Southampton vs. Arsenal: Final score 2-2, Gunners escape with a point in wild match

Mike Hewitt

Everyone at St. Mary's Stadium got their money's worth and then some.

Arsenal came away with a result at Southampton. Somehow.

The Gunners played an absolutely dreadful first half, were outplayed for much of the match and finished with 10 men, so exactly how they managed a 2-2 draw is unclear, not that they will mind. They have a precious away point and are still at the top of the Premier League, for now.

Southampton were excellent to start the match and really could have been two or three up at halftime. They had all of the ball and all of the chances, but bad luck, last ditch Arsenal defending and woeful finishing kept Arsenal in the match. The Saints did finally get a goal in the 21st minute on Jose Fonte's header, one Arsenal found fault in as they thought it should have been a foul. But the Saints' lead was deserved and if anyone was at fault, it was Wojciech Szczesny, who was cheaply beaten.

Arsenal finally got on the front foot in the second half and, within seven minutes, they had a lead. First, Bacary Sagna's run down the right unraveled the Southamtpon defense before his cross found a bundling Olivier Giroud for the equalizer three minutes into the half. Four minutes later, Santi Cazorla hit a swerving shot from 20 yards that tailed away from Artur Boruc and into the bottom corner for the go-ahead goal.

The madness was hardly done there, though. Two minutes after Arsenal took their lead, Southampton responded. The Gunners had shut off and Jay Rodriguez bullied Sagna to a ball before taking off down the left, where he crossed for Adam Lallana. The Saints' skipper was unmarked in the middle and had the simplest of finishes to bring the match level again.

Southampton were the better team in the final half-hour, although not quite as dominant as they were in the first half. They could have found a winner, but it was not to be. Even after Mathieu Flamini was rightly sent off for a terrible two-footed tackle in the 80th minute, the Saints could not find a goal and Arsenal escaped with a point.

Southampton: Boruc, Yoshida, Fonte, Chambers, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Davis, Rodriguez, Cork, Lallana, Gallagher (Ward-Prowse 70').

Goals: Fonte 21', Lallana 54'.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Ozil, Cazorla (Gibbs 86'), Flamini, Gnabry (Oxlade-Chamberlain 70'), Giroud (Podolski 90').

Goals: Giroud 48', Cazorla 52'.

Red card: Flamini 80'.

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