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Played
November 23, 2013 3:15 PM GMT
Emirates Stadium — London
Referee:‬ M. Clattenburg‎
Attendance:‬ 60007‎
 
 
86′ (PG) Olivier Giroud
 
Top of the Match
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud
Arsenal
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud
Arsenal
Flop of the Match
Artur Boruc
Artur Boruc
Southampton
Artur Boruc
Artur Boruc
Southampton

Arsenal 2-0 Southampton: Giroud double extends Gunners’ lead at the top

Artur Boruc, who was caught out by an Asmir Begovic long ball last time the Saints were on the road, helped the Gunners on their way by presenting the Frenchman with an open goal

By Dom Farrell

Artur Boruc Olivier Giroud Arsenal Southampton Premier League 23112013
Getty Images
Arsenal got back on track with a 2-0 win against Southampton, with goalkeeper Artur Boruc entering into the spirit of pantomime season at the Emirates Stadium.

Following their dispiriting defeat to Manchester United before the international break, Arsene Wenger's Premier League leaders started brightly against their high-flying opponents, with Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey both hitting the post.

VIEW FROM THE EMIRATES
By Jamie Dunn
Two sloppy defensive moments gifted Arsenal a victory over Southampton as Artur Boruc's comic attempts to evade Olivier Giroud with a pair of calamitous turns were punished by the France international, before Jose Fonte pulled Per Mertesacker's shirt late on to gift the Gunners a penalty which the striker duly converted.

Make no mistake though, Arsenal were brilliant at times and were good value for their win - and their place at the top of the Premier Leage table for another weekend.

Theo Walcott meanwhile came through his return from injury unscathed against his old club, who were bright in spells but never really troubled Wojciech Szczesny
They led midway through the first half when Olivier Giroud capitalised on an inexplicable error from Boruc, who tried to dribble past the France international only to get himself in an awful tangle.

An impressive collective response was typical of a Southampton side who remain third in the table - for the time being - but Giroud completed his brace and made it 10 goals for the season from the penalty spot after Jose Fonte pulled back Per Mertesacker at an 85th-minute corner.

Southampton were dealt a blow ahead of kick-off, which was delayed by 15 minutes due to disruption on the Piccadilly line, with news that centre-back Dejan Lovren was ruled out due to illness. Jos Hooiveld came in for his first Premier League appearance of the season.

Theo Walcott returned to the Arsenal bench following two months out with an abdominal injury, while Mertesacker was back at the heart of defence following his midweek goalscoring heroics for Germany at Wembley.

Wilshere replaced the suspended Mathieu Flamini in midfield and almost opened the scoring after 10 minutes when his deft, lofted effort bounced back off the post and into Boruc's grateful arms.

The same upright was tested via Ramsey's audacious backheel from Mesut Ozil's cross - but Boruc's post could not save him after a moment of madness in the 22nd minute.

Upon receiving a routine backpass from Nathaniel Clyne, he loitered terribly before an embarrassing attempt to turn Giroud resulted in the Frenchman stroking the ball into an unguarded net.

Southampton forced Wojciech Szczesny into his first save of the match after 32 minutes when Mikel Arteta miscued a clearance and Adam Lallana's speculative left-footer was pushed over. The Arsenal goalkeeper then reacted superbly to thwart Jay Rodriguez's snap shot.

Luke Shaw struggled through much of the first half with a leg problem and was replaced by Steven Davis, with James Ward-Prowse reverting to right-back and Clyne filling Southampton's vacant left-back slot.

The reshuffle did not interrupt the visitors' momentum as they resumed brightly and Lallana thudded a drive into Szczesny's chest, meaning eyebrows were raised when the same player made way for Dani Osvaldo in the 52nd minute.

Having laboured under Southampton's trademark high press, Arsenal responded impressively and Ozil cleverly engineered space in the area to test Boruc at his near post.

Osvaldo called Szczesny into action at the end of a driving 74th minute run at the other end.

Walcott was afforded a rapturous reception on his introduction and might have given Arsenal breathing space when he fired wide on the break before Giroud ensured a four-point lead at the summit with his composed spot-kick.


Arsenal

1
Wojciech Szczesny
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
Bacary Sagna
Defender
3.00
4
Per Mertesacker
Defender
3.50
6
3.50
28
Kieran Gibbs
Defender
3.00
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
74′
3.00
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
4.00
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
81′
3.50
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
4.00
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
70′
3.50
12
4.00

Southampton

1.00
31
Artur Boruc
Goalkeeper
2.50
2
2.00
6
2.50
23
Luke Shaw
Defender
46′
2.50
26
3.00
4
2.50
12
Victor Wanyama
Midfielder
48′
2.50
16
3.00
20
Adam Lallana
Midfielder
53′
2.50
7
3.00
9

Substitutes

21
 - 
5
 - 
17
Monreal
Defender
81′
 - 
7
Tomas Rosicky
Midfielder
74′
 - 
14
3.00
23
 - 
44
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
25
 - 
3
2.50
8
Steven Davis
Midfielder
46′
 - 
22
 - 
38
Harrison Reed
Midfielder
2.00
17
 - 
40

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
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Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
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Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
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20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0