Arsenal played Southampton on Sept. 15th at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal dominated every aspect of the game as it ended with a heavy score-line in favor of the Gunners. The scoreboard read 6-1 at the final whistle.
The Gunners began their fantastic afternoon early. Arsenal had their first goal in the 11th minute on an own goal by Jos Hooiveld. However, the build-up to the goal was fantastic with Lukas Podolski slotting Kieran Gibbs whose shot was saved by Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis. The ball bounced right in front of Hooiveld, who unfortunately put it in his own net.
Later in the first half, the Gunners had a flurry of goals. Three were picked out of the Saints net in a matter of six minutes. Podolski started it off with a brilliant free-kick, curling it around the wall towards the top corner of the net. Arsenal haven't scored too many free-kick goals in recent memory and it was nice to see Podolski's effort hit the back of the net. Gervinho added his first goal for Arsenal since December after a lovely run and through ball by Mikel Arteta. Arteta chipped the ball over the top to Gervinho who smashed it in at the near post. The Saints were unfortunate again with a second own goal, again after a Gibbs' touch, but this time it was Nathaniel Clyne in the 37th minute.
At the start of the second half, Southampton seemed to have gained some confidence from the late goal in the previous half. However, they never offered too much of a threat. The Gunners then continued their scoring with Gervnho's second after brilliant play from Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott capped it off scoring against his former club in the 89th minute.
Arsenal today were simply a joy to watch. It is hard to pick too many negatives from a performance like this, but there were a few. Szczesny's mistake is something that can't continue to happen. In a game against a better team, it could really cost the Gunners all three points. Also Olivier Giroud unfortunately didn't get his goals account open, although he didn't get many opportunities after coming on in the 75th minute. There was one time Walcott should have crossed him the ball, but the pass never materialized. However, the most important thing is the three points for Arsenal.
I would also like to make a note of the Saints attitude. Although they were simply outclassed, it was great seeing their manager Nigel Adkins encouraging them to try to get in positions further up the pitch and attack Arsenal. Much is discussed about "parking the bus" and the Saints certainly didn't do that in this one. I do hope Southampton can start to get some results and stay in the Premier League.
Back on to Arsenal, they can't celebrate the win for too long. Their next match is away against Montpellier on Sept. 18th in their opening Champions League match. Their next league match will also be a tough test as they are away at Manchester City on Sept. 23rd.
*All stats found on espn.com
Matthew Levine is an avid Arsenal fan that has followed them since the 2005-2006 season. He spent a year studying in the UK and made routine trips to The Emirates as well as watching Arsenal in other Premier League grounds.
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