Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Welbeck comes to Gunners' rescue in bad-tempered game

Henrikh Mkhitaryan Henrikh Mkhitaryan is unlikely to be fit for Sunday's game Credit Getty Images
Eugene Bates | 09 April, 2018, 01:27

Arsenal ramped up the pressure on fifth-placed Chelsea with a 3-2 victory against Southampton at home.

Arsenal started the game dominating possession and controlling the midfield with their passing as always, but that didn't prevent Southampton from scoring the opening goal, after Shane Long took advantage of Mustafi's poor defending in the 17th minute to make it 1-0 for Southampton.

However, Welbeck teed up Aubameyang for his sixth goal in eight games since joining for a club-record fee from Borussia Dortmund and then put Arsenal in front before the break.

And Southampton's survival hopes suffered another blow when defender Jack Stephens was sent-off for an off the ball clash with Jack Wilshere in stoppage time, with Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny also shown a red card for shoving Cedric Soares in the face.

Southampton remain third-bottom, three points from safety but with a game in hand over Crystal Palace in 17th.

The striker superbly laid Aubameyang off to get the Gunners back in the game and Welbeck's brace has ultimately led to his side taking all three points. Irish global Long's goal was only his second in nearly 50 games for club and country but even before that the visitors made all the chances. It was the Ireland striker's second league goal of the season and his first since January 2.

McCarthy had little chance with the goal but did at least keep the gap at one in the early stages of the second half, turning away shots from Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka in quick succession, though it was far from one-way traffic.

- Shane Long has scored four goals against Arsenal in the Premier League, only against Aston Villa (6) has the Irishman netted more often. It was the England forward's first league goal since September.

The game looked to be petering out before an on-field coming-together between Jack Wilshere and Jack Stephens led to the latter being sent off.

"It's a competitive game, Saints are in a hard position, and at the end it got a bit out of hand", Welbeck said.

"I'm personally very happy and pleased for him, because this guy has gone through some hard times".

"I personally feel for what we have gone through and the way we have recovered, this team deserves huge credit because we were questioned really".

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