Alexis Sanchez opens the scoring as Arsenal beat Southampton

Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0 in the Premier League at St Mary’s tonight, with second half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud.

The victory moves the Gunners into fifth place in the Premier League table, a point ahead of Manchester United.

Arsenal are now three points behind fourth place Manchester City and four points behind third place Liverpool.

Before tonight Arsenal had not won a league fixture at St Mary’s in five attempts since 2003 (L2, D3).

Southampton made one change to their starting eleven from the goalless draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Nathan Redmond replaced Sofiane Boufal.

Arsene Wenger made one change to the starting eleven from the 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Shkodran Mustafi replaced Laurent Koscielny who has a calf injury.

Southampton made the brighter start to the match, but were unable to create a clear opening.

Arsenal’s first effort on goal in the 14th minute was set-up by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Aaron Ramsey’s shot went wide of the post.

Petr Cech was forced into a save by Manolo Gabbiadini in the 30th minute, after being set-up by Dusan Tadic.

The Gunners were forced into a substitution in the 36th minute. Oxlade-Chamberlain limped off with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Hector Bellerin.

Redmond then went close to breaking the deadlock for Southampton in the 41st minute. His shot from just outside the area was touched onto the woodwork by Cech.

On the stroke of half-time Mustafi could only head into the arms of Fraser Forster from a Mesut Ozil free-kick.

Then Alexis Sanchez and Bellerin combined, but Danny Welbeck wasn’t able to get onto the ball played into the penalty box.

So it was no real surprise that there were no goals in the first half.

Southampton had been kept goalless in three of their previous four home games.

Whilst, Arsenal had lost five of their last six away league games.

Bellerin set up a chance for Ramsey early in the second half but his shot was deflected wide by Welbeck.

But it was Sanchez who opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 60th minute. He was set up by Ozil and after wrong-footing the Saints defenders slotted the ball past Forster.

It was the Chilean’s twentieth Premier League goal of the season. He is the first Arsenal player to score 20 league goals in a season since Robin van Persie in 2011/12.

It was also Sanchez’s 14th away Premier League goal this season.

James Ward-Prowse headed a Ryan Bertrand cross wide in the sixty-ninth minute as Southampton went in search of an equaliser.

The Gunners though doubled their lead in the 83rd minute through substitute Oivier Giroud.

Three minutes after replacing Welbeck, Giroud headed into the net after being set up by Sanchez and Ramsey.

The win keeps alive Arsenal’s challenge to secure a top four Premier League finish.

Next up is a trip to Stoke City on Saturday.

Arsenal: Cech, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Bellerin), Mustafi, Holding, Monreal, Gibbs, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil (Coquelin), Sanchez, Welbeck (Giroud)

 

 

 

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