Premier League • Day 20
  • 2nd Half
  • Southampton
  • Arsenal
  • PépéWillock
  • Watts
  • ParteyElneny
  • IngsWatts
  • WalcottN'Lundulu
  • Lacazette
  • Smith RoweWillian
  • Pépé
  • VokinsRedmond
  • 1st Half
  • Southampton
  • Arsenal
  • Saka
  • Bellerín
  • Pépé
  • Armstrong

Southampton - Arsenal

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Good result and performance from Arsenal, who've now won five of six. Southampton look a little bedraggled.


Full-time: Southampton 1-3 Arsenal


Time elapses.


Now Pepe gets his long walk, replaced by Willock.


Now Valery leaves one on Willian, catching him with knees and feet just after the ball goes.


There'll be five added minutes.


Watts is late on Elneny and is booked.


Keown gives Saka man of the match, and I can't argue with that. He's not been brilliant but he's still been the best player on the pitch.


Valery swings over a cross from the right but Holding reads it and arrives first, heading behind; the corner comes in and Holding gets the head on that too.


Ward-Prowse, right of centre and 20 yards out, has to try the outswinger, He makes a decent connection too, but Leno sees it all the way and dives to palm clear.


Southampton win a free-kick just outside the Arsenal box in what we are now obliged to call James Ward-Prowse territory. A goal here would shake things up...


Luiz managesd to let the ball run by him and Adams latches onto it, but Holding is paying attention and gets in the way of the eventuating shot.


Arsenal knock it about at the back. Eventually Southampton force Bellerin to go long, and he wins his side a throw.


Southampton look tired but N'Lundulu tries to go down the side of Luiz, quickly running out of pitch.


Yup, Elneny replaces Partey.


Partey has cramp. I think that'll be his night done.


Hasenhuttl knows it's over too, immediately taking off Ings and Walcott to bring on N'Lundulu and Watts.


GOAL! Southampton 1-3 Arsenal (Lacazette) That was not a surprise. Cedric spreads another crossfield ball out to Saka, just onside, and he jabs a fine cross that Lacazette, arriving on the end of it, allows across him before falling onto a finish with his left foot. Game over.


Smith Rowe didn't look badly hurt and went to sit in the stand not the dressing room. I'd be surprised not to see him on Saturday.


Smith Rowe has to go off, so it's not Martinelli who comes on it's Willian.


Pepe goes off for Martinelli and takes so long walking to the touchline that he's booked. He seems to indicate that there's no rush because Smith Rowe is down for treatment, and actually stays on the pitch just to check that his teammate can carry on.


Southampton are struggling to find the one-touch combination play that beats massed defences. They're leaving it to the man on the ball to run at someone - as Armstrong has just tried to do - or looking to cross.


Martin Keown reckons Diallo has gone to left-back


Yup, Redmond comes on - for Vokins.


Ings has had enough, running past Partey then swaying away from Bellerin and Dashing by Holding, but he runs out of pitch an can't quite muster a cross.


Arsenal are sitting back now and inviting Southampton to pass through them. That's brave in a sense, because their defence isn't all that, but Southampton lack a bit of guile in midfield.


City lead West Brom 5-0 now, Mahrez and Sterling the latest scorers. If they're not minded to declare, West Brom are in terrible, terrible trouble.


Arsenal look much more likely to score a third than Southampton do a second, and the counter is there for them. Out of nothing, Cedric has time and space to launch a crossfield ball to Saka, who has Lacazette in the middle but opts for a hopeful cross-shot which zips a couple of yards wide.


Hasenhuttl will be thinking about changing things. I'd expect to see Nathan Redmond shortly.


There's not much pattern to the game now, and Cedric bounces into the box unmolested, clipping a cross that Bednarek just about clears.


Luiz seems to have hurt himself, but I',m sure he'll be fine


Southampton win a corner down the right which Ward-Prowse swings out, but Luiz is there to head away.


Saka flicks a pass in behind for Bellerin, who crosses hard ... and Pepe takes it away from Lacazette without actually getting anything on the ball.


Arsenal win the ball via press again, Cedric sticking it in behind for Smith Row, down the left. McCarthy comes out again, and he can only nudge a shot square, with no one around to stick it in.


Stephens does just enough to clear Smith Rowe's cross.


Saka draws Vokins in and nips away from him, enticing the foul. Free-kick Arsenal, five yards in from the right touchline.


Armstrong snaps a pass into Walcott and he's in space, 20 yards out. Valery is outside and open but he opts to shoot, lashing an effort straight at Leno.


Arsenal are announcing the loan arrival of Martin Odegaard tomorrow, apparently. I wonder if a midfield of him, Partey and Smith Rowe is workable. Probably not, because you don't want to limit Partey by making him sit.


Off we go again.


That was an enjoyable half. Arsenal were better in the first 15, then Southampton took over before Arsenal took the ascendancy. Join me shortly for the rest.


Half-time: Southampton 1-2 Arsenal


Bednarek heads it away.


Cedric and Pepe exchange passes, Bednarek getting back to block the resultant cross behind.


No, two added minutes.


Ward-Prowse loops a cross towards the back post, but Bellerin does enough to get it away.


It's not time yet, but apparently there'll be three added minutes.


Lacazette sends a ball out to Saka and Stephens trips him, at which point the flag goes up.


It's absolutely caning down now.


Suddenly Arsenal are pressing for a third, Lacazette falling over in the box and requesting a penalty; nothing doing.


GOAL! Southampton 1-2 Arsenal (Saka) Bukayo Saka is such a player! One pass from Lacazette sends him in - that is not clever defending - but when McCarthy charges out, Saka rounds him and in his next stride, before he runs out of position, he clips a finish into the empty net. That's four goals in his last games; he's a superstar.


This one will amuse Arsenal fans. Luiz passes directly to Walcott, who has Adams on one side and Ings on the other, only to launch a pass nowhere near either of them.


Armstrong is playing really well and he turns up on the left to sprint past Bellerin, his low cross humped out of play.


Elsewhere, Zlatan Ibrahimovic appears to have wound Romelu Lukaku into a state of intense anger. Sentiments have been exchanged.


Not much going on here, but as I type that Lacazette finds space down the right and cuts a square pass ... that misses everyone.


Gundogan has scored again; City now lead 3-0 and are going top of the league, at least until tomorrow when United play Sheffield United.


Southampton are passing through Arsenal's midfield pretty easily.


Southampton are the better side now.


Armstrong picks up a clever pass from Vokins, opening his body to curl towards the far post from a tight angle ... a too-tight angle, the ball drifting just wide.


Lovely from Southampton, a volleyed flick from Adams, between his own legs, allowing Ings to spread to Valery. He drives forward but a poor touch forces him to reach for a shot that flies off towards Selhurst Park.


Cancelo has put City two-up at West Brom.


After a rapid start, the game has slowed a little, but as I type that, Vokins finds himself in galaxies of space, bending a cross onto Adams' head, but his effort is too close to Leno, who parries away. The resultant corner comes to nothing.


Southampton have been better these last few minutes but still look vulnerable every time they try to play out from the back.


Ward-Prowse curls in another decent one, but Ings has shoot on the leap and can only poke at Leno.


Armstrong chugs down the line and sticks it behind Bellerin, who scythes through his hurdle. He's booked.


But there they are now, Adams allowed to chest, turn and cut a pass in centrefield, picking out Walcott. He's got Ings up with him but loses his bearings, trying a shot his body-position could never allow him to complete when a pass would've worked much better.


We've barely seen Ings, Adams and Walcott so far.


In the interests of balance, Hasenhuttl has come dressed as a scally, in baseball hat and club leisurewear. It's better, but it's not great.


Southampton are struggling to beat Arsenal's press, and when Saka's cross is headed directly to Cedric, he cuts across a shinner that swerves millimetres past the post.


Arteta is wearing an overcoat on top of what looks like another coat - generally managers wait till they're in the 60s to do that.


Nice from Diallo, who screeches past Holding in centrefield, forcing Lacazette to trip him.


Arsenal are into this - they're playing with enterprise and intensity.


GOAL! Southampton 1-1 Arsenal (Pepe) You've got to laugh (at me). Arsenal press Southampton high and Ska wins the ball, transferring it to Partey who finds Xhaka, and he threads a very nice pass between right-back and centre-back for Pepe, who rearranges his feet well before slotting home across McCarthy. Good game, this.


I should say, it was Pepe who didn't track Armstrong for the goal.


The corner comes to nowt.


Saka seems to be on the right, which is a bit of a slap to Pepe, who prefers to play there. Instead, he'll be keeping the width on the touchline while the younger man tries to get close to goal. And here he is, beating his and whipping over a nasty low cross that earns his side a corner.


GOAL! Southampton 1-0 Arsenal (Armstrong) Ward-Prowse swings out to the edge of the box - this is clearly a rehearsed move - where Armstrong arrives to sweep a half-volley beyond Leno. Pemny for em, Alexandre!


Southampton win a corner down the right...


Huge chance for Arsenal! My man Bednarek gives it away, a careless pass picking out Xhaka who immediately sticks Lacazette in. McCarthy gets out well, but the striker has the option of rounding him or lifting it over him, only to try for a nutmeg, the ball catching the underside of the keeper's top thigh and squirting away from goal.


Away we go!


This thread is absolutely fantastic, read all of it.


Here come the teams!


Nicolas Pepe, then. I can't think of too many better wastes of £72m. When Arsenal bought him, he'd had one great season playing in the second-best team in a low-quality league, couldn't get into the Cote d'Ivoire first XI and no one else wanted him. I've no idea how they ended up paying so much.


Talking of Xhaka, by the way, if I was Ralph Hasenhuttl - for avoidance of doubt, I'm not - i'd be having my players press him at every available opportunity.


Elsewhere, Leeds have won 2-1 at Newcastle and West Ham have won 3-2 at Palace to go fourth in the table. What a job David Moyes is doing.


What arsenal really need is an upgrade on Granit Xhaka, and not because he's can't stop getting sent off but because he's not good enough.


As for Arsenal, they'll miss the injured Tierney, but I'm looking forward to seeing how Partey, Saka and Smith Rowe link up. Long term, Smith Rowe will be defined by his numbers - if you play as a number 10, bottom line is you need to supply lots of goals and assists - but he's extremely enjoyable to watch. Saka, meanwhile, has phenomenal game intelligence for a player of his age, and I wonder if he'll end up in midfield, but for now am glad he's not at left-back.


You know what, this is nothing to do with the game but I'm going to post it anyway because it's instructive.


That said, I've been extremely impressed with Jan Bednarek over the last couple of seasons. If I'm guessing, I saying he'll be the next to leave for big money.


When we talk about Southampton we mainly talk about Ward-Prowse, Ings and Adams - with good reason. Ward-Prowse has unbelievable energy and set-piece delivery, while Adams and Ings are striking partnership of the old school, physical monsters with all-round ability. If they play well tonight, Holding and Luiz are in trouble.


Arsenal, meanwhile, mix and match again. They play Manchester United on Saturday and I expect that's why Gabriel is rested - his spot goes to David Luiz - while Partey replaces Elneny, and Saka, Smith Rowe and Lacazette come in for Martinelli, Willian and Nketiah respectively.


Southampton make three changes from the weekend. In goal, McCarthy takes back his place from Forster, while at full-back, Walker-Peters - who is maturing into a very fine player - and Bertand miss out entirely with neither is even on the bench, a reflection of how much work they do and how hard this season is. Coming in for them are Valery and Vokins.


Let's investigate the teams...


I'm looking forward to this one. Southampton are an excellent and coherent team, difficult to play against and enjoyable to watch. Arsenal, on the other hand, aren't quite that yet but they do have some interesting and exciting players; it's funny really, that tactical savant Mikel Arteta only managed to stop his team losing when he ... picked his best players. Must be a coincidence.

Anyhow, these two met at the weekend, and I was surprised by the XI Arteta sent out given his team are cup holders and aren't going anywhere in the league. But I guess he still thinks top four is available - I'm not so sure but I can see why he does - and there's a fair chance his bosses consider trying for it to be a priority. He'll look a bit silly if Southampton win again though.


Evening all! Welcome to Southampton v Arsenal!