Steamrolling Southampton: Arsenal vs. Southampton F.C. (EPL, 9-15-2012)

Saturday’s game with Southampton called for the Gunners to bring a win home at the Emirates without the influence of the reinvigorated Abou Diaby, who was absolutely exceptional against Liverpool before the international break.  Regardless of that, the Gunners brought in that much deserved win, as they ran rampant across the newly promoted Saints with all the attacking prowess they could muster.

The Gunners piled on layers of attack onto the Saints and were given their first goal as Gibbs’ cross was slipped in by Hooiveld for an own goal.  The goal itself was made possible thanks to some impressive build-up between Podolski and Gibbs.  Prince Poldi made it 2-0 however, with an impressive free kick that curled in away from the top corner in top class quality.

And as noble as the Saints were in defeat, things got worse as Gervinho became the central threat on the field, where he squeezed off quite a few chances early into the first half.  However, it was Arteta’s simple throughball that got the Ivorian onto the score sheet as he dashed away carefully and smashed the ball into the net with all the confidence he could muster.  Let it be known that this blogger was thoroughly happy with that goal as it is quite clear that Gervinho has always demonstrated a great deal of skill with some below par finishes, but on that day, he proved he can finish well.

It soon became 4-0 thanks to another own goal from a Gibbs cross as the Gunners pushed yet again.  However, the Saints briefly pressed on and pulled one back as a lapse of judgement from Szczesny allowed Fox to shoot one in.  By the end of half time, the score was 4-1.

As the second half started, the Saints began to show more bite as they pressed forward more, and looked much better compared to the first half, but Arsenal continued to create the chances.  Arteta held well as the DM while Cazorla created havoc once more.  Ramsey came on as a sub and showed some brilliant stuff.  Yes, he skyed another chance, but he’s getting there, the Welshman.  Gervinho soon made a double thanks to Aaron’s pace in the box as he eluded a defender and tried to slide it into the net.  Though he was not quite there in goal, Gervinho was in place to simply tap it in.  The nails were finally set in as Walcott subbed the Ivorian and took one home as he shot a deflected attempt from Vermaelen.  Man, what a day.

The Saints fought hard, and you have to give a rousing clap for Adkins and his boys.  They were down, but kept on trying.  For them to give trouble to both Manchester clubs is something worth noting, but as Adkins himself pointed out, “We turned it over far too cheaply.”  As for Arsenal,  the Gunners are looking great domestically, and are showing fine spirit in both defense and attack.  The worry right now is whether or not they’ll run out of steam as they go toe to toe with the likes of Merc City this Sunday.  Arsenal’s win against Montpellier (which, I for one have not seen aside from a glimpse of the second half) seemed to be a tough one as the fightback in the first half was turned on its tiptoes as the French champions began to dominate the second half.  If there’s any chance for us to tap up the depth we’ve amassed, now is the time.

For now however, let’s hope the Gunners rest up, bring in some of the other boys who are itching to play (I smell Santos and Koscielny!!), rest the ones that have done well for us, pray for a Giroud hat-trick and look forward to what we can offer as we face up against the Champs.


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