Screw it. Koala. - Chris Hyde
Arsenal, simply put, were bad. Southampton's pressing and Arsenal's lack of outlets and quality passing needed an own goal to rescue a point.
1 - 0 Gaston Ramirez 35'
1 - 1 Guly do Prado OG 41'
Arsenal's lineup was unchanged from Saturday's clash with Newcastle, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting on the right with Theo Walcott through the middle and Laurent Koscielny in the defense with Thomas Vermaelen. Arsenal dominated the opening possession, winning a corner on five minutes that Artur Boruc straight up whiffed on, fortunately for him the result not a bad one. When Bacary Sagna put a cross in two minutes later, Boruc dropped it yet again, but Southampton were able to clear.
Southampton finally had a break on eight minutes, winning a corner where Maya Yoshida was kicked in the leg, no call forthcoming. Boruc dropped his third of the game, but again, no Arsenal players were near enough. Southampton were finally putting some attacks together through Gaston Ramirez, but Mikel Arteta was able to stop him in his tracks on 12 minutes.
The game slowed significantly from then on, as Tommy Smyth was giving shout-outs to Grenada, St. Vincent, Jamaica, and Pennsylvania. He's an exotic, globe-trotting lad, that Tommy Smyth. Arsenal won a corner on 26 minutes that came to nothing. Ramirez looked like he may have been caught in the box on 30 minutes, but replays showed that there may have been no contact. Either way, there was no call.
The game puttered along, and you just knew what was coming. Arsenal were lax in possession, lost the ball to Ramirez, whose pass in to Guly do Prado was laughably cleared by Bacary Sagna right into the mixer across goal, where it bounced loose to Ramirez, who stroked home from 18.
1 - 0 Southampton, 34 minutes. No problem. Sagna's horrific form continues.
Aresnal, however, you know. They don't like a 1-0, and as Theo Walcott put in a free kick on 41 minutes, do Prado duly obliged with a wonderful sliding clearance straight into his own net. It was far more than Arsenal deserved, but it was all square.
1 - 1, 41 minutes in. The game was now suddenly on fire, a scramble first in the Southampton box, then the Arsenal box, then an Arsenal counter where Chamberlain played a cross to nobody. Arsenal had a penalty handball appeal go begging before Walcott was just offside.
Halftime mercifully arrived, and we were treated to Nissan ads instead of Tommy Smyth for a bit.
The second half started off a little brighter, for both teams. Guly had a good effort from 20 yards on 56 minutes that Wojciech Szczesny saved well, and from the resulting corner, Sagna nearly put it in with his thigh, but Szczesny was there to catch it on the line.
Olivier Giroud came on for the poor Lukas Podolski on 58 minutes. 62 minutes on, Morgan Schneiderlin crossed fiercely, but Szczesny pushed it just far enough away for the Arsenal defense to clear. Schneiderlin earned a yellow two minutes later. Jason Puncheon hit the side netting on 64 minutes; Ramirez shot over on 66.
71 minutes in, Arsenal got a bailout. Ramirez was played through by a ball over the top and wrongly ruled offside. It should have been 2 - 1.
Jay Rodriguez replaced Lambert on 74 minutes. Gervinho replaced The Ox and Aaron Ramsey replaced Santi Cazorla. Tomas Rosicky, apparently, was glued to his chair by mischievous Southampton supporters or something, because he really should have been the one coming on. Arteta had a hard shot just wide on 80 minutes. Guly came off for Steve de Ridder on 83 minutes. Gervinho cut inside and shot just wide from 18 on 84 minutes. Puncheon teseted Szczesny on 85 minutes, but the Pole saved easily. He tried again in the 88th, and was closer.
Gibbs nearly crossed in the 90th minute, but Southampton cleared for a corner. Walcott hit a one-man wall with a free kick on 91 minutes. That about summed it up, really. It was not a good day as the final whistle blew; it felt like two points dropped.