Arsenal beat the heck out of Southampton at St. Mary’s, scoring three in the first half and essentially keeping the Saints out of the game entirely even with a somewhat weakened team. Here’s how it all went down.
DAT GUY WELBZ
Danny Welbeck hasn’t had the best 18 months of his life. He’s been injured for almost all of it, with a short cameo near the end of last season scoring a goal to (temporarily) revive title hopes against Leicester. But aside from that, it’s mostly been physical therapy. But he’s finally back and healthy, for the moment at least, and boy did he show it.
Welbeck scored both of Arsenal’s first two goals and assisted the third. The goals were both quite good – the first a sort of chipped finish over the keeper after a great bit of play from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and a better assist from Lucas, and the second a scuffed (intentionally) five-hole shot after a great ball over the top from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. His assist was also professionally done; his Salt Bae-inspired celebration was also pretty great. Welcome back, Dat Guy.
Theo Walcott also had an impressive return from injury, though since his injury wasn’t as long it maybe didn’t get as much attention. But he had a hat trick, scoring three after Dat Guy’s two, and generally played really well. Those three goals were, incidentally, numbers 97, 98, and 99 for Theo at Arsenal – his next one will be a major milestone, and he will be deservedly honored for it when it comes.
Read that in a “Schmidt-from-New Girl” voice, if you please. A number of important players were given a day off (or most of one, in the case of Alexis “Mr. No Days Off” Sanchez), which meant that some younger, more inexperienced players got starts. Rob Holding, JEFF Reine-Adelaide, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all got opportunities, and they pretty much all seized them.
In my opinion Ainsley played especially well at the base of midfield, doing a good job both of winning the ball and moving it upfield. Because of Maitland-Niles’ versatility, it’s hard to tell what position he should have as a first-team player, but today all three looked like they would be there on a regular basis sooner rather than later.
Sorry that people are children
Any of you who were in the game thread undoubtedly had to see some gross stuff in there. Sorry about that – we banned someone the other day for being a dick, and as you can see, he reacted to that about as well as a child who’s told “no candy” in a grocery store checkout line.
We work really hard to make this a community that everyone who’s not a total piece of shit can enjoy, but that occasionally means that total pieces of shit act up. We’re doing our best to fight it off, but if you see anything we missed, report the comment and we’ll clear it, and if we don’t act quickly, please drop @beardyblue a line on Twitter. Hope this all didn’t ruin the fun for anyone too badly.
(EDITOR’S NOTE) We have, as a result of today’s fun, instituted a 24 hour wait between signing up for an account and being able to post. We should have had this in place before, and we’re sorry both that we have to do it and that it wasn’t there today.