News

Arsenal v Southampton Live Commentary, 08/04/2018

FT
3 - 2
ARS
SOU
P. Aubameyang (28)
D. Welbeck (38)
D. Welbeck (81)
S. Long (17)
C. Austin (73)
Emirates Stadium

Commentary

Time is running out for Mark Hughes to save the day at Southampton; today's result leaves them in 18th, three points from safety, with another blockbuster clash against Chelsea up for them next time out. As for Arsenal, they turn their focus back to the Europa League and ensuring safe passage to the semi-finals against CSKA Moscow. Until then however, thank you for joining us; and have a good week!
Southampton thought they'd secured a point when Charlie Austin found the equaliser after he came on in the 73rd minute - but Danny Welbeck's second score ensured that Arsenal preserved their perfect record at the Emirates against Saints and piled the pressure on their visitors in their relegation battle. A frantic, ill-tempered final few minutes produced almost as many cards as goals throughout the game, but no late score; full-time, it finishes Arsenal 3-2 Southampton.
90' + 7' Arsenal go down the right wing - but before they can attack, the referee checks his watch and blows for full-time! Arsenal have won a game of high drama at the Emirates as Southampton players drop to their knees; they gave it their all and yet they lose out once more, with the Gunners prevailing on home soil once again!
W. Hoedt
Yellow Card
Southampton
90' + 6' Hoedt now sees yellow as, in a moment of desperation, he puts Welbeck over the touchline on the right with a body-check. Surely time is almost up...
90' + 5' Arsenal counter swiftly but Cedric manages to slip across Lacazette's cross and heft it downfield for Austin to seek.
90' + 4' In the end, it's a poor free-kick, as Cedric only hits the wall, and the follow-up goes straight to Cech for good measure.
Mohamed Elneny
Red Card
Arsenal
90' + 3' Well, that was daft from Elneny. He now is shown a red card for raising his arms at Cedric as the Southampton man tried to take the free-kick. Both sides down a man apiece.
J. Wilshere
Yellow Card
Arsenal
90' + 2' Wilshere is also booked for the initial shirt pull and despite the red card, Southampton will get the free-kick.
J. Stephens
Red Card
Southampton
90' + 2' Southampton are down to 10 men! Stephens clips the ball away under pressure from Wilshire and then turns around to hit the Arsenal man who was pulling on his shirt. Players pile in and after a moment, the red card is shown to the Saints man.
90' + 2' Arsenal counter swiftly as a wayward pass falls to Wilshire - only for the Gunners man to put his through ball straight to Stephens who counters himself.
90' Four added minutes on the way as the referee beckons Welbeck over for a word after a foul.
89' Austin concedes a free-kick in the opposition half as he tries to challenge for a high ball, bringing down Kolasinac in the process.
87' Great defence from Holding, who slides across Sims just as the substitute tries for a shot inside the Arsenal box on the right, on the back of a breakway counter-attack.
86' Cech punches the in-swinging effort clear and Cedric's follow-up cross goes awry, flying out for a goal-kick.
85' Tadic! The Saints man turns a half-volley towards the roof of the net for the visitors and Cech just manages to palm it over. Corner for Southampton.
83' Sims hounds after a ball down the right flank; Xhaka manages to hold him off for long enough to let it dribble out for a goal-kick.
A. Iwobi
Assist
Arsenal
81' A fine cross from Iwobi could have been knocked in by any number of Arsenal players at that wing, and Saints will be unhappy with their defence there, failing to shut the chance down. 3-2 to the Gunners.
D. Welbeck
Goal
Arsenal
81' Danny Welbeck edges Arsenal back in front! It's a close-range header at the far-left post, off a low, hanging Iwobi cross, and goes someway to redeeming that miss a few minutes ago. Southampton trail again in this engrossing contest.
J. Sims
S. Long
Southampton
80' Shane Long has run his blood to water for Saints today but now makes way for Joshua Sims. Can Southampton hold on for a point here?
78' How did Welbeck miss that?! Arsenal slip through Southampton's back-line through Wilshire and the England man turns it in for his team-mate, bang in front of goal, five yards out - who skies it over the crossbar to the right. What an escape for Saints.
76' End-to-end stuff at the Emirates; Welbeck sees a potential cross into an open box for Lacazette turned away for a corner by Cedric, which McCarthy clears, and then Holding blocks a Bertrand pass to give Southampton the set-piece play from the corner spot.
R. Holding
Bellerín
Arsenal
74' Bellerin is off now for the hosts as they restart and Rob Holding takes his place.
Cédric Soares
Assist
Southampton
73' Cedric looked like he had lost that ball out wide but managed to recover in time under pressure from Chambers to tee up that goal. What a time for Saints to score.
C. Austin
Goal
Southampton
73' My word, he does! Charlie Austin gets the goal Southampton desperately needed! A free-kick out wide, taken quickly by Austin himself, flies across the box to Cedric, who combines with Tadic for a neat one-two before the former slips it across the face of goal into a huddle of Saints players where the substitute taps home. 2-2 at the Emirates and a lifeline for the visitors.
C. Austin
M. Yoshida
Southampton
72' Saints make a change before they take it too; Yoshida makes way for forward Charlie Austin, as they look to find the leveller. Austin has scored in every Premier League game he's ever played against Arsenal; does he have the key?
72' Free-kick to Southampton now as Mustafi brings down Long just to the left edge of the Arsenal box.
A. Lacazette
P. Aubameyang
Arsenal
71' Aubameyang departs for Alexandre Lacazette now as Arsenal bring on their leading goal-scorer of the season.
70' Cech deals with the second attempt from Bertrand and Arsenal clear their lines.
69' Strike from Hoedt! The defender puts a brilliant long-distance effort on Cech from 40 yards out and the keeper has to leap to tip it around the post. Corner to Saints.
67' Tadic is convinced he should have a free-kick after Mustafi cuts across and bodychecks him late, but the referee waves it away and play continues.
65' Wilshire almost makes an instant impact, searing down the left wing with the ball; he can't quite control it though and he slips to the ground, prone like a starfish as it trickles out of his control to Stephens.
J. Wilshere
R. Nelson
Arsenal
64' Reiss Nelson is off on his first Premier League start, as Jack Wilshere takes his place for the first substitution.
63' Cedric goes for goal himself from distance - and a tap assist from Long turns it from left to right and behind Cech into the net! But the flag is up! Southampton can't believe it - they thought that was the equaliser.
62' Romeu and Ward-Prowse combine to cut open the Arsenal defence in a swift attack and put Bertrand away on the left; after a moment where he seems to be closed off, he pops a cross into the box for Long, whose low header is just tipped out by Cech. Corner to Southampton.
60' Kolasinac rises to meet Bertrand's long, looping cross from the left wing and deny Cedric the chance to land a header on it. The Saints man goes down under the challenge in the box; no penalty given despite some small cries from the visitors.
58' Welbeck wins a free-kick for Arsenal 25 yards out from the Saints goal after a foul by Yoshida but the hosts are unable to make the attempt stick and Southampton clear their lines once more.
56' Elneny with the block! Lurking at the back post, the midfielder clears Hoedt's header with one of his own and Arsenal survive what looked to be a surefire leveller.
55' Tadic slips a ball down the left for Bertand who then squares a cross in for Ward-Prowse; Mustafi puts it out with a deflection for a corner.
53' Another great save from McCarthy as Iwobi tries from distance, putting a powerful effort on from 30 yards out in front. The keeper collects the second effort from the resulting corner with ease too and Saints clear to midfield.
52' Long gives it some distance for Bertrand to chase but he can't haul it in before it skips out for a goal-kick near the left post.
Bellerín
Yellow Card
Arsenal
50' Bellerin brings down Long on the left wing, checking his counter-attack, and is booked for the tackle. Free-kick to Saints.
48' Southampton clear the set-piece effort from Xhaka and Cedric takes it to midway.
47' Two great saves from McCarthy! The keeper firstly gets his hands to an Aubameyang effort from close range, just inside the right edge of the penalty area, and then tips a 25-yard Xhaka strike from distance around the right post. Corner to the hosts.
46' We're back underway at the Emirates; will Arsenal pick up where they left off or will Southampton pull something special out of the hat!
It all started so well for Southampton in north London, with a Shane Long goal giving them an early and deserving lead - but then the Gunners hit their stride and turned the tables with two goals of their own, for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Danny Welbeck. Saints aren't out of this one yet - but they face an uphill battle to come up with the goods. At half-time at the Emirates Stadium, it's Arsenal 2-1 Southampton.
45' + 2' Arsenal are content to play the clock down in midfield and after a pass from Xhaka to Chambers on halfway, the referee blows the whistle for the break.
45' + 1' Southampton clear this second effort, and Hojbjerg counters, before going down under a challenge by Bellerin on the right wing.
45' Xhaka swings a corner in that McCarthy fails to collect and a follow-up shot from Chambers is deflected out by Hoedt for another corner. Two added minutes incoming.
43' Ward-Prowse tries from the edge of the box, straight in front; in trying to curl it around the defence however, he pulls it wide to the right.
42' Cedric turns a tight, looping cross in from the right wing, only to find empty turf as Long fails to get there in time. Saints do get the throw though after a deflection off Bellerin.
40' Xhaka tries his luck from outside the box, but his effort soars above the crossbar and lands somewhere in the stands behind.
D. Welbeck
Goal
Arsenal
38' Two goals in 10 minutes for Arsenal! It's Welbeck who finds the back of the net for the Gunners, chasing a neat through-ball down the left flank from Iwobi, before stepping back inside on himself at the edge of the box and curling it into the top left corner, with a little help from a deflection off Yoshida. 2-1 to the hosts.
A. Iwobi
Assist
Arsenal
38' Iwobi's ball was lovely and Welbeck just kept himself onside with some great pacing out wide. Southampton look gutted and no wonder; having looked the better side the opening quarter, they've surrendered their lead through no real fault of their own, thanks to some fine football from Arsenal.
36' Xhaka takes the free-kick and lofts it above the defensive wall - and the crossbar. No danger for McCarthy from that effort.
35' Free-kick to Arsenal now, 20 yards out on the left, as Welbeck is brought down by Romeu. A great chance here for Arsenal...
34' Tadic gets through on goal thanks to a great Hojbjerg slide tackle-turned-through-ball and skims the woodwork - but was called for offside regardless by the linesman.
33' Two close efforts from that corner for Arsenal; Welbeck just misses a header and when the ball is turned back in again from the right, Chambers tries an overhead kick that trickles to McCarthy.
32' Corner now for Arsenal as Stephens deflects out a close-range cross from Welbeck on the left.
30' Arsenal suddenly look as if a switch has been flipped, as they attack through Welbeck with far more fluency than previously shown. Stephens manages to dislodge the ball and clear but Saints look far from comfortable now, jolted out of their lead.
D. Welbeck
Assist
Arsenal
28' Welbeck was supplied with a lovely flat pass there from Iwobi and that assist was golden too. The finish was far from classy - but it won't matter to the hosts; they're back on level pegging.
P. Aubameyang
Goal
Arsenal
28' Arsenal draw level through Aubameyang! Saints will not be happy with that score; a neat little flick on from Welbeck on the right side of the box fools Cedric and allows the striker to poke the ball in behind a fallen McCarthy from close range. The noise rises around the Emirates; it's all square at 1-1.
27' Xhaka and Aubameyang try a neat one-two wide on the left, but can't find their way around Stephens with a neat chip and the defender clears the danger.
25' Southampton look to spark a swift attack, only for Romeu's long ball to skip away from the chasing Long and into the arms of Cech.
23' Nelson is unable to control the ball from the throw however and concedes possession, before Hoedt wins Saints a free-kick to take the pressure off.
22' Better from the hosts; Bellerin nips down the right flank and sees his cross into the box deflected out by Yoshida. Arsenal have a throw in line with the opposition penalty area.
21' Arsenal try the same tactic down the left with Welbeck, and again, Saints are able to halt their advance and push them back into their own half.
19' The Gunners won't take it lying down and, through Iwobi, advance down the right into Southampton's half. The Saints defence does enough to keep him in check and he is forced to play it back to Chambers on halfway.
Cédric Soares
Assist
Southampton
17' Cedric played a lovely pass inside from the right edge of the box, close to the touchline; Mustafi really should have tracked Long better. Saints won't be complaining though; they have the advantage.
S. Long
Goal
Southampton
17' Long gives Saints the lead! It's his second Premier League goal of the season and a vital one for Southampton! The striker taps in at the near-right post from a flat cross in via Cedric, outwitting Mustafi and slotting it neatly behind Cech. The Emirates falls silent; Arsenal trail by a goal to nil.
16' A poor set-piece effort from the hosts and Southampton clear downfield.
15' Iwobi breaks down the right wing and sees a chance to cross for Aubameyang; Yoshida deflects it out for a corner.
13' Early half-chances for both sides though nothing to rival that Ward-Prowse effort so far. 
11' A long ball from McCarthy in his own box cuts open Arsenal again and Long manages to claim the ball in the Gunners half; under pressure with a shirt pull from Chambers though, he puts a weak flat pass to Tadic and Bellerin slides in to clear.
9' Arsenal deal with the weak effort curled in, but promising signs there for Southampton after threading that attack together.
8' Golden chance for Saints! Ward-Prowse over-runs a square pass played into the box from Long and by the time he recovers, puts his shot to Bellerin. Corner to the visitors after Tadic sees his follow-up pushed out.
7' Tadic dribbles a ball down the left wing now for Southampton and nearly releases Bertrand; Chambers cuts in to put it out for a throw deep in Arsenal territory.
5' Iwobi is nearly slipped around Yoshida at the edge of thee Saints box; McCarthy sweeps in again to clean up the loose ball when the attacker loses it.
3' Welbeck very nearly gets the rub of the green with a long, looping ball sent downfield by Nelson looking for him; it skips into the hands of McCarthy just before he can get there. First chance for the Gunners.
1' We're underway in north London; can Southampton make a little bit of history to save their season against a weakened Arsenal side?
The teams are out at the Emirates Stadium.
If Arsenal win, it will be their 150th Premier League win at the Emirates Stadium (226 games). They’ll be the only side to have won 150+ games at two different stadiums in the competition.
This will be Arsenal’s fifth consecutive match played at home in all competitions. The last time they had such a run was in April 2006, with the fifth and final game ending in a 5-0 victory versus Aston Villa.
The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 22 home league games against Southampton (W16 D6), since a 0-1 loss in November 1987. However, in all competitions Saints have won two of their last five visits to the Emirates (D1 L2), winning League Cup ties in 2014-15 and 2016-17.
Subs: Forster, Austin, Boufal, Gabbiadini, Redmond, Pied, Sims
SOUTHAMPTON (3-4-2-1): McCarthy; Yoshida, Stephens, Hoedt; Soares, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Bertrand; Tadic, Ward-Prowse; Long
Subs: Macey, Holding, Nketiah, Ozil, Monreal, Wilshere, Lacazette
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Cech; Mustafi, Bellerin, Chambers, Kolasinac; Elneny, Xhaka; Iwobi, Nelson, Welbeck; Aubameyang
As for Saints, they make four alterations to the side who went down 3-0 to West Ham last time out; Maya Yoshida, Oriel Romeu, Shane Long and James Ward-Prowse all enter the fray for Mark Hughes in this pivotal clash.
Team news now and Arsenal have made a whopping seven changes ahead of the return fixture against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League on Friday, with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Calum Chambers, Danny Welbeck, Sead Kolasinac, Alex Iwobi, Mohamed Elneny and Reiss Nelson all coming into the side, with the latter getting his first Premier League start.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Premier League as Arsenal host relegation-threatened Southampton at Emirates Stadium in north London. The Gunners are looking to keep their spotless home record in the current competition against Saints, undefeated in 17 encounters; but three points from safety, can the visitors dig deep for a massive result? Kick-off is on the way.