Arsenal suffered their first defeat in any competition after 22 matches after they were beaten 3-2 on the road to Southampton. The Gunners had come into the game with a makeshift central defence of Laurent Koscielny, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka amid the suspensions to Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulous and this eventually cost them dearly with the Saints scoring all three of their goals via headers.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Ings bagged braces for Arsenal and Southampton respectively but it was the latter’s team which prevailed after another strike from Charlie Austin against one of his favourite opponents. The former Queens Park Rangers man has now netted in each of his five meetings versus Arsenal with the weekend triumph being the first occasion where he has been on the winning side.
Bernd Leno: The German could not do much for the first two goals from the Saints but he was guilty of missing the key interception for the third from Austin after coming off his line – 5/10
Nacho Monreal: The left-sided defender looked assured with his movement in the opposition half and provided a sublime assist for Mkhitaryan’s opener. However, he should have done better to track Nathan Redmond’s delivery before the Saint’s second goal – 5.5/10
Hector Bellerin: The Spaniard tried to bring Aubameyang into the game during the first period with a sublime pass which was intercepted fantastically by Bednarek. Barring this, he was poor defensively before being substituted at the break with an injury – 4.5/10
Laurent Koscielny: After having returned from a long-term Achilles problem, the club-captain struggled to cope with the aerial threat and he was on the wrong side of three headed goals from the Saints – 4/10
Stephan Lichtsteiner: Likewise Koscielny, Lichtsteiner did not communicate sufficiently with his skipper and the pair were positionally outsmarted during the opening two goals. The Swiss went off injured towards the end of the game – 4.5/10
Granit Xhaka: Starting in a rather unusual central defensive position, Xhaka was impressive with his interceptions, although he could not do much to prevent any of the Saints’ goals. He was surprisingly guilty of making wayward passes on different occasions – 5/10
Mateo Guendouzi: The young midfielder was once more drafted into the heart of the club’s midfield. He was initially unaware positionally with his random runs but improved as the game went on – 6/10
Lucas Torreira: He was actually rough in terms of his interceptions early on but switched on in the second half. Made a couple of last-ditch challenges in and around the Gunners goal box – 7/10
Alex Iwobi: Another disappointing performance from the Nigerian, who does not seem to have an eye for goal. The attacker could not find the final by-product to his game and screwed a glorious scoring chance laid by Aubameyang – 5/10
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: The former United man has experienced another mixed season in the Premier League but he was undoubtedly the Gunners’ best performer on Sunday. He bagged two goals with a glancing header and a deflected shot – 7.5/10
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Aubameyang may have failed to score for the third-straight game but he was impressive with his showing upfront. He was denied a clear hit at goal twice by Bednarek’s last-ditch defending while his sublime backpass for Iwobi saw the Nigerian fluff his lines – 7/10
Alexandre Lacazette, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mesut Ozil
Image – Getty