Southampton 3-2 Arsenal: 3 reasons why Arsenal lost the close encounter | Premier League 2018-19
Southampton inflicted a shock loss upon The Gunners, as they won a close encounter, ending Arsenal’s 22 game unbeaten run. Southampton went ahead via a Danny Ings goal in the 20th minute, but as has been the case throughout the campaign, The Gunners leveled in the 28th minute through Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Southampton then went into halftime restoring their advantage, as Nathan Redmond scored the second goal.
The second half was evenly fought as Arsenal found a way through Mkhitaryan again to restore parity in the match. But a Bernd Leno error in the 85th minute gave Southampton a much-needed win under new management.
Substitute Charlie Austin scored the winner with the crowd going crazy, and the Arsenal equaliser never came even after repeated attempts from the front-line.
Here are the 3 reasons why Arsenal lost the close encounter.
#1 Unai Emery’s tactical blunder
Arsenal had to deal with injury problems in the game, with most of its front-line defenders injured or suspended. Sokratis and Mustafi had been the starters under Unai, but their suspension made him use a makeshift team, as Koscielny returning from a long-term injury became the main man in defense, and Xhaka as well as Lichtsteiner playing on either side of the Frenchman.
Arsenal were not able to deal with the high balls as Xhaka and Lichtsteiner were not familiar with their new roles. Xhaka left some big holes in the defense, as he tried to run too often with the ball, misplacing important passes.
Bellerin’s poor game, & an injury reduced Arsenal’s power in defense, and this was exploited by Ings and then Austin. Bellerin really struggled at the right wing back position, as both first-half goals came from the right side of Arsenal’s defense. Unai will have a big headache regarding his defenders in the next game.