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Arsenal 1 - Southampton 2: Match Report

A historic night for The Saints as they march on to the next round of the cup.

Julian Finney

Southampton banished their Arsenal demons by defeating the Gunners 2-1 in Emirates. The third round tie of the Capital One Cup tie was an all Premier League affair, with both teams having won last weekend, this match was bound to be an exciting cup tie and so it proves on a historic night for the Saints.

Southampton made five changes from the starting XI that defeated Swansea at The Liberty, with Florian Gardos, Matt Targett, and Steven Davis starting the game. Sadio Mané was handed his debut by Ronald Koeman, while there was also a place for match winner against Swansea in Victor Wanyama. Arsene Wenger made a wholesale change from the team that defeated Aston Villa, Ospina made his Arsenal debut, while Hector Bellerin, Isaac Hayden, and Francis Coquelin completes the back four along with former Saint Calum Chambers. There was also start for Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby.

The game started lively as both sides showed their intention to win the game, with Davis coming close in the 9th minute but his effort was blocked by Ospina. Moments later, Rosicky's header was comfortably caught by Fraser Forster. It didn't take too long for a goal to finally came, with the host drawing first blood. A free kick was awarded to Arsenal after Alexis Sanchez was brought down, the Chilean steps up to take it and managed to hit a beautiful curler that left Forster stranded.

Southampton though managed to equalize a few minutes later. Mané was a constant menace throughout the game, and on the 19th minute he was tripped by Rosicky and the referee pointed to the spot. Up steps Dušan Tadić, and he coolly sent Ospina the wrong way with a well taken penalty to the middle. 1-1 after 20 minutes.

The Saints finally took the lead in a fantastic manner. Tadić's corner was headed away by Arsenal's defender, the ball fell to Nathaniel Clyne, who took a touch before unleashing a screamer to the top corner which Ospina was helpless to stop. 2-1 and the Saints lead going into halftime.

Here's Clyne's rocket of a shot in all its glory:

The second half saw Southampton nearly add to their lead, Davis managed to get on the end of Tadić's cross, but his effort from close range was saved by Ospina. Later on, Tadić's free kick was parried away by Ospina, as Southampton threatened to distance themselves from the Gunners' chase. It was an end-to-end stuff from both sides, as evident in the 69th minute with Sanchez close to level the score, but Forster got the slightest of touch to sent Sanchez' shot into the post. Seconds later, Mané raced on to the goal and unleashed a shot which flashed wide across the goal.

The last 10 minutes saw the Saints defending with their backs against the wall as Arsenal chased for an equalizer, however that equalizer never came and after five minutes of added time, the referee blew his whistle and the Saints marched on to the next round. It was a historic night for The Saints as they defeated Arsenal for the first time in this competition, it was also Saints' first win at Emirates, and first away win at Arsenal since 1987. A historic night indeed.


Goals: Sanchez (14'), Tadić (penalty 19'), Clyne (39')

Bookings: Wanyama (25'), Targett (85'), Rosicky (88'), Wilshere (90'+2), Forster (90'+2), Pellè (90'+3)

Southampton (4-3-3): Forster, Clyne, Gardos, Fonté (C), Targett (Bertrand 85'), Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Davis, Mané (Long 71'), Pellè, Tadić

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ospina, Bellerin (Akpom 86'), Chambers, Hayden, Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby (Cazorla 67'), Sanchez, Rosicky, Campbell (Oxlade-Chamberlain 71'), Podolski