Southampton v Arsenal match report

Arsenal avenged their FA Cup exit with a comeback victory at St Mary’s, with goals from Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette rounding out an impressive victory.

An early flurry of chances saw two goals in the opening ten minutes, with Stuart Armstrong and Pepe getting on the scoresheet.

Saka rounded Alex McCarthy to give Arsenal the lead before half time as both sides shared good chances.

The second half continued at much the same pace as the first but after chances at both ends, Alexandre Lacazette was presented with an open goal to seal another league victory for the London side – a result which lifts them above both their hosts and Chelsea and into eighth place.

The game had barely started when its first chance fell to Lacazette within a minute of the kickoff, but he couldn’t slide his side-footed finish past McCarthy.

But it wasn’t 0-0 for long as after just four minutes, Armstrong swept home from a clever Ward-Prowse corner, which flew past the outstretched arm of Leno from the edge of the penalty area.

The lead didn’t last for long as Pepe slipped a low left-footed finish past McCarthy after a crisp Granit Xhaka through pass – only the visiting side’s second goal in the first half of a Premier League game all season.

And five minutes before the interval McCarthy was beaten again as Saka, slipped through by an early Lacazette pass, rounded the goalkeeper and finished into an empty net.

The second half began at much the same breakneck speed, with both teams making early chances – Smith Rowe lifting the ball over an onrushing McCarthy only to see his effort cleared off the line.

After a confusing substitution saw Pepe booked for going off too slowly, before not actually being substituted off, Cedric’s wonderful crossfield ball found Saka who squared to give Lacazette a tap in at the far post – an eighth league goal for the Frenchman and a 10th for the season.

A third consecutive away win for the first time since October 2018 and back to back wins on the south coast for the first time since 1998 make revenge for an FA Cup defeat very sweet for Mikel Arteta’s men.

Man of the match: You could make a case for anyone on the pitch bar McCarthy and David Luiz – but Bukayo Saka wins it for me.

Southampton: McCarthy, Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Vokins (Redmond 67′), Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Walcott (N’lundulu 74′), Ings (Watts 74′), Adams

Subs: Forster, Ramsay, Jankewitz, Ferry, Chauke, Long

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey (Elneny 78′), Saka, Smith Rowe (Willian 72′), Pepe (Willock 90+2′), Lacazette

Subs: Ryan, Gabriel, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Martinelli, Nketiah

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