The Treble Is On! : Arsenal 1 – 2 Southampton – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 1 – 2 Southampton

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Following a more positive result against Aston Villa, Arsenal turned their attention to the League Cup, welcoming the in-form Southampton to the Emirates.

Things didn’t start off too badly.

Abou Diaby, making his first appearance since, well, since before I can remember, was running things in the middle. His passing was positive and accurate, and there was no chance of him being bullied either (unlike all our other “defensive” midfielders).

Southampton had a chance to go ahead, but Ospina did well to smother the danger, making a good block-save.

[Alexis] curled it beautifully into the top corner, leaving Forster stranded. He couldn’t have put it any further into the corner if he wanted to.

Arsenal got their breakthrough via an Alexis Sanchez freekick in the fourteenth minute. And what a freekick it was.

The Chilean curled it beautifully into the top corner, leaving Forster stranded. He couldn’t have put it any further into the corner if he wanted to. It was inch-perfect.

Unfortunately, Southampton struck back in the twentieth minute.

Rosicky gave away a silly penalty on the edge of the box, allowing Tadic to smash the ball in from the penalty spot.

Twenty minutes later, Clyne smashed in a stunning shot from long-range, putting Southampton ahead. Some will blame Ospina because it went into the middle of the goal, but the ball swerved during its flight quite a bit.

The second half was dire.

Southampton were organising themselves well, and managing the game.

Campbell was our only bright spark, but Wenger replaced him with Chamberlain, who slotted right into the side by doing not a lot.

Arsenal were toothless going forward, with Podolski moving less than a 50-ton boulder. Alexis wasn’t looking his sharpest, and Wilshere wasn’t creating much either. Diaby’s tired legs were also beginning to show.

Campbell was our only bright spark, but Wenger replaced him with Chamberlain, who slotted right into the side by doing not a lot.

Southampton kept their eye on the clock, slowed the game down, and eventually got to the final whistle with their lead in tact. Arsenal were out.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Ospina: [7/10]

Made some nervous distributions in the opening minutes, but calmed down. He made an excellent block-save early on in a one-on-one situation, and continued to pull of good stops. Some will blame him for Clyne’s goal, but not me. It was a swerving stunner.

Bellerin: [7.5/10]

Played very well today. He defended brilliantly at times, and showed great feet in tight situations. Whipped in a couple of good crosses too.

Chambers: [7/10] 

Solid game overall, but his positioning was a bit off at times.

Hayden: [7/10] 

Impressive. Hayden passed well, was comfortable on the ball, and even pushed forward in the second half to try to ignite an attack. Not a bad fourth choice option for centre-back. Potential.

Coquelin: [7.5/10]

Say what you like about Francis, but he’s versatile and dependable. He made good tackles, sprung forward often and passed well all game. Man of the match contender.

Diaby: [7/10]

In the first half, his touch was silky, and his passing was excellent. His performance levels dropped in the second half though. Let’s hope he stays fit, becuase I’d have him over Arteta all day long.

Rosicky: [5/10] 

Gave away a silly penalty after a slap-dash tackle in the box. His passing was poor at times, and he didn’t create enough at all. Booked late on as well.

Wilshere: [6.5/10] 

Was okay in spells, but that’s about it. He did well to run past defenders at times, but there were large patches of the game where he went missing. Expected more from him.

Alexis: [6.5/10] 

His only standout moment came with his utterly perfect free-kick. It was awesome. But other than that? He tried, but he really didn’t do anything at all. Let’s hope his form returns for the weekend.

Campbell: [7.5/10] – MOTM

For most of the game, Joel looked our most dangerous player. He ran at defenders, passed positively and showed off some skillful touches too. I want to see more of him.

Podolski: [3/10]

He might as well slap a “For Sale” sign on his forehead. What a sickeningly lazy performance.

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Substitutes

Cazorla, The Ox, Akpom [N/A]

The Treble Is On!

Look, I’d be more upset if Arsenal lost a Premier League game. The League Cup is the least valuable trophy you can win, and I’m not particularly unhappy that we have been knocked out. I’d rather have won of course, but it is what it is.

But still, Arsenal’s performance wasn’t good enough. Sure, Ozil, Ramsey, Welbeck and many others were rested, But Wilshere, Campbell, Alexis and Podolski should have created more than they did.

I’m particularly angry at Podolski’s performance. What a golden opportunity to challenge for  a starting spot in the Premier League. The only thing he showcased today, is that he should be the first player out the door in January.

Look at it this way, this now paves the way for Arsenal to win the treble!

No?

Oh, okay then. On to the Spuds on the weekend.

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