The Gunners were on a run of eight straight wins in all competitions before the match this afternoon, winning 13 of their 14 since the new season begun, and rightly top the table after their fine run of results.
Arsenal came out with this line-up which is strong enough to take all the 3 points.
🥁 Presenting our team for #SOUARS…— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 23, 2022
👊 Tomiyasu starts at the back
🧑✈️ Odegaard skippers the side
🤙 @gabrieljesus9 leads the line
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Arsenal hung on for a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon, despite Southampton’s late threat to capture all three points.
The Gunners opened the game in typical manner, with our foot firmly planted on the pedal to put our opponents on the back foot, and it wasn’t long until we found the opening goal.
Ben White’s cross was met by Xhaka on the outside of the six-yard box, and he smashed his shot into the top of the net, leaving opposing goalkeeper Bazunu with no chance.
The Gunners dominated the rest of the half, but the other talking points were a yellow card for teenage star Bukayo Saka, who was penalized for simulation, and Jesus closing out the half by forcing a late save in the middle of the goal.
However, things changed in the second half, with Southampton spending considerably more time in Arsenal’s final third, and when the Saints equalized with Stuart Armstrong finishing off a wonderful team play to nudge the ball past Aaron Ramsdale, I believed we would lose the tie.
Martin Odegaard did manage to find the back of the net, but Kierney had allowed the ball to cross the goal line before playing the ball into the Norwegian, and the goal was quickly chalked off.
Arteta sent on Nketiah, Tierney, and Vieira for White, Martinelli, and Odegaard to freshen things up in attack, but the flow of the game continued in favour of the home side, while all the efforts to generate momentum were thwarted by fouls, and it wasn’t a pleasant sight.
I somehow criticized the substitution Arteta made because it affected the whole attack, Gabriel Martinelli was needed to trouble the Saints defense the more, his removal made it easy for Southampton to attack Arsenal rather.
I basically called that a panic substitution.
Arsenal split the spoils in a game that you might argue was a fair outcome, given that they were clearly the superior side in the first 45 minutes, but the fact is that they had to cling on when it mattered, and were lucky to escape with a point in the end.