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Arsenal misses chance to go top

Arsenal misses chance to go top

Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League as they were thrashed by Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Saints full-back Cuco Martina marked his first league start with a stunning goal, curling in from 30 yards out.

Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott missed free headers, before Shane Long finished from close range and Jose Fonte headed in the third.

Striker Long struck the post with three minutes remaining, but managed to add a fourth through the legs of Petr Cech.

It could have been even worse for the visitors. Virgil van Dijk had a header ruled out for offside, while Dusan Tadic’s dipping strike was pushed away by Cech.

Arsenal had lost just one of their previous 11 league games and recorded an impressive victory over Manchester City on Monday but Arsene Wenger’s side could not back that performance up with victory on the south coast.

Having seen leaders Leicester beaten by Liverpool earlier in the day, the Gunners would have gone top with a win but were resoundingly beaten by a rampant Southampton side.

Playmaker Mesut Ozil – who has received plenty of plaudits for his impressive performances this season – was kept quiet by the Southampton midfield, while former Saint Walcott posed little threat, attempting only 20 passes before being substituted.

Going into the game, Arsenal had conceded the joint-fewest number of goals (14) in the league this season and their second-half capitulation will be a big worry to Wenger.

Arsenal need to win games against teams in the bottom half of the table if they are to take the title, but did not come close to capitalising on the points dropped by Claudio Ranieri’s side.

– Source: BBC Sport