Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Arsenal held by Southampton

29 January 2014, 06:45

Southampton - Arsenal missed a chance to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League table following a 2-2 draw at Southampton on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger's side were on course to cement first place in the English top-flight after recovering from the shock of conceding Jose Fonte's first half goal.

Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla had put Arsenal 2-1 ahead at St Mary's, only for Adam Lallana to equalise after the break and deny Arsenal a vital three points.

The Gunners are two points clear of second placed Manchester City, who can claim top spot with a victory at Tottenham on Wednesday.

Arsenal's frustration was summed up when French midfielder Mathieu Flamini was dismissed for an 80th minute challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin.

Ivan Gazidis, the Arsenal chief executive, had confirmed before this game that Wenger would soon sign a new, three-year contract to remain at the club.

An away victory would have been the ideal way to mark the announcement, but it quickly became clear this would be a major test for the leaders.

Southampton's defeat at the Emirates Stadium had triggered an alarming run that had brought just two wins from their previous 11 league games.

Injuries have taken their toll and with Rickie Lambert out and Dani Osvaldo suspended following a training ground fight with Fonte, Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino handed a first league start to teenager Sam Gallagher.

But that did little to unsettle the home side who started the game positively and continued to dominate throughout the first half, with Gallagher coming close to breaking the deadlock with a powerful shot after just seven minutes.

Fonte's 21st minute goal came when Luke Shaw, the Saints left-back who has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Chelsea, delivered a deep cross towards the centre-back, who headed in at the far post.

Lallana came close to adding a second when he forced Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny into a full length save and Gallagher stabbed an even better chance wide after Monreal's attempted clearance had been charged down.

The opening 45 minutes had been one-sided but Arsenal finally showed signs of their threat immediately before the break when Laurent Koscielny forced a superb reaction save from Artur Boruc.

But if that was a warning, Southampton failed to heed the signs and the visitors exploded into life after the restart with two goals in seven minutes.

Giroud brought the Gunners back on level terms in the 47th minute with a clever flick after Bacary Sagna had forced his way into the Southampton box before squaring for the France striker to redirect the ball into the net.

Then, with the home side reeling, Spanish playmaker Cazorla added the 52nd minute second with a low, left foot drive from the edge of the area after Mesut Ozil had led a breakaway.

Pochettino's side appeared deflated but they conjured the perfect response just 60 seconds later when Jay Rodriguez worked his way towards the byline before pulling back for Lallana who struck from 10 yards out.

Both sides appeared capable of going on to win the game but it was Arsenal who had the better chances to reclaim the lead.

Ozil capped a surging run with a powerful shot that was deflected over Boruc and rebounded to safety off the crossbar.

And Monreal should have done much better when he found himself with a clear shooting opportunity on the left hand side of the Saints box, only to blast his effort high into the crowd.

But the advantage swung back in Southampton's favour following Flamini's reckless, two-footed challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin in the 80th minute.

Referee Lee Mason had no hesitation in showing the Frenchman a straight red card and while Flamini protested his innocence, television replays supported the match official's decision.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...