cup final, and we made a statement by roaring into a 5-0 half-time lead. Robert Pires opened the scoring before Jermaine Pennant netted a 10-minute hat-trick to score the first goals of his Gunners career.

Our French winger had also completed his brace during that period, and while Jo Tessem pulled one back before the interval, a minute after the restart a glorious first-time lob by Pires saw him also record a treble - and he would haunt the Saints again by scoring the only goal of the final the following week.

September 15, 2012
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton

History repeated itself 10 years later when we wrapped the points up before half-time thanks to a stunning opening 45 minutes. A Joss Hooiveld own goal got things rolling, before Lukas Podolski blasted in a rocket of a free-kick for his first Emirates Stadium strike. 

Gervinho then added another before a second own goal was recorded by Nathaniel Clyne to put us 4-0 up after 37 minutes. Danny Fox reduced the arrears before half-time, but the Ivorian’s second of the game was added to by former Saint Theo Walcott to wrap up a huge scoreline.

April 8, 2018
Arsenal 3-2 Southampton

This was a game filled with drama from start to finish. Shane Long nipped in to open the scoring after 17 minutes, before Danny Welbeck’s neat flick allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to equalise, and then the England international’s deflected shot handed us the advantage at the break.

Charlie Austin would pull the visitors level again, but with nine minutes to go Welbeck headed in at the far post to hand us the victory, although there was still time for Jack Stephens and Mohamed Elneny to be red-carded during a tempestuous finale.

See more classic encounters, including a seven-goal thriller and last season’s success, in our playlist

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