Super Sanchez Sinks Saints
Southampton slumped to a second consecutive defeat and their fourth of the season courtesy of a late Alexis Sanchez goal on Wednesday 03 December.
The Saints went into the game on the back of a 0-3 hiding by Manchester City over the weekend so, combined with the knowledge that they had never beaten Arsenal in the Premier League, it was always going to be a tough ask for them to leave with any points.
A tame first half saw chances fall for Danny Welbeck and Graziano Pelle, the latter having the best opportunity to put his team ahead from close-range but he failed to test the keeper as the shot sailed high over the crossbar.
The major talking point was the injury to Jack Cork who hobbled off with an ankle injury after only recently recovering from illness.
Southampton looked to press the Gunners in the second half, closing down any opportunity they had to penetrate the defence before breaking on the counter attack.
The teams looked to be headed for a bore draw and Fraser Forster’s efforts deserved at least a point having pulled off seven crucial saves to keep his side in the game.
However, Toby Alderweireld was forced off seven minutes from time with a hamstring problem which meant that Southampton would see out the rest of the game with 10 men.
Then, with one minute of normal time remaining, Aaron Ramsey dragged a ball back onto the penalty spot that found an unmarked Sanchez and the Chilean obliged by slotting home his ninth league goal of the season.
The 1-0 win lifts Arsenal into sixth and within two points of the top four while Ronald Koeman’s men remain in third but their impressive early form has faded and they are now just six points above tenth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.