Arsenal went into this game having drawn their last two games against Liverpool at Anfield and West Ham at the London Stadium. In both games the team led two 2-0 and 2-1 at half time and in both games gave their opponents ways back into the match, which both teams took. Both games were away, but matches that would have been won at any other time of the season.
This match was at home against the bottom team in the league, so the only possible result is a win. That’s what most football fans and sports journalists thought would happen. Football being what it is, the result was a surprise to many.
Arsenal started off very sloppily and were 1-0 down within a minute, exactly 28 seconds. The second time this season. The first, for readers that don’t remember was a goal from kick off conceded against Bournemouth. A pass by Ramsdale to Zinchenko, which was never going to get to the Arsenal defender, was intercepted by Alcaraz, who hit a well struck shot into the net. Ramsdale tried to redeem himself and got a hand to it but was not able to save it.
The goal woke the team and the stadium up. The crowd became more vocal and the team responded, upping their game in search of an equaliser. In their haste to find an equaliser they were leaving themselves open to counter attacks. Once of these counter attacks lead to a second goal for the away side. Southampton broke very quickly and outnumbered Arsenal’s defenders on this occasion. Former Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, put away his chance, from a pass by the scorer of the first goal, Alcaraz. This was beginning to look a very bad dream for the home side and fans.
To their credit, Arsenal continued to play well and got their reward 6 minutes after Southampton’s second goal. Gabriel Martinelli scored the goal, taking his number to 15 goals for the season. Arsenal continued to push to get level, but were not able to find an equaliser. Southampton continued to be dangerous on the break. Southampton used the usual time-wasting tactics, taking their time to take throw-ins, freekicks and goal kicks. The first half ended 2-1 to the away side.
Anyone who thought the first half was exciting were in for an even more exciting second half.
Arsenal dominated the second half from kick off, but did not create clear cut chances. Southampton defended well and on the odd occasions went forward themselves. They were awarded a corner in the 66th minute. They scored their third goal from the corner. Caleta-Car escaped his marker on the near post and headed the ball into the net.
With 24 minutes still to play, there was still for Arsenal to get something out of the game. That hope began to fade as the time began to run out for this expected come back. With two minutes of normal time to go, Martin Odegaard scored Arsenal’s second goal. It gave the fans and the team renewed hope. They scored again two minutes later, in the 90th minute through Bukayo Saka, 3-3.
The team sensed that there may still be an opportunity to score a fourth and win the game. They created several chances in added time. The best of these fell to substitute Trossard, whose shot was goal bound, but his own player, and was then cleared by the Southampton defence. Unfortunately for Arsenal, they were not able to get the fourth goal.
The team has now dropped 6 points from their last three matches, meaning if Manchester City win their games in hand they will be 4 points ahead of Arsenal, with only 5 games to play
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