Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points
Final score: Southampton 1-1 Arsenal
Goals: Charlie Austin 3' (Southampton), Olivier Giroud 88' (Arsenal)
Arsenal were hosted by Southampton at the St. Mary's Stadium for their Matchday 16 clash of the Premier League. Just a week after conceding 2 early goals against Manchester United, Arsenal were subject to a rather cruel sense of deja vu, as Charlie Austin capitalised on a Per Mertesacker error to beat Petr Cech to put Southampton ahead in just the 3rd minute of the game.
What followed, was an extended display of Arsenal's woes and concerns. Despite holding the ball for 67% of the match, the Gunners failed to find the back of the net, until, Olivier Giroud, just had to be him, didn't it? rescued Arsene Wenger and his side, coming off the bench to score in the 88th minute.
Here's a look at the major talking points from the hard-fought clash at St. Mary's:
#5 What good is a poorly defended Arsenal?
Early goals were what caused Arsenal's downfall against Manchester United a week ago, and the Gunners could not have made a worse start against Southampton. A back 3 of Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, and Per Mertesacker (who replaced injured Shkodran Mustafi) struggled at the start of the game, and the team sure paid the price for it.
In just the 3rd minute of the game, Southampton were handed the lead as Charlie Austin made the most of Dusan Tadic's pass to beat Petr Cech and break the hearts of Arsenal's devout fans.
To make matters worse, Austin found himself in front of goal just a couple of minutes later due to a defensive lapse. Fortunately for the Gunners, the Englishman failed to double the lead.
The switch to 4 at the back, following Per Mertesacker's departure in the second half, added stability, but the damage had already been done.
If Arsenal wish to make much of this season, they will desperately have to address their issues at the back.