Arsenal beat Saints, continue top four push

(Last Updated On: 2017-05-11)

Arsenal have remained in the hunt for a top-four
place in the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory
away at Southampton.
The Gunners realistically need to win each of their
remaining fixtures to maintain hope of gatecrashing
the Champions League places, but second-half
efforts from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud
ensured that they replaced Manchester United in
fifth position.
After offering little threat against Liverpool on
Sunday , Southampton were straight onto the
offensive in front of their own supporters with
Steven Davis and Ryan Bertrand both firing off
target from promising positions.
Up the other end, Saints old boy Alex Oxlade-
Chamberlain found Aaron Ramsey after a quickly-
taken corner, but the Welshman hit the ball wide
from inside the penalty area.
It until the 31st minute for the first shot on target
to materialise, with Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech
forced to make an excellent save to deny Manolo
Gabbiadini , who was well-placed after Shkodran
Mustafi had blocked Dusan Tadic’s strike.
Arsenal were dealt a blow before half time when
Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a knock and was
forced to hobble off, and it seemed to shake the
Gunners as they struggled to remain on level terms
ahead of the break.
After Gabbiadini had sent a free kick off target,
Cech made another superb intervention to prevent
Nathan Redmond ‘s shot from 20 yards finding the
corner, with the ball ricocheting off the woodwork.
Moments after the restart, Davis should have done
better with a chance after being teed up by
Gabbiadini while at the other end, Ramsey diverted
the ball wide after good work from Hector Bellerin.
It appeared that Southampton were getting on top
but on the hour mark, Sanchez registered his 20th
goal of the league campaign in some style as he
deceived both Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens
before providing a composed finish past Fraser
Arsenal soon pressed for a second without really
threatening Forster’s goal, but the same could be
said for Southampton as their search for an
equaliser led to numerous balls going into the box
without getting a worthwhile shot being fired
towards Cech.
With six minutes left, Arsenal made sure of the
points when Sanchez and Ramsey combined to set
up Giroud, who had the relatively simple task of
heading home from close range.
Southampton had a late opportunity through Shane
Long , who headed straight at Cech, but this fixture
further highlighted that they must strengthen in
attack during the summer as they made it three
games without finding the back of the net.

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