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Iwobi Shines As Arsenal Battle Past Saints

Iwobi Shines As Arsenal Battle Past Saints

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, though, levelled the scoring just before the half-hour mark before Welbeck, a much-scrutinised figure at Arsenal these days, put the Gunners ahead before half-time.

Jack Stephens saw red for reacting to a foul from Jack Wilshere before Mohamed Elneny was also sent off for pushing Cedric Soares.

Arsenal started the match with four wins on the trot fully expecting to make it five on a wet afternoon in front of swaths of empty seats and a awful atmosphere.

The Gunners headed in to the contest as clear favourites to beat a Saints side fighting for their Premier League survival, but after 20 minutes or so it was the visitors who deservedly led via Shane Long's opener.

The result was an attack with less playmaking ability but a lot more pace, and they always looked a lot more unsafe on quick counters than when trying to orchestrate the normal slow build-up moves.

Their Spanish striker Alvaro Morata also had the ball in the net twice but was narrowly offside each time. Mkhitaryan suffered a serious knee injury earlier this month against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League, and doubts surround when he may return.

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- Southampton have lost three successive away league matches conceding at least three goals in each for the first time since September 2013, under Nigel Adkins (a run of four). Aubameyang's sixth goal since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund settled the mood and Southampton's porous defence was again exposed when Welbeck scored in the 38th minute.

The 27-year-old does, however, retain unshakable belief in his own ability and believes he can contribute to the Arsenal cause despite seeing the club invest heavily in prolific frontmen Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

There was more drama to come as the Gunners sought the victor but it was increasingly becoming an illusion as Wellbeck the chief culprit of missed chances. kept undermining his team But he did make up for it as he once again got on the end of an Alex Iwobi floated cross to nod home for what would be the victor in 81st minute.

Defender Sam McQueen is out with a groin strain, and is Saints' only confirmed absentee. And he must have grinned even wider when Long made a mockery of Mustafi and Cech's failure to communicate. It wasn't for a want of trying, though.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed that Southampton's relegation struggles may stem from last season when the Saints chose to sack Claude Puel amidst pressure from the St Mary's faithful.

Southampton's defeat kept them in the bottom three, three points behind Crystal Palace but with a game in hand.