Southampton v Arsenal

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Interview

‘We could have been 3-0 down after 10 minutes’

We have Petr Cech to thank for keeping Southampton in our sights on Sunday.

The goalkeeper could do nothing to stop Charlie Austin’s goal in the third minute but he made a fantastic save from the same man just moments later.

Cech’s intervention laid the platform for Olivier Giroud to eventually find an equaliser, but the Czech star was still disappointed not to leave St Mary’s with more.

on the game…
I think it’s still a disappointment, but we have to take a point because we were 1-0 down until the 88th minute. We wanted to find the equaliser but we came here to take all three points and we only have one, so we are disappointed with that.

on if it will become a better point with hindsight…
One thing that is really gutting is that we lost the game against Man United in the first 10 minutes. Today we could have been 3-0 down after 10 minutes again, and I think this is something we need to improve because in this league, if you give other teams the advantage in the first five minutes, you make it far more difficult for yourselves. Today, we were lucky to get a point, even if we deserved to get one in the end, because we put them under pressure. But we wanted all three.

on Giroud’s regular contribution from the bench…
I think that’s why we have a large squad and why we have everybody playing in other competitions. You can see that the boss believes in every one of the players and today it’s great to see that the players that came on helped us improve the performance.

on how concerning our away form is…
Today we dropped points and we need to make sure that when we go to West Ham, we get all three.

Video

Match video: Southampton 1-1 Arsenal

After a slow start against Southampton, we managed a late equaliser to snatch a point on the south coast.

The home side took the early lead when Charlie Austin beat Petr Cech from close range just after two minutes.

But Olivier Giroud came off the bench to nod an Alexis cross past Fraser Forster to secure the point for Arsenal.

Press ‘Play’ to watch the match clip above, or our bitesize round-up below:

You can also watch full match replay by clicking on the links below:

Press conference

Wenger on systems, Alexis, Europa League draw

Arsène Wenger reverted to three at the back for Sunday’s draw at Southampton.

The manager had selected a back four against BATE Borisov on Thursday, but stuck with the same system he’s used for the entirety of the Premier League campaign for our visit to St Mary’s.

After the match, the manager discussed both systems, Alexis’ form and the Europa League draw. Here’s what he said:

on being tempted to go back to four in defence…
Yes, and we played a big part of the game with a four today, but away from home recently we’ve done quite well. We’ve won games, but BATE Borisov and Southampton are not of the same calibre, you have to consider that. You had a team on holiday who won the championship two weeks ago and today we played a team who was highly determined and defended every single ball. I must say I am very frustrated as in the second half there was a lot of time wasting. [I’m especially frustrated] on the final ball on the counter-attack [at the end], it is very frustrating to give the advantage to the guy who had the foul because we were not only called back, we were three against one. We played it quick and the referee called the ball back without any reason and that was a huge advantage for Southampton in the final minute.

on Alexis’ form…
I think in the second half I am happy with his performance. In the first half I feel he played a little bit too deep, we need him a little higher up in the pitch and especially when you dominate the game it is important that he plays in the final third. He is tempted sometimes to drop a little bit deep in midfield. Then when you start 35 yards away from goal, it’s difficult to score.

on the Europa League draw…
We have some big teams we want to avoid. We will see, we will deal with it and I will pick a team always who has a good chance to pass. Let’s wait, it’s tomorrow I think.

Interview

How is Aaron Ramsey? Get the latest on his injury

Aaron Ramsey was one of our standout performers at St Mary’s on Sunday and forced Fraser Forster into a world-class save in the first half.

But the Wales midfielder ended the game in pain - and unable to run - after picking up an injury in the second half.

“He has a hamstring problem,” Arsene Wenger told Arsenal.com.

“In the last 10 or 12 minutes if we had him fully fit it would have helped. That’s why it’s sometimes a big gamble when you [make substitutions] early.”

Interview

‘I think it shows the depth in our squad’

It helps to have the likes of Jack Wilshere, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck on the bench when you’re up against it in the Premier League.

Sunday’s game at Southampton was a case in point. The home side scored early and kept us at bay until a few minutes from time, when Giroud climbed high to head Alexis’ cross beyond Fraser Forster.

Welbeck and Wilshere also came on to help our increasingly desperate cause at St Mary’s, and the latter feels he is part of a squad that has quantity as well as quality.

“I think it shows the depth in our squad,” he told Arsenal.com.

“For me Oli is one of the best strikers in the Premier League when he’s on it and he’s on the bench, so it shows what we’ve got. There are a lot of games in December, so I’m sure he’s going to get a start and if he’s coming on scoring goals that’s massive for the team and it was an important goal for him today.

“I’m enjoying it,” added Wilshere. “I’m enjoying playing and I want to play as much as I can. I’ve said before that I’ve missed way too much football and I’m just enjoying it at the minute.

“I don’t think it was our best team performance, but we showed character and dug in at the end and if you can’t win a game, don’t lose a game. We might look back at the end of the season and see it as a valuable point.”

Post-Match Report

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: How it happened

WHAT HAPPENED

Olivier Giroud headed a late equaliser as we snatched a point on the south coast.

The France striker came off the bench to nod Alexis’ cross past Fraser Forster - his 17th goal as a substitute in the Premier League.

Like last weekend, we started slowly. And like last weekend, we fell behind to an early goal.

A poor ball out of defence was seized upon by Austin. He found Dusan Tadic and a return pass sent Austin through for a confident finish past Petr Cech.

Austin was finding space too easy to come by and we needed a smart stop from Cech to deny him a second after Nacho Monreal got caught out of position.

Austin hit the post as our sluggish start continued, but slowly we worked our way into the contest.

Alex Lacazette looked the most likely to break through, his quick feet and sure touch catching the eye, and Forster was lucky that one sharp shot on the turn went straight at him.

Ramsey came close to levelling things up following the break, only to be denied impressively by Forster

But there was nothing lucky about Forster’s brilliant low save from Aaron Ramsey’s first-time shot from the edge of the box.

Southampton were happy to defend deep while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oriol Romeu shut down space in front of a disciplined back five.

That made it harder for us to pick our way through and eventually Arsene Wenger surrendered a defender to bring on Danny Welbeck and then Giroud.

Jack Wilshere also came on but Southampton should have scored again when Ryan Bertrand went through on goal.

Monreal curled one effort wide and Alexis saw a free-kick pushed away by Forster.

Then Giroud had the final word.


HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match unfolded and get some standout stats with our play-by-play commentary

WHAT IT MEANS

This draw leaves us in fifth place in the Premier League - leading Tottenham on by just one point and trailing Liverpool on goal difference.

WHAT’S NEXT

We’re back in Premier League action on Wednesday with a visit to the London Stadium to face West Ham.

Then we’re back on home soil on Saturday when Newcastle visit the Emirates.

LACA WATCH

Alex Lacazette looked sharp against Southampton - especially in the first half. These were his brightest moments:

17 - Lacazette stays strong inside the box to hold off a defender and spin to get an instant shot away. It’s straight at Forster.

18 - Alexis leads a promising break and finds Lacazette. He swaps passes with Ramsey but needs a touch to line up his shot - and Hojbjerg intercepts.

40 - Alexis pings a crossfield pass to Bellerin and his low ball into the box is hit first time by Lacazette, under pressure from Yoshida.

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