Arsenal dropped points for the second consecutive week as they could only rescue a late point against Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday
Arsenal’s away woes in the Premier League continued on Sunday, and the Gunners have now dropped points in six of their games on the road this season. The visitors were rocked early into the game as Charlie Austin combined with Dusan Tadic to slam the ball past Petr Cech.
Thereafter, both sides have plenty of chances to get on the score sheet, but their wastefulness and profligacy, combined with some fine work by Cech and Fraser Forster meant the score remained 1-0 in Southampton’s favour till the dying stages of the match.
But, just when it looked like Southampton were going to become the latest side to beat Arsenal in an away game this season, Olivier Giroud turned into the supersub. The French striker was picked out by a pinpoint cross by Alexis Sanchez, and he made no error in directing the ball into the net.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 10, 2017
In a week when the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea dropped points, though, Arsenal’s inability to grab all three point could cost dearly come May. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Arsene Wenger’s men.
Petr Cech: 7.5/10
One of the few Arsenal players who gave a good account of himself on the day, Cech was equal to most of the shots that came his way, while also commanding his area in fantastic fashion. While he did concede a goal in the early stages of the match, he was not at fault for letting Charlie Austin score past him.
Laurent Koscielny: 5/10
A series of poor performances continued for Koscielny on Sunday. The French defender had a number of woeful moments on the pitch on the evening, and it looks like his niggling Achilles problem is taking its toll. He did make three tackles and three interceptions, but he did not do enough despite the scoreline not being embarrassing.
Per Mertesacker: 4/10
The Arsenal captain returned to the starting lineup after a long time, with Shkodran Mustafi injured, and his compatriot was sorely missed. The match started in the worst possible fashion for the German as he misplaced the pass that started the move for Austin’s goal before tumbling over Dusan Tadic to give him space to put the striker through.
Arsenal’s back three have a combined age of 96.
Ninety six. 😲 pic.twitter.com/q9NpG4Z9Qd
— bet365 (@bet365) December 10, 2017
His lack of pace was glaringly apparent as well, with the Southampton attack giving him a great deal of trouble on counters. Quite the disaster for the veteran defender.
Nacho Monreal: 5/10
Monreal, too, was surprisingly poor on Sunday. The ever reliable Spaniard was absent for the most part on the day and when you’re a defender, that’s quite a dangerous predicament. He looked quite shaky against a dangerous Southampton attack, on what was an off day for him.
Hector Bellerin: 5.5/10
Yet another player who was poor. While Bellerin was full of energy, especially on his forward forays, his end product was terribly missing, with his crosses either over hit or under. The Spaniard also left Koscielny high and dry on several occasions as he failed to track back. Needs to pull his socks up.
Aaron Ramsey: 7/10
Ramsey wasn’t really at his best on Sunday, but he was still one of the better players on the day for the Gunners. As is the case more often than not, his movement made him a major threat, finding pockets of space and could have had a goal to show for his efforts too, if not for Fraser Forster.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) December 10, 2017
One area where he was lacking, though, was that he couldn’t back up defensively and his outing ended with a great deal of concern for Arsenal fans as he hobbled towards the full-time whistle with what looked like a hamstring injury.
Granit Xhaka: 5/10
It was quite a mixed bag for Xhaka on the day. While he did distribute the ball well and brought a sense of control in the second half, the Swiss was wasteful at times and came up short defensively. Such inconsistencies are the reason why he still cops a lot of flak from fans and pundit.
Sead Kolasinac: 6/10
Like he does so often in each of his outings, Kolasinac added to the numbers in the final third. But, like rest of his teammates who were up against a deep Southampton defensive line, he could not create much of an impact going forward. He was caught out of position defensively too, and this was not one outing that he would remember.
Mesut Ozil: 7/10
Ozil worked really hard to make things happen on the day, using his nimble feet to good effect, creating the most number of chances by an Arsenal player. He also showed his strengths to hold up play, but did not have enough support from fellow teammates to see the chances amount to anything.
Alexis Sanchez: 5.5/10
Another disastrous outing in what has been a disappointing season for the most part for Sanchez. In what has become a trend in this campaign with him, the Chilean was extremely wasteful in possession, losing the ball a staggering 32 times.
Alexis Sanchez vs. Southampton:
68.1% – passing accuracy
1 – assist
3 – chances created
32 – possession lost pic.twitter.com/w2oUi36qfR
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 10, 2017
His passing accuracy was a paltry 68%, which his passes not amounting to much. But, the player did have a role to play in the game as he provided the cross that ended with the equaliser.
Alexandre Lacazette: 6/10
This wasn’t a poor performance by any means by Lacazette, but it wasn’t one of his best either. When the French striker got the ball, it did look like something would happen, though he did waste one big chance in the box. He didn’t get enough service though, which rendered him helpless at times.
Danny Welbeck: 5/10
Once again Welbeck looked really rusty, and he is just failing to get back to his best post his latest injury. He created absolutely no impact in this game.
Jack Wilshere: 6/10
One has to wonder when Wilshere will get his first Premier League start to the season, although he couldn’t make things happen as much as he would have liked. If Ramsey’s injury turns out to be serious, this might be the break he’s been looking for.
Olivier Giroud: 6/10
Giroud was the super sub for Arsenal once again as he rose the highest to rescue a point for Arsenal. The French striker is perhaps the most impactful player off the bench in the Premier League.