Premier League 2017/18: Southampton 1-1 Arsenal, Player Ratings
Arsenal's season went from bad to worse after they dropped two crucial points at St. Mary's. The hosts got off to a sizzling start, with Charlie Austin finding the back of the net in the third minute. Southampton got their tactics spot on, hitting Arsenal hard on the break with pace, beating the offside trap set by the Gunners with absurd ease.
The Gunners huffed and puffed but simply could not find a way to crack the Southampton backline. However, super sub Olivier Giroud took matters into his own hands, or head rather, glancing one past the keeper late on to at least ensure Arsene Wenger's side escaped with a point.
Take a look at how the player's fared in what was an entertaining game at St. Mary's:
Fraser Forster - 7
Forster produced a stunning low save off a powerful Ramsey strike in the first half to keep his side in the lead. He was barely tested apart from that and had no way of keeping out Giroud's header.
Ryan Bertrand - 6
Bertrand had a great chance to seal the game for the Saints but missed a sitter, placing his shot wide of the far post after a blistering counter-attack. With Bellerin venturing deep into Southampton territory, Bertrand had acres of space to work with in the Arsenal half and offered plenty of support to the Saints attackers, especially in the first half.
Virgil Van Dijk - 6.5
Van Dijk had a solid if not spectacular game at the heart of the Southampton defence, managing six clearances in total.
Jack Stephens - 7.5
Stephens was by far Southampton's best defender on the night, amassing a team-high three interceptions to go with five clearances. Playing on the right-hand side of defence, he held his own against the likes of Sanchez and Kolasinac, preventing them from getting goal side of him. He did pick up a late yellow though.
Maya Yoshida - 6.5
Yoshida was solid alongside Van Dijk for most of the game, although the two should have done a better job boxing out Giroud as he went up for the header that led to the equaliser.
Oriol Romeu - 7
Romeu was extremely unlucky not to have gotten his name on the scoresheet, as a wonderfully struck effort from the edge of the box left Cech on the floor only for the ball to cannon off the upright. He was the heartbeat of the Southampton side.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 7.5
Hojbjerg produced a brilliant challenge in the first half to prevent an Arsenal counter, keeping his side in the lead. He was also extremely clever in possession, completing 93.1% of his passes.
James Ward-Prowse - 6
Ward-Prowse did not contribute too much in an attacking sense but performed his defensive duties to perfection
Dusan Tadic - 8.5
Tadic was the Man of the Match in my opinion. Controlling the midfield with his silken touch and incisive passing, he created chance after chance for Southampton in the first half, easily breaking the offside trap set by the Gunners. He provided the assist for Austin's goal with a lovely pass right through the heart of the defence.
Nathan Redmond - 7
Redmond's trickery and pace created massive headaches for the Arsenal defenders, especially with the high line they employed. However, the final ball was lacking.
Charlie Austin - 7.5
Austin gave Southampton the lead with a wonderful finish in just the third minute. He had another shot well saved by Cech and was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Arsenal defenders with his runs in behind the backline.
Steven Davis - N/A
Davis entered the fray in the 87th minute and did not have enough time to make an impact.
Manolo Gabbiadini - N/A
Gabbiadini was brought on five minutes from full time and did not have time to contribute significantly to his team's cause.
Sofiane Boufal - 5/10
Boufal replaced Redmond in the 73rd minute with Southampton looking to make use of his pace on the counter.