4 Thoughts From Arsenal’s 2-2 Draw With Southampton

By on January 29, 2014

Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw by Southampton on Tuesday night in a thrilling game at St Mary’s. Here, Gunner333 gives us some thoughts from the match.

mathieu-flamini-arsenal

Photo: football365.com

The Saints welcomed an in-form Arsenal side to the South-Coast, with the away side looking for three points ahead of Chelsea and Man City’s respective mid-week clashes. Wenger played five in midfield, whilst Southampton went with youngster Sam Gallagher to lead the line.

Amid an electric atmosphere, it was Gallagher who came closest to opening the scoring after drawing a close-range save from Szczesny as Southampton dominated the opening stages. It didn’t take long before the hosts broke the deadlock when a delectable ball from Shaw led to Fonte beating Monreal at the far post to head home.

Gallagher then wasting a glorious chance to make it 2-0 and Southampton fans would have been fuming that their side could not make the most of their dominance as Arsenal almost grabbed an undeserved equaliser just before half time when Koscielny’s close-range shot was well saved.

Arsenal then came out fighting after the break. Sagna controlled a high ball before firing in a cross that allowed Olivier Giroud to flick home for 1-1. Scores level and it really was game on.

Özil then glided past two defenders with ease before setting up Cazorla who curled one home for 2-1 but Southampton responded immediately as  Rodriguez pulled one back across goal for Lallana who fired past Szczesny.

Özil rattled the bar, but the game was at a stand-still with nerves preventing either side from snatching the points. An 80th minute sending off for Matthieu Flamini did not help the situation, but the Gunners clung on to share a point.

An inspiring game which has unfortunately put both City and Chelsea in a position to pounce and reclaim top-spot. Here I will analyse four stats/facts from the game:

1) Tackling With Talent – 89% Success Rate

Arsenal players had an impressive 89% tackling success rate during the game. While we were poor during the first half in terms of our passing and attacking threat, we were still putting the tackles in and more often than not coming out on top. Unfortunately, Flamini took this a step too far and got himself sent off for a poor two-footed tackle late on.

2) Flami-no!!

The loss of Mathieu Flamini all-but ended our chances of pushing for a late winner last night, but the subsequent three match banis really going to damage our title bid. He will be missed greatly, particularly against Liverpool and Man Utd.

His idiotic two-footed challenge left us in a tough position in a game we could have won. I do not feel we must rip-in to Mathieu, as his performances have been sensational of-late, but with a player of his experience, he should control his temperament and be more cautious in his midfield battles.

3) Learn From Saints?

No matter how strong your love of Arsenal is, all must eulogise the talent showed by Southampton last night. They kept the ball well and edged possession. Lallana, Shaw and Rodriguez put in great shifts and their domestic youth policy is a breath of fresh air.

Once a club battling with criticism from using youth too much, I now feel we are borderline neglecting the system and must put faith in good young English players, as well as promising talents purchased from abroad. Where are the young defenders and strikers coming through?

4) Do us a favour Spurs…

Ahead of Tottenham’s clash with City, we will be desperate for the side we call ‘rivals’ to ‘do us a favour’ and win, which could ensure we stay top. Overall though, with ourselves City and Chelsea all still set to lock horns once again this season, the race could go right to the wire.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. nikkogunners

    January 30, 2014 at 4:26 am

    maybe for the net 4 or 5 games this is the best side Wenger can filed

    ————Giroud
    Podolski, Carzola, Ozil, Gnabry
    ————Arteta
    Gibbs, Konsielny, Martesacker, Sagna
    ———-Sczechny

    Now that Flamini is out, Ramsey is out and Wilshere too is out…perhaps it is time to try the 4 man midfield and one man pivot. Carzola and Ozil in the centre together would be moputh watering especioally with bath recovering their form. Podolski back in the fold helping out from the left would be something especially now that he is crying for playing time and he too is putting in great shifts . The game can be varied by just reverting to three midfielders with Carzola going left and Podolki goes to the hole to help out in attack creating a partnership with Giroud and Gibbs together with Sagna moving into the defensive role interchangeably to help Arteta depending on the threat levels.

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