Saturday, December 26, 2015 10:48 pm
Arsenal failed to seize the opportunity to go top of the Barclays Premier League, losing woefully to Southampton 0-4.
The Saints 19minute goal by Cuco Martina, a thunder shot outside of the 18, appeared to have sapped the energy out of the Gunners, as they never recovered even in the second half.
The Saints continued to harass the Arsenal defence, with Shane Long recording a brace with a 55th and 90th minute goal, while Jose Miguel Fonte added the fourth goal in between. The margin could have been more as the Saints had a goal disqualified after Long clashed with Arsenal keeper Petr Cech to head in a ball.
Arsenal’s forward, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Joe Campbell, before he was substituted failed miserably to deliver tonight.
After league leaders Leicester lost 0-1 to Liverpool earlier, expectations were high that Arsenal would beat Southampton, 12th on the table to vault over Leicester. It was not to be.
Arsene Wenger, Arsenal boss reflected on the horrible night experience:
“We had too many challenges. We were second-best in, they were sharper than us… We were exposed on counter-attacks because we came out. It’s a disappointing result, I have to say well done Southampton. It’s down to consistency to fight in every single game to produce top-level performances.”
And excited Saints boss, Ronald Koeman said: “It’s fantastic, winning 4-0 against a very good Arsenal is a big compliment to the players. The second half was perfect, great organisation and we created a lot of problems for them. It really was a perfect performance. They showed fantastic belief, and you could see how good we are.”
As it were, the standings on the top segment of the table remain the same, except that Manchester City, after beating Sunderland, 4-1, now have 35 points, one point behind Arsenal, who are second with 36 points.
Tottenham are now fourth, with 32 points. Leicester remain at the summit with 38 points and Manchester United, with 29 points, slipped to sixth place, after losing 0-2 to Stoke City in the first match played today.
Matches on 28 December will decide who will go top, among the top three, as Arsenal host AFC Bournemouth at the Emirates, while Manchester City travel to Leicester for one of the last matches of the day.