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Southampton 3-2  Arsenal - 4 prime points | Premier League 2018-19

ANALYST
Feature
841   //    18 Dec 2018, 06:48 IST

New Southampton boss, Ralph Hasenhüttl, got his first victory as Southampton manager, and over Arsenal at the St. Mary Stadium.

Arsenal was in good form going into this game, as they were unbeaten in the last 22 games in all competitions. In recent times though, Arsenal had suffered some bad defeats there, notably in 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, where they lost 2-0 and 4-0 respectively. It seems today was the latest in that trend, as a late Charlie Austin header won the points for the Saints.

Charlie Austin has always scored against Arsenal, whenever he has faced them
Charlie Austin has always scored against Arsenal, whenever he has faced them

Arsenal were favourites to win, and had to win, especially as fellow top-four challengers Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur both won at the weekend.

However, Southampton went ahead via a Danny Ings header mid-way through the first half. Arsenal equalised via a Mkhitaryan header, but Southampton went into the break 2-1 ahead, as Ings headed in again.

Mkhitaryan's two-goal effort was not enough for the Gunners
Mkhitaryan's two-goal effort was not enough for the Gunners

The second half was fairly even, with Arsenal equalising again through a deflected Mkhitaryan effort.

Southampton didn't lie down though, as they got the winner through Charlie Austin. He scored the winner late on, and despite some Arsenal half-chances, they were able to hold onto the win.

Austin has a record of always scoring against Arsenal, and it showed today - and how.

Southampton will take immense heart from their progress here. But then Arsenal will feel down after losing, especially after a long-time unbeaten. Will this mean a drop is coming? Or is it just a blip? Deeper issues are:

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  • Can Southampton stay up?
  • What does Arsenal need to enhance their defence?
  • Can Arsenal ride out their injury crisis?
  • Is Arsenal still primed for the top four?

A defeat for Arsenal here is not the end of the world. But it is a blow, and they have another North London Derby upcoming vs. Tottenham Hotspur, but this time in the League Cup.

However, a prominent point is Arsenal's poor defending, which was apparent again in this defeat.

Emery may not be worrying too much about this loss - but then it's up to him get the team back to winning ways.

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Avid Gooner since the early 1990s. Was Wenger Out, but truly sorry to see him go. All time favourite players at Arsenal - Wright, Bergkamp, Seaman, Henry, Alexis, Koscielny, Sansom, Rocastle, Overmars, Vieira, Cesc.
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