Scraptastic: Arsenal 1 – 0 Southampton – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 1 – 0 Southampton

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Following a close win against West Brom, Arsenal were looking for another win against Southampton. Not an easy feat these days.

The first half, as we have come to expect these days, was a slow one.

Ramsey and Flamini were looking particularly sloppy tonight. The former was misplacing passes on a regular basis, and the latter was being surpassed by Wanyama and Southampton’s midfield.

Welbeck had chances come and go, and Southampton managed to cause a few scares themselves. Yet the score remained level at the half time whistle.

“Olivier Giroud was soon introduced in place of Chamberlain, and the game changed almost immediately.”

The second half contained a bit more urgency from both sides.

Southampton were still creating chances, but they weren’t taking them. Arsenal were doing the same though really, with Welbeck not working hard enough, and spurning chances when they came about.

Olivier Giroud was soon introduced in place of Chamberlain, and the game changed almost immediately.

“Giroud had another chance, where he headed the ball across goal. It looked a certain goal, but Forster once again pulled off a wonder save.”

The Gunners were looking more direct, with two chances being created in quick succession. A first-time Giroud strike after a long ball, and a curling shot from Welbeck. Forster saved both.

In the final few moments, Giroud had another chance, where he headed the ball across goal, towards the top corner. It looked a certain goal, but Forster once again pulled off a wonder save.

Minutes later, Giroud once again caused an issue in the build up to Arsenal’s winner. He controlled the ball after a cross into the box, and saw the ball handled by Yoshida. Thankfully though, the ball fell to Ramsey, who crossed for Sanchez in front of goal. He scored, obviously.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Martinez: [7/10]

Impressive performance today. Does really well in the face of crosses, and commands his areas well.

Chambers: [6.5/10]

Started badly but grew into the game.

Mertesacker: [6.5/10] 

Pelle was a handful in the first half at times, but Per did okay overall.

Monreal: [6.5/10] 

Defended well, didn’t get forward much, nor was he very effective when he did.

Koscielny: [7/10]

First to the ball, strong in the tackle. Oh how we’ve missed him.

Ramsey: [5/10]

Another poor performance. Passes were all over the place. But, he managed to get a very important assist in the end.

Flamini: [6/10] 

Played second fiddle to Wanyama and co. Made one great challenge late in the second half to win possession, but other than that,a quiet game.

Cazorla: [7/10] 

Wasn’t at the level he showed against Dortmund or West Brom, but he still played very well.

Welbeck: [5/10] 

Didn’t work hard enough, and didn’t take his chances. First touch and finishing need to improve.

Sanchez: [7.5/10] 

Worked hard, but wasn’t as involved as usual throughout the game. Yet, he popped up once again with the winner. Our talisman, for sure.

The Ox: [6/10]

Not his best performance, although he didn’t do anything particularly wrong. His wing play just wasn’t there, and he only had one real chance, which was saved by Forster.

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Substitutes

Giroud: [7.5/10] – MOTM
Not often I give a MOTM to a sub, but today is an exception. Giroud changed the face of Arsenal tonight. He took us from flat to fantastic, and played a role in all our chances close to the final whistle, including the goal. I hope Danny Welbeck had his notebook out.

Podolski [N/A]

Scraptastic

Another lacklustre performance, but once again, a win is a win.

A weak midfield consisting of an ageing Flamini and an our-of-form Ramsey allowed the game to simmer at 0-0. Southampton didn’t want to commit too much, and Arsenal simply weren’t able to finish their chances.

Although in fairness, Forster had a world-class performance between the sticks.

In the end, Sanchez saved us — again. I’m starting to wonder what he sees in us, because Arsenal’s performance was scrappy yet again. But the result (which is our second win in two games, putting us three points from third) was fantastic. Bring on Stoke.

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