Report: Southampton 0-5 Arsenal (inc. goals)

118

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Maitland-Niles, The Jeff, Lucas, Walcott, Welbeck

Subs: Martinez, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal, Iwobi, Alexis


Theo Walcott grabbed a hat-trick and Danny Welbeck netted a brace as Arsenal eased their way into the FA Cup fifth round with an impressive 5-0 win away at Southampton.

The Gunners raced into a 2-0 lead inside 22 minutes courtesy of Welbeck’s clinical brace before his England colleague got in on the act. Walcott’s treble takes him to 99 goals in Arsenal colours and came courtesy of three neat finishes after some exhilarating attacking play.

First half

Arsenal’s mix-and-match side were quick out of the traps with the Jeff particularly influential. On three minutes the French youngster, playing in the centre of midfield, had an attempt deflected wide. Not long after he played a fine threaded pass to Lucas who flashed a dangerous ball across the box.

The Gunners’ tidy start bore fruit on 13 minutes as Danny Welbeck, making his first start since returning from injury, broke the deadlock. Lucas, fed the ball by Maitland-Niles, made the goal with a fantastic pass on the turn and the England international bearing down on goal had time to give the keeper the eyes before dinking the ball in off the bar. Danny enjoyed his moment by paying homage to the ‘Salt Bae’ meme that’s been doing the rounds. Possibly the most on point celebration since Thierry Henry’s ‘wassup’ moment of 2000. (1-0)

On 21 minutes Welbeck doubled the lead. The striker plucked a glorious long ball from the Ox out of the sky and with his second touch he slid the ball under Saints keeper Harry Lewis and just inside the post. The seasoning was out again as he wheeled away with glee. (2-0)

The home side were sparked into action and twice came close to reducing the deficit. In the space of two minutes we witnessed the good and the bad of David Ospina. First the Colombian went full ‘Mad Jens’ chasing a ball that he was never going to reach, and then he produced a fine acrobatic stop to deny Shane Long.

The chances kept coming for both sides. Mustafi should have headed home a third before the half hour mark but could only glance the Ox’s whipped free-kick wide. At the other end, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (yeah, I copy and pasted his name from Wikipedia) curled a free-kick just wide with Ospina flat–footed.

Arsenal were fizzing with energy up front and on 35 minutes helped themselves to a third with a flowing 16-pass move. Lucas slipped in Welbeck who, having reached the touchline, had no option but to pull the ball back. A hungry Walcott slid the ball home. Up in the stands, Arsene Wenger was a very happy bunny. (3-0)

Second half

Welbeck’s pace and power continued to be a threat after the break. Cutting in off the left he looked to curl into the top corner; a deflection took the effort wide. Another penetrating dribble freed Lucas who teed up Bellerin who shot straight at the keeper.

Just past the hour mark the Welbeck was withdrawn from proceedings; he received a well-deserved standing ovation from the travelling fans.

Alexis came on in his place and promptly grabbed an assist. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was heavily involved in the build up again and the Chilean from the by-line picked out Walcott who steered home for his second. (4-0)

Ospina seemed desperate to toy with both the Southampton attackers and the emotions of all Gooners by repeatedly dallying on the ball whenever it was played back to him. It was tough to tell if he really backed himself or was just being horrifically indecisive. Given the scoreline, it didn’t really matter.

For the most part the home side were reduced to speculative efforts from long range. When they did make it into the box the impressive Maitland-Niles mopped up. His willingness to stay on his feet will have pleased the boss, especially in light of Granit Xhaka’s recent indiscretions.

Walcott grabbed his hat-trick on 84 minutes to round off a fantastic afternoon. Alexis Sanchez waited patiently for the attacker to join him in the Saints box and he promptly sidefooted home first time. (5-0)

Lucas, who had a very good game, might have got on the scoresheet himself only for Lewis’ legs to deny him right at the death.

So onwards we march. A very encouraging afternoon all round. Well done to Steve Bould on the bench – he must think this managerial lark is easy.

118 COMMENTS

  1. A solid performance to mark a sweet revenge victory over a side we’ve struggled against in the recent past. Well done lads!

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    • We’ve struggled againts Koeman and Forster not this bunch. Still it was exactly what our squad needed. Theo Welbz Gibbs Jeff all finally shaking off injuries while Perez and Holding got a rare full match to play. 5 nill.

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      • They knocked us out of the EFL Cup this season, but I know what you mean – it’s not really the same Southampton.

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        • But it is the same FA Cup and it serves them right for being cocky and thinking they’d have the edge over us.

          Wenger knows the quality of his own players. There was a lot of trust between them today. One of the best young “B” teams you’ll see. They were assured and in control virtually the entire time.

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  2. Welbeck, Walcott, Perez and the Ox are all class – it’s great they can come in and do this while we rest Ozil, Alexis etc. Big up Maitland Niles & The Jeff too. From now on I only want to see the Ox in the centre. He was excellent.

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    • He was rather good today. What I liked more than anything was his decision making when on the ball – sometimes you’ve just got to play it simple, and today he did that. The through-balls were delightful but there was a lot of space to pass into at times (that doesn’t detract from the quality of a lot of his forward passes though).

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    • And is Lucas a better Ox?

      I like how it seems more fitting to call him the Ox when he plays on the wing and Chamberlain when he does such a good job in the middle. It’s a bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, except they’re both pretty good and neither of them tends to get sent off.

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    • I thought Chamberlain was great today, his range of passing was excellent. The only issue with him in the middle is when teams drop deeper and press him into tight situations more. He can be quite loose with his shorter range passing sometimes. Interesting alternative either way, really good today. Quite enjoyed watching us play a team who didn’t park the bus for once.

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  3. Produce scoreline similar to this against Watford and Chelsea and who cares if Wenger is suspended or not
    welldone Walcott, wellbeck

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  4. Great match, some really exciting performances from some of the players, and amazing to have Welbz scoring again. 🙂
    FYI blogs, Walcott already scored against Southampton in 2012.

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  5. Great to see Welbz back! He will add so so much! Welbz and Theo scored ..But it was a sublime show from Chambo! How many over the top balls with precision! And Perez.. shame he can’t get more minutes! What a player! Good from Jeff too!

    If this team doesn’t win anything serious, I will be soo disappointed! Soo much of talent!

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      • He’s praising the Ox, not denigrating Cazorla. Every top midfield general has to have a first game where he shows his top midfield generalness. Maybe this was his. I like our new “Ox Between The Box(es)”.

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        • Maybe what this tells us is that the Milan game wasn’t a one off. Maybe this is his position and not being a wide attacker. His strength on and off the ball, dribbling, passing and decision making all seem better when he’s in the center of the park.

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  6. Always good to give out bogey team a good hiding. Really pleased for Wellbeck and Walcott!
    With three goals up I wouldn’t have risked bringing on Sanchez, but I guess Wenger has to keep him happy. Now let’s do exactly the same to Watford!
    COYG!

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    • While he looked really happy with his assists and his part in our win, but I have a feeling Sanchez will be a little disappointed with “only” two assists. He has such a strong desire to score every time he plays. He’s always hungry for more. What a player!

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  7. Rene-Adelaide is honestly as cool and as slick as Diaby. I hope against hope nobody targets his ankle.

    Extremely happy for Welbz, and Theo. Maitland-Niles played with discipline and maturity beyond his years.

    Good win.

    PS: Was so awesome to see Per again.

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  8. A fellow at the gym today said that the FA Cup was a bagatelle, and the league should be the priority. To which there is but one answer:

    Why not win both?

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  9. And by the way, Vincent Jansen has scored four goals all season. All spot kicks
    They said Lucas Perez was a panic buy………

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    • Only in terms of the panic he induces in Giroud and Theo to work insanely hard to keep their place in the team. He literally couldn’t possibly do better with the few and far between opportunities he’s been given.

      Thumb up 79 Thumb down 0

    • Shit! Forgot about that draw with Bournemouth… Must have been due to euphoria of two returning players scoring and their name starting with W

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      • The 3-3 draw was as good as a win mate … wakeup call that will spark the double. Love watching at 7am in NZ when its a doddle. Danny boy is a great back up for us and Theo and OX are getting there again. Dare to dream of Wembley at least.

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  10. What a game from the lads, especially OX. Gutted that Lucas missed that chance in 89′, he more then deserved that goal.

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  11. Some really unorthodox play by Ospina, talk about a ball playing goalkeeper…..
    Chamberlain was awesome in midfield today, and his passes were what you’d expect from someone like Ozil

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    • I wasn’t too worried about Ospina’s ball playing today. He’s a good keeper. He may have made some “interesting” decisions, but none of them really brought on the heart flutters.

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  12. Brilliant team performance all around, it’s hard to remember a game like that where it felt like literally everyone played really well, let alone with so much rotation.

    I’ll skip past the obvious plaudits for Welbz and Theo (though delighted for both of them) right to professing my gradual falling in love with my man Lucas Perez, who had an unfortunate miss towards the end but otherwise seems to have great vision and always make the right decision at the right time. He might have had only one assist but another two goals got scored thanks to his perfect through balls, and as much as I love Giroud really hope to see him getting a run alongside Alexis in the first team soon.

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  13. Despite Theo’s excellent hattrick, Mesut Öxlade-Chamberzil is the man of the match for me. Almost like a coming of age from his side in midfield. Perfect team performance, and the Welbz salvo will do him well. And Lucas looking so classy on the ball. Fucking hell, absolutely loved watching this game! COYG

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  14. A very tidy win this. Welcome back, Welbz! A lovely brace, esp the first goal.

    Must be so satisfying for Theo to score a hat-trick against his old club.

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  15. The midfield played really well today. AMN held his position really well. This boy has a future. AOC should consider switching to midfield. I agreed with one comentor in an earlier post that he should train in midfield for the duration we are short there. The Jeff, well was the Jeff. loved it. Make Arsenal great again. Ok bye.

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  16. Good omens,checked history books and every time we have won the cup we have also won in this round..#cantbeacoincidence

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  17. The Jeff makes it seem so effortless. So graceful and composed yet quick on the ball. Our midfield future is looking amazing. Iwobi. The Jeff. Maitland-Niles. Maybe Ox.

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  18. Very very comfortable win, great performances from Walcott and Welbeck. It would have been nice to have Mertesacker come on as well.

    The only regret is that Lucas Perez did not get a goal. Boy did he try hard to close down esp. in the first half.

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  19. Gutted that lucas didn’t get on the scoresheet, he had a fantastic game, and I feel he was let down by his teammates on a couple of occasions. Small thing to be troubled by though under the circumstances, fantastic game, onwards and upwards, coyg.

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  20. Awesome performance. Soton were shit, but who cares, we won 5-0 away with a team full of non-regulars. And I must say, the Ox was absolutely terrific at the “Cazorla-position”. This must be his best position in the long-term. Well done.

    By the way, next week is absolutely massive. The difference between us and Chelsea can be anything between 2 and 14 points after the Watford and Chelsea games.

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  21. Damn near shed a tear hearing Danny talking about his injuries. Great to have him back.

    Alexis just cracks me up so much. He couldn’t wait to get on and help our struggling team.

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  22. Maitland nile so composed like a player whose been around for a while.. Adelaidw coming through with a diaby esque performance… Theo, perez and welbeck line up seem like any CB worst nightmare

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  23. What a joy to watch . Slick . Fast. Clinical.The red army I fall in love with . Like I wrote anything is possible this year !!!

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  24. Barcelona have Suarez, Neymar and Messi. We have Sanchez, Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott, Chamberlain, Perez and Iwobi. We have enough talent to win a major silverware.

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  25. Everyone forgetting Wenger Said he sees the Ox as a CM about 5 years ago. He was outstanding today…91% pass accuracy as well.

    DAT GUY….Brilliant return…Two great goals but his overall play, link up, hard running and strength was good to see..When everyone is fit Wenger has a hell of a problem…

    Lucas is growing game by game…You can see his confidence and familiarity with his team mates getting better meaning he is getting braver with the ball and showing some quality footwork and passing. Some very good passes in the build up to a few of the goals especially the one for Sanchez near the end..Wish he got the goal to seal a very good performance. He Has a weird blend of Podolski and Eduardo in his play but with work rate…He seems to be getting used to the physicality.

    Jeff is just slick as hell..guy just glides around with the ball…Slightly light weight at times but than capable of holding off several players at once..I can see the diaby in him and i hope it comes to fruition.

    Special praise for Maitland niles who flew completely under the rader…Had the boring job of recycling the ball which he did extremely well..He seems almost Ozil esque sometimes in his demeanor but i watched him make an insane amount of blocks, interceptions and tackles..Not particularly big but he is very clever and precise with his tackling..Most of them were extremely clean wins of the ball and than a simple pass afterwards to start attacks.

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  26. Ox shaded MOTM for me (crazy considering Walcott, Welbeck, Perez et al) but damn everyone was impressive today. Straight out the blocks and never looked back, fantastic performance all-round. #BouldIn?

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  27. What about a new chant for Ox?
    Aaalex Oxlade Chamberlain to the tune of Black Betty. Or is it just in my head that sounds really good?

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  28. Alexis – Half the time, he lost the ball due to over elaboration. Other half, he comes up with two assists.

    Love to see the team to take risks in opposition’s third passing and dribblibg with purpose. Instead of constant side to side, slow probing attack, just go direct, take guys on, and force the issue.

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  29. Finally the 4-3-3 many have wanted to see. Wouldn’t mind us playing it more often.

    Lucas, Welbeck, Jeff, Niles and Ox were excellent. Walcott sharp too. Really surprised by the youngsters.

    Southampton were poor but we also made it hard for them.

    Maybe we can now build some momentum from this win.

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  30. Was at the game today as a Southampton-living Arsenal fan and I can say the Arsenal away fans are incredible, genuinely dominated the atmosphere

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  31. Jeff reminds me of Zidane. Ox playing long balls like some crazy mix of Ozil and Xhaka. Great fucking game, love Welbz. COYG!!

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  32. Amazing from The Ox. Kept the ball tight when trying to wriggle free when in posession in our own half, and then found the perfect ball to get us moving. Very Cazorla. And then some great vision for a number if passes from deep. Loved it

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    • The funny thing is that the Ox has actually performed every time he has played CM. Can remember the Milan match and some home game against a bottom side where he scored the winning goal. Though he benefitted from our 3-man midfield, as did the Jeff

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  33. Impressed by Maitland-Niles, Reine Adelaide & Oxlade Chamberlain. The midfeild was very solid and dynamic. Well done lads

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  34. I haven’t disturbed the neighbors like that since singing the praises of RvP during the 11/12 season.

    Danny’s performance today Had me screeching off-key like I hadn’t done in years.

    The team we played today was outstanding, the only thing I’d change for watford is Maitland-Niles for conquelin and koscielny back in for holding who played well today.

    Ox and the Jeff in midfield were absolutely amazing. It’s as if we can actually play without ozil and Giroud. Theven pace in the first half was out of this world.

    Xhaka Ramsey iwiobi and ozil better watch their backs. Wellbeck Perez and the Jeff are on their heels.

    Imagine a team of

    Ospina
    Bellerin – mustafi – kos – Gibbs
    Ox – coq
    jeff
    Walott or Perez – welbeck- Sanchez

    Being able to switch the line up with ozil, iwobi, Giroud, xhaka and Ramsey gets me hard. The youth showed up today.

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  35. I am drunk and absolutely over the moon right now and don’t know what to say but certain things are clear to me from tonight which i promise myself i have to take to those gloomy days when we are struggling and it seems the Arsenal team has lost its ways ,and those types of matches will happen…its the nature of football.

    (1) arsenal now DOES have a great squad depth…10 changes and a performance like that?

    (2) Ozil and carzola does have a number of potential young heir apparent in the squad in terms of quality of passing from the middle of the park..the Ox, Jeff, maitland, Iwobi and i can go on and on

    (3) The Ox’s long term future belongs in central midfield…what a performance from him, how Arsene is going to sort this out with the array of central midfield talent we now have i don’t know, but it is a good headache to have

    (4) the Jeff is back…we all knew what a special talent he is, but to be honest, he does seem short of confidence in his last appearance and has been struggling since he has been promoted to 1st team this season….i think the only reason why he has not been getting any stick from fans is we all have been there with young talents, plus we know, this is a special one. he just needs further patience from us, but this boy has it all…he is our JEFF!, and he will deliver.

    (5) Walcott, love him or hate him is a very dangerous forward when he is in form, its not coincidence that he always finds himself in prime positions in the 18 yard box to score…its the quality of his runs and finishing

    (6) Maintland Niles WILL make it through to the 1st team, he is a talent…..More than decent right back, shown me today he is also more than decent midfielder, and we all know he was actually being trained as a winger. he is a good quality utility player to have in any squad

    (7) Welbeck, is an exceptional talent, he has shown it now several times….to come back from long term injury and still put in the performances he has put in on his debut, and subsequently is true mental strength and quality….we just have to pray he stays fit.

    (8) Lucas is worth every penny and more….he is a very clever and technically sound player.

    Finally, apologies for turning myself into rambling pete, but I am drunk and extremely happy, and as an arsenal fan these days, we don’t get too many chances to enjoy performances like this from our team, even more impressively, our 2nd team, so pardon me if i self indulge a little bit. COYG!

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  36. Nice to see so many of the young players get a chance in a big match as well as Perez and Welbeck back in there. Love when we play with such a fast lineup and how we really got such nice runs through and behind the defense. So happy for Welbeck to do so well after such a long time out for him and you can see the impact he can have even when he clearly isn’t 100% yet (he’s getting there, but it takes a while to fully get your legs under you after an injury and absence like he had).

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  37. Really happy for Welbeck, but I think this game has to be taken in the context of having a more experienced squad. We made many changes too but we had more experienced young and old players, bearing in mind Puel basically played his U-21’s bar a few exceptions.

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    • So if it was our backup players against their backup players then we won because we have the better backup players. Why wouldn’t we celebrate that just as much as if our 1st team had beaten their 1st team? After all, it’s the backup players that almost always (Leicester, cough cough) determine whether you can win the Premier League. This was a big win worth celebrating as such.

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  38. You would have to say that our manager Mr. Wenger has DEVELOPED and assembled an amazing group of players. Well done sir! I really hope to see AOC/Jeff and Coq a few times, if AOC/Jeff can rub Cazorla on the head a few times and combine their ball control, passing with some defensive discipline…. Amazing potential. Coq gives us a bit of room to experiment while waiting for Cazorla to return. Damn I enjoy this team.

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  39. It’s early days yet but I’ll start the Ox ahead of Ramsey in midfield. He’s more positive in moving the ball, more forward passes less delays, much better on the dribble and faster on the run. Wenger should give him a shit against Watford.

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