Saints deny Arsenal chance to go top with emphatic 4-0 win
Arsenal missed out on the chance to go top of the Premier League as they collapsed to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton this evening at St Mary’s Stadium.
The Gunners went into the game knowing league-leaders Leicester City had dropped points earlier in the day after losing 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield, but they failed to capitalise as they crashed to a heavy defeat.
The result came as quite a surprise as Ronald Koeman‘s men were in poor form going into the game, losing four out of their last five, but they prevented Arsene Wenger‘s men from winning four on the trot.
It was a quiet start to the game, with neither sides creating clear-cut chances, and the opening goal came from nowhere as right-back Martina scored a goal that Roberto Carlos would be proud of.
A Per Mertesacker clearance fell to the right-back, who unleashed a vicious shot with the outside of his boot, which flew into the bottom corner past Petr Cech.
It was the only real meaningful shot of the first-half and the Saints went into the break with the one-goal lead.
It looked like Southampton had doubled their lead when Virgil van Dijk headered home past Cech, but the goal was ruled out correctly for offside.
However, they didn’t have to wait long for their second as Shane Long slotted home after being picked out by Sadio Mane in the 55th minute.
The game was wrapped up with 20-minutes left as a Ryan Bertrand corner was met by Jose Fonte who thumped home to give Southampton a comfortable victory.
It could have been 4-0 when Long hit the post, but it was soon four when the Irishman was released through the defence and he calmly slotted under Cech’s body.
The three points puts Koeman‘s men on 24 points in 12th, while Arsenal miss out on the chance to go top, who sit second on 36 points.
Southampton striker Shane Long speaking to BT Sport: “We knew we were a good enough team, but it was not happening in the last few weeks. We went out there with the idea of fighting hard for each other firstly and hoping the play comes from there. They did not like the pace in behind from me and Sadio and we played on that.
“It was a good day all round, but we have got a hard game coming up in two days’ time against West Ham.”
On opening goalscorer Cuco Martina: “He’s been brilliant in training, worked really hard and deserved his chance in the team. He deserved the goal and that performance today.”
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt