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Match report: Arsenal 3, Southampton 2

Not always pretty, but there are no pictures on the scoresheet.

Arsenal v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

After a somewhat less impressive game than their outing last Thursday, Arsenal beat Southampton 3-2 and went home with the three points.

Southampton struck first, when a mistake from Shkodran Mustafi in the 17th minute allowed Shane Long to find the incoming cross and put it past Petr Cech. In Arsenal’s defense, Arsene Wenger had made seven changed from the side that played so well against CSKA Moscow, but it wasn’t an impressive start. The Gunners needed fifteen minutes to pull themselves together after the opening goal, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on their first real chance—after a flick-on from Danny Welbeck, Aubameyang just beat Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and another defender to the ball for the equalizer.

Welbeck put the Gunners ahead ten minutes later, with a powerful shot from just outside the box that glanced off of Maya Yoshida and went looping over McCarthy.

Arsenal kept their attack going at the beginning of the second half, forcing McCarthy into a few good saves, but Southampton soon found their feet again. Long nearly scored another, but he was flagged for offsides. The Saints finally got their equalizer in the 73rd minute, when substitute Charlie Austin scored on his first touch.

The Gunners were forced to go and get another for their three points, and at first they looked a bit ridiculous—Jack Wilshere, who had come on for Reiss Nelson, managed to tip a heavy pass into the path of Welbeck, who from about a yard and a half out sent it straight up into the air. Welbeck made up for the terrible miss in the 81st minute, heading an Alex Iwobi cross past McCarthy for Arsenal’s third.

The game became rather pushy during stoppage time, with Jack Stephens reacting to an admittedly blatant shirt tug from Wilshere, shoving Wilshere over, and getting a red card for doing so. Mohamed Elneny was also shown red before the end of the game, for a lighter push on Southampton fullback Cedric Soares.

Arsenal play again on Thursday, against CSKA Moscow in Russia, and their next Premier League game is against Newcastle on April 15th.