English Premier League
Result: Southampton 0-2 Arsenal
Date: 10 May 2017
Venue: St Mary's Stadium
Arsenal boosted their slim hopes of clinching a top four spot, after goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud secured a 2-0 win over Southampton.
The Gunners needed a victory against Southampton to keep their top four prospects alive. The first 25 minutes were rather lackluster as neither team was able to penetrate the opposition defense.
It was in the 30th minute when the first real chance surfaced through a cross from the right flank from James Ward-Prowse that saw the ball snatched from Nathan Redmond’s foot before he could get his finish away.
A minute later, the Saints threatened again when the ball fell kindly for Manolo Gabbiadini in the Arsenal box, but Peter Cech saved brilliantly to keep the scores level.
Arsenal was dealt a blow in the 36th minute when winger Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain was forced off due to a hamstring injury and was replaced by Hector Bellerin.
The Gunners were having to do more defending than attacking and Claude Puel’s men came close to finding the lead through a well-struck Redmond shot stung the gloves of Cech and resulted in a Southampton corner.
The first half ended with Arsenal enjoying more possession and the better chances falling to Southampton but neither team managed to break the deadlock.
The early exchanges of the second half started much like the first half as the game lacked any real opportunities and goalmouth excitement.
Arsenal were playing with fluidity and flair but lacked the final pass that would hurt the Southampton defense.
The Gunners were not to be kept out for much longer as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez linked up outside the Southampton box and the latter skillfully eliminated two defenders before slotting the ball past Fraser Forster to give his side a 1 – 0 lead after 62 minutes.
Sanzhez and Co. were on the ascendency and were applying constant pressure on the Southampton defense and in the 66th minute Granit Xhaka forced a great save from Forster from outside the box.
Wenger’s men had sorted out their defensive frailties and were more ominous going forward and substitute Olivier Grioud found the back of the net from Ramsey’s cutback to double Arsenal’s lead and sealed all three points away at St. Mary’s.
The victory moves Arsenal to fifth place on the log, three points behind fourth placed Man City.