Three things we learnt from Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Southampton

Arsenal left it late to seal all three points against Southampton at the Emirates, with Santi Cazorla’s stoppage time penalty earning them a crucial 2-1 win. Arsenal fielded an unfamiliar starting line up with new signings Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez handed starts, while Granit Xhaka and Alexis Sanchez were rested following international exertions. The Gunners played like a team with some untried combinations in their side, with the Saints pressing Arsenal well in midfield and stopping them from playing through the lines. The visitors 18th lead was a deserved one, though it arrived in fortuitous circumstances as Dusan Tadic’s free kick struck the bar before rebounding off the back of Petr Cech. Southampton lead lasted just 11 minutes, as Laurent Koscielny’s spectacular overhead kick restored parity.

 

After the first 25 minutes, Arsenal gained more control of territory and possession as Santi Cazorla began to find time on the ball. Despite a strong second half showing from the Gunners, Shane Long spurned two good chances to win the game for Southampton late on. The home side breathed a sigh of relief, and won the game in the dying embers after Jose Fonte was penalised for tugging Olivier Giroud’s shirt in the box. Overall, a precious win for Arsenal considering their stuttering performance and the fact that Southampton have been something of a bogey team for them in recent years. Claude Puel’s men will feel aggrieved to leave north London with nothing, but will be encouraged by their performance both with and without the ball. We suggested three things we learned from yesterday’s even encounter.

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