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Arsenal 2-0 Southampton: instant reaction

Arsenal could have won by more, but got the job done against the upstarts from the coast.

Clive Rose

1-0 Olivier Giroud 22'
2-0 Olivier Giroud (penalty) 86'

Arsenal weren't quite at their best, but they played well and were good enough to see off Southampton without too much of a fuss. Saints were able to put together a few attacks but for the most part their midfield was too busy trying to shove over Arsenal players to do much of anything.

Arsenal could have had two from their own midfield early, as Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey both nearly scored spectacular goals, but twenty minutes in they'd only hit the post and goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Who would come into focus, presently.

A backpass came to the Southampton keeper, and Olivier Giroud pressured him, as one does. But rather than simply booting the ball downfield he tried to dribble into space, or...something. Honestly I'm not sure what he was thinking, but Giroud nicked the ball off him and scored easily on the open goal. Arsenal deserved the lead, but maybe not like that.

The rest of the game was mostly Southampton possession that amounted to little, and Arsenal attacks that petered out just before coming to fruition. They needed to ice the game and finally were able to with about five minutes left. On a corner kick, Per Mertesacker had his shirt pulled by Jose Fonte (which, by the way, was happening to Giroud all game, and worse) and Mark Clattenburg gave the foul. Giroud finished it well, and that was the game.

Three points to Arsenal at home against a top-four team (at the moment, at least, though we were reminded during the game that this time last year, West Brom were third), and Arsenal will top the league going into the Thanksgiving holiday. The march continues.