Premier League
ArsenalArsenal2SouthamptonSouthampton0

Arsenal 2-0 Southampton

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport
Olivier Giroud scores for Arsenal against Southampton

Olivier Giroud scored in either half as Arsenal edged past an impressive Southampton to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc gifted the hosts the lead, dwelling on a back-pass and allowing Giroud to tap in.

Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey had hit the post, while Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez went close for the visitors.

Giroud sealed the win from the penalty spot after Jose Fonte was penalised for pulling Per Mertesacker's shirt.

That relieved home tension and maintained Arsenal's 100% league record at Emirates Stadium since an opening-day

It was not a vintage performance but the Gunners will be delighted to extend their advantage over second-placed Liverpool.

Southampton remain third following their best start to a top-flight season, but they will regret being undone by two mistakes.

Wenger 'very happy with difficult win'

Boruc's error was inexplicable and follows on from the bizarre goal he recently when Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic beat the Pole with an upfield clearance that bounced over his head.

But that aside, for a club on the brink of extinction following relegation to League One in 2009, Saints looked remarkably comfortable with their elevated status and caused Arsenal trouble throughout.

They were not helped by an illness to Dejan Lovren, which saw Jos Hooiveld come in for his first league start this season, and left their defence looking less solid than it has for most of the campaign.

Wilshere saw a chip hit the post and Ramsey was denied by the same piece of woodwork with an audacious flick from Mesut Ozil's cross.

The pressure was building but that could not legislate for Arsenal's opener; Boruc received Nathaniel Clyne's pass and tried to dribble past Giroud, only to be robbed of possession and Giroud tapped in.

Pochettino upset with manner of defeat

It was harsh on Southampton and they worked hard to atone - Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez drawing fine saves from Wojciech Szczesny.

An injury to left-back Luke Shaw forced Mauricio Pochettino to reorganise his formation at half-time, but Saints remained in the ascendancy and Lallana again tested Szczesny's reactions.

However, Arsenal gradually regained the momentum and Boruc was alert to thwart Ozil and Wilshere before Theo Walcott was introduced as a substitute with 20 minutes left after two months out injured.

That offered the Gunners the sort of pace they had been missing and put Saints firmly on the back foot, leading to Arsenal's second goal.

Shortly after Walcott had drilled wide, Mertesacker was prevented from meeting a cross by Fonte's shirt pull and a penalty was awarded.

Giroud sent Boruc the wrong way to wrap up the points.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 1Szczesny
  • 3Sagna
  • 28Gibbs
  • 8ArtetaSubstituted forRosickyat 74'minutes
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 10Wilshere
  • 16Ramsey
  • 12Giroud
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forMonrealat 81'minutes
  • 19CazorlaSubstituted forWalcottat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Vermaelen
  • 7Rosicky
  • 14Walcott
  • 17Monreal
  • 21Fabianski
  • 23Bendtner
  • 44Gnabry

Southampton

  • 31Boruc
  • 2Clyne
  • 23ShawSubstituted forDavisat 45'minutes
  • 4Schneiderlin
  • 6José FonteBooked at 86mins
  • 26HooiveldBooked at 45mins
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 12WanyamaBooked at 48mins
  • 7Lambert
  • 20LallanaSubstituted forOsvaldoat 54'minutes
  • 9Rodriguez

Substitutes

  • 3Yoshida
  • 8Davis
  • 17Osvaldo
  • 22Chambers
  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 38Reed
  • 40Gallagher
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
60,007

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 2, Southampton 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Southampton 0.

  3. Post update

    Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal tries a through ball, but Jack Wilshere is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  8. Post update

    Delay in match Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) because of an injury.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

  10. Post update

    Jos Hooiveld (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

  13. Post update

    Victor Wanyama (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

  15. Booking

    Jose Fonte (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 2, Southampton 0. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  17. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Jose Fonte (Southampton) after a foul in the penalty area.

  18. Post update

    Penalty Arsenal. Per Mertesacker draws a foul in the penalty area.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Osvaldo (Southampton).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal1291224101428
2Liverpool1273224131124
3Chelsea1273221101124
4Southampton12642157822
5Everton125611713421
6Man Utd116231813520
7Tottenham1162396320
8Newcastle126241717020
9Man City1161428121619
10Swansea124351716115
11West Brom113531212014
12Aston Villa114251112-114
13Hull12426915-614
14Stoke123451214-213
15Cardiff11335915-612
16Norwich123271023-1311
17West Ham12246914-510
18Fulham123181121-1010
19Crystal Palace12219721-147
20Sunderland12219824-167
View full Premier League table

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