Arsenal FC drop points on the road as Southampton holds them to a draw at St. Mary’s stadium. Arsene Wenger also hints at possible new signings before the end of this month.
This draw now means that Arsenal can drop down to third in the table if Manchester City and Chelsea get the right results tonight. This could possibly be a big blow for the Gunners after leading the title race for so long. Added to this, Arsenal will also be without Aaron Ramsey, who suffered a setback in the training ground, for three to four weeks, while Mathieu Flamini will miss the next three matches due to suspension.
The home side started the match brightly and put Arsenal under a lot of pressure. Finally Jose Fonte provided them the deserved lead in the 21st minute of the match as he headed in Luke Shaw’s wonderful cross at the far post. It was a poor display from the Gunners in the first half and they were lucky to have gone in just one goal behind at the halfway mark.
But Arsene Wenger’s men came out firing in all cylinders in the second half and restored parity in the 48th minute of the match as Olivier Giroud scored with a wonderful delicate little touch after being set up by Bacary Sagna’s low drive into the box from the right. Just four minutes later the Gunners took the lead as Santi Cazorla continued his wonderful goal scoring form. The Spaniard scored with a delightfully placed shot from the edge of the box after Mesut Ozil found him with a lovely little pass.
Incredibly, only two minutes after conceding the lead, Southampton scored once again and this time it was Adam Lallana, who arrived late into the box to sweep home the ball after some fantastic work by Jay Rodriguez down the left. It was anybody’s match at the point, but there was one more turning point in the match as Arsenal were reduced to 10 men following a terrible tackle by Mathieu Flamini on Morgan Schneiderlin. Referee Lee Mason didn’t think twice before showing a straight red to the Frenchman. This provided the initiative to the home side and they put the Arsenal defence under a lot of pressure in the closing stages of the match, but the Gunners held on to the draw somehow and will perhaps be pleased with the result in the end given the circumstances.
Arsene Wenger hinted at possible new arrivals in his post-match comments before the close of this transfer window as his side is stretched by injuries.
“I have nothing to tell you tonight [regarding possible transfer deals], maybe I hope we have something to tell you because we lost a few players now.
“We have lost Flamini for three games and Ramsey, but overall I think Jack Wilshere will be back soon, so I think we’ll be OK.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Wenger also confirmed that Ramsey has suffered a setback during training and is sure to miss their next game.
“Yes, he has had a set-back in training yesterday (Monday) but we hope it’s not for too long.
“He will certainly not be available for Sunday’s game (at home to Crystal Palace). I have to (think about ins and outs).” – Wenger added.
Wenger also insisted that considering the situation they were in the match, he was happy with the draw and character his team showed in the end.
“We have shown again great character.
“It’s not enough but at least considering the situation it’s not too bad the way we responded.” – He explained.