Super Saka epitomises Arsenal resurgence in crucial Southampton win

Date published: Tuesday 26th January 2021 10:07 - Steve Pearson


Bukayo Saka continued his magnificent form with a goal and an assist as Arsenal secured a vital three points against Southampton.

Arsenal could’ve hit the front less than 60 seconds into the contest after sloppy work from Southampton handed them a glorious opening.

Granit Xhaka set Alexandre Lacazette through on goal, but Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy bailed his teammates out with a crucial low save.

That miss would prove immediately costly when then Stuart Armstrong tucked away a superb first-time half-volley from a James Ward-Prowse corner.

The Scot capitalised on woeful marking to ghost in from the edge of the box – something that will give Mikel Arteta nightmares in the morning debrief.

Southampton’s lead did not last long, however, when the vibrant Xhaka played in Nicolas Pepe who coolly dispatched his finish into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

Ward-Prowse’s set pieces were causing issues throughout. Danny Ings was the latest to try his luck after latching onto a wicked delivery, but the striker’s effort was comfortably saved by Bernd Leno.

The Saints looked the likelier of the two sides to end the stalemate as the half wore on, but it was the red-hot Bukayo Saka that delivered the sucker punch.

Lacazette’s first-time through ball set the youngster scampering away before McCarthy’s rash decision afforded Saka the simple task of dribbling around and tucking into an empty net.

Ex-Gunner Theo Walcott came close to notching an equaliser soon after the break, but his shot was too central to cause Leno major problems.

Danny Ings began to step up his game as Southampton sought parity. A slaloming run left multiple Arsenal defenders in his wake, but the quick reactions of Leno helped to smother any would-be shooting opportunity.

With the game still hanging in the balance, Arsenal took a step closer to all three points with a superbly-worked goal.

Cedric’s delicious 40-yard ball picked out Saka, who in turn fired an inch-perfect cutback towards Lacazette.

The Frenchman duly added the finishing touched from close-range to make it 3-1 to the visitors.

Ward-Prowse stung the palms of Leno with a powerful free-kick, but time was against them as Arsenal eventually emerged with a vital 3-1 victory.


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