Arsenal rescue a point with Southampton
Written By: Robert Halter
Struggling Southampton faced Arsenal, in late November. In the opening thirty seconds, Kieran Tierney lost possession and Stuart Armstrong, whipped a shot across the face of the goal. But it was Southampton that took a surprise lead, as after Calum Chambers brought down Nathan Redmond, a quickly taken free kick by Ryan Bertrand set free Danny Ings, who tucked the ball into the bottom left corner. In the fourteenth minute from a punt forward by Jack Stephens and ball across from Michael Obafemi, a strike by Ings rose over the crossbar. Two minutes later, a ball over by Redmond was struck from James Ward-Prowse into the body of Bernd Leno. But Arsenal drew level in the eighteenth minute as Tierney’s cross was struck by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Bertrand, and from the rebound, Alexandre Lacazette, struck his shot into the left side of the net. In the twenty first minute from a Ward-Prowse corner, the ball was headed into the outside netting of by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The first booking went to Lucas Torreira for charging down Redmond. The next caution was for Sokratis Papastathopolous after dissent before Ings was shown a yellow card for an assault on Matteo Guendouzi. In the forty first minute through an infringement on Guendouzi by Hojbjerg, from Mesut Ozil’s free kick, a miss timed header by David Luiz went out to the right. Before the break, Lacazette went in the book for a two footed lunge into the back of Armstrong’s legs. Before the restart, Nicolas Pepe replaced Chambers. But the Saints made a sudden break, as Ings combined with Obafemi, and in a state of panic, Torreira turned the ball back, and it took a save by Leno, to prevent an own goal. In the fifty first minute, after Ozil played through Lacazette, the ball bobbled off Stephens from a deflection by Cedric Soares, and a low drive from Aubameyang, brushed the feet of Saints keeper, Alex McCarthy. Two minutes later, Lacazette’s incisive pass put Pepe clean through but Jan Bednarek, made a vital block. The Saints responded instantly, when through Hojbjerg’s assist, a well timed strike by Redmond at distance, was tipped over from Leno. In the fifty sixth minute, from Tierney’s cross, a scissors kick by Pepe crashed against the crossbar. A yellow card was later shown to Pepe for a foul on Betrand. From a poor Tierney back pass, Sokratis was caught out by Soares, but his low cross went past Obafemi, to waste a gifted opportunity for the Saints. But on sixty eight minutes, as Bertrand combined with Obafemi, a card was shown to Tierney for a foul on Ings, and a VAR check awarded a penalty, and after Ward-Prowse’s spot kick was pushed out by the hand of Leno, the ball fell kindly for Ward-Prowse, who converted the rebound. Ings was later switched for Shane Long before Obafemi made way for Moussa Djenepo. Later on, Bertrand was cautioned for time wasting at a throw in. In the eighty second minute, as Long was provider, a long range strike by Redmond flicked off Guendouzi, onto the outside roof of the net, and from a Ward-Prowse corner, the ball went out to Armstrong, who drove the ball past the left post. The Gunners then brought on Joe Willock for Torreira and Gabriel Martinelli for Hector Bellerin. In the eighty fourth minute from Lacazette’s cross, a shot by Ozil was turned over by McCarthy. Then from another Ozil corner, a close range header by Willock was caught by McCarthy. The Saints then took off Armstrong for Sofiane Boufal. In the next move, Redmond played in Djenepo whose shot was blocked on the line by Willock. Soon Guendouzi got booked for dissent. In stoppage time, Boufal brought the ball back to Djenepo, who dragged his shot wide. After six minutes of stoppage time, as Martinelli’s cross was pushed out by McCarthy, the ball landed for Lacazette, who fired in a late equaliser, high into the net. Before the finish, from Ward-Prowse’s pass, a curling strike by Boufal went past the right post, to end 2-2.