A seemingly tricky game on paper against Southampton at the Emirates on Wednesday proved to be just that for Arsenal, but the Gunners found the vital goal that handed them a 1-0 victory and all three points.
Despite another spell of confusion surrounding the North London club, they have just gone and won three games in a row and haven’t conceded a goal in the process. On top of that, the club now sits just three points behind Southampton in third place after tonight’s success. The Saints have been in good form this season and they provided a perfect test for Arsenal here, but the Gunners ultimately had too much for the south coast club, although it was a late show from Alexis Sanchez that secured the points.
Southampton will probably feel like they deserved a draw, especially as Graziano Pelle provided a constant threat leading the front line. However, Arsenal had their own go to guys with Santi Cazorla once again pulling the strings from the middle of the park, while in Sanchez they have one of the form players in world football.
Arsene Wenger will be delighted that his charges restricted a slick Southampton unit to just six shots, but he could have rued missed opportunities at the other end. Arsenal had 19 shots through the game, but could not break the deadlock as Danny Welbeck struggled to have an impact up front on his own. During halftime Wenger shuffled the pack and moved the England man out wide left and brought in Sanchez from the wing to play upfront.
The payoff was not immediate, but when Olivier Giroud was introduced midway through the second half the Gunners seemed to have more cutting edge in the final third. The Frenchman combined well with Welbeck, Cazorla, and Sanchez, giving Arsenal a potent attacking threat. The dominant play finally paid off in the 89th minute when Sanchez found space in the box to slot home past Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal. The Chile international has been a revelation since arriving at Arsenal, and he made the most of Aaron Ramsey’s pull back here.
It was enough to hand the hosts the win and now Arsenal will look to this weekend’s clash on the road at Stoke City.