Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Arsenal enjoy home comforts as Welbeck sinks Southampton

Henrikh Mkhitaryan Henrikh Mkhitaryan is unlikely to be fit for Sunday's game Credit Getty Images
| 09 April, 2018, 01:27

Danny Welbeck scored twice as Arsenal held Southampton to win 3-2 at the Emirates in Sunday's early kick-off.

Shane Long had rewarded Southampton's enterprising start when he nipped ahead of Shkodran Mustafi to end his goal-drought in the 17th minute.

Welbeck put Arsenal ahead seven minutes before the break when he accepted a pass from Alex Iwobi on the left and shrugged off challengers before unleashing a shot that was helped past Alex McCarthy by a deflection off Maya Yoshida.

The second-half started with a poor performance from the hosts, which saw Southampton pressing Arsenal to get the equalizer and managed to do so in the 73rd minute through Charlie Austin.

Red mist descended in stoppage time as first Stephens was dismissed, for a shove on Jack Wilshere in retaliation for having his shirt ripped, and then Elneny marched off for pushing Cedric.

Statistics do not always tell the full story, especially in a game when Southampton gave so much, but the numbers are stacking up against them with time running out.

Southampton now sit in 18th place on the Premier League table as Mark Hughes looks to save the club from relegation with just six games, including Arsenal, left in the season. And I've seen him behave when it was really hard and tough, so he deserves everything he gets.

The Gunners have a 4-1 advantage from the first leg.


Danny Welbeck netted a brace in a game which saw both sides end with only 10 men.

The 18-year-old forward Reiss Nelson made his first Premier League start for Arsenal and was given a rude welcome from Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic, who was fortunate to escape a booking for his risky tackle in the opening minutes.

At 2-2, he missed an open goal but he didn't let that knock his confidence as he scored the victor soon afterwards.

- In fact, only Wayne Rooney (7) and Robin Van Persie (6) have scored more Premier League goals against Petr Cech than Shane Long (5).

"People were questioning whether he would come back and I believe what he has done is exceptional".

And Aubameyang's goal versus Southampton meant the striker has been directly involved in seven goals (six goals, one assist) in his opening seven matches.

"Going into the Europa League on Thursday, it's going to be a hard tie even though we won the home game [4-1]".

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