Southampton 1-3 Arsenal: Revenge Mission Completed on Southern Coast

Just few days ago, Saturday to be precise, Mikel Arteta watched his side crashing out of the Emirates FA Cup in ugly fashion even as we are the reigning champions of the competition.

This painful deed was executed by Southampton on their own ground. Gabriel's own goal was the only difference on that day, and today, we returned there for a clash in the League. Good enough, it went all well for us to bag our third consecutive away win in the league for the first time since October 2018.

Worthy of note was the manager's decision to field a strong side, something he failed to do over the weekend thus earning himself a lot of backlash from the supporters' camp. Leading the line was Alexandre Lacacette with flank backing from the always-vibrant Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe. Emile Smith Rowe also returned but two notable absentees were Kieran Tierney (injured) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who who we learnt missed out to attend to some family matters. 

A slow start made us go behind too early in the match. We had lost the opportunity to go ahead owing to Alex McCarthy denying Laca after the latter connected well to a Granit Xhaka pass. That was about a minute after kick-off.

The Saints' reverse attack resulted in a corner kick whipped into the path of Stuart Armstrong who volleyed it onto the net with great precision in the third minute.

So early but the response showed up in similar time. Xhaka did well to blot out the opposition defence then fed it on to Pepe. The Ivorian big-money signing did not disappoint as he drew us on level terms five minutes later.

The battle would become a more severe one with both sides knowing what a loss would mean to their season aspirations. Attacking moves were made from the two sides as chances kept flying in. On one of such times, Cedric tried one that narrowly escaped goal even as the host goalkeeper went the right way.

Our own Bernd Leno was also there to keep us in the game with his fine save on the brink of the break. Conceding at that time would likely have downed our morale or blocked any route for a possible recovery. 

It became two in our favour before the halftime whistle. Saka took the oncoming McCarthy out of the way and was left with an empty post to slot into which he did without any form of hesitation. Lacazette deserves credit for the assist too.

Southampton came back with more balls but even with their seeming sting in attack, we went ahead again with a breathtaking effort from Lacazette. The Frenchman's goal extended his tally still making him the top scorer for Arsenal this season. Saka paid him back with that assist.

Another three points from Rob Holding's 100th game in Arsenal colours mean we are unbeaten in our past six Premier League games. The last EPL match we lost was at Goodison Park prior to our resurrection in that 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Arsenal are now on eight position on the table, at least pending when other games will be played. Today's match marked the beginning of return fixtures for us.

This Saturday will see us involved in a Clash of Titans as we welcome Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium. A win will complete a double over them having previously beaten them 1-0 in the first leg last November. 

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