Southampton 2-2 Arsenal: Instant reaction

Mike Hewitt

Arsenal dropped two points at St Mary's after an extremely disappointing performance.

Arsenal will likely no longer be top of the table the next they play after Soiuthampton held the Gunners to a 2-2 draw. Arsenal just weren't at the races in the first half, and were lucky Southampton didn't add to Jose Fonte's headed goal after Sam Gallagher missed a glorious chance. Arsenal could've been level, though, but Laurent Koscielny's header went straight at Artur Boruc; the Frenchman's effort was Arsenal's only shot of the first half.

Things were different in the second though; after 3 minutes, Bacary Sagna outmuscled Jay Rodriguez, and crossed on the ground for Olivier Giroud, who flicked his shot past Artur Boruc to level things up. After Arsenal had another chance, but faffed about before Southampton cleared, they took the lead, with Mesut Özil setting up Santi Cazorla to hit a bending shot into goal.

Arsenal were ahead for just two minutes, though: despite Arsenal playing two defensive midfielders, neither Flamini nor Arteta bothered tracking Adam Lallana, who was unmarked to meet Rodriguez's cross, after he had beaten Sagna. Arsenal had a few chances to go ahead, with Nacho Monreal missing badly, and Mesut Özil's effort taking a deflection and hitting the bar after a superb solo run.

With ten minutes to go, Mathieu Flamini moronically got himself sent off for a completely cowardly, two-footed tackle. With Flamini's tackling, that type of challenge was always likely, and it cost Arsenal, as Kieran Gibbs was brought on instead of a more attacking option. With 10 minutes left, Arsenal would likely be favourites to win, instead, they had to hold onto a point. Remember that the next time someone argues Flamini's better than Arteta.

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