Arsenal became the first side to win at least 150 games in the division at two different stadiums with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Southampton at the Emirates as both sides ended the match with 10 men. Here are five things we learned from the match.
Aubameyang loves the Premier League
Moving to a different country and adapting to a new league is difficult in the summer, never mind mid-way through the season in January.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems to have taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. The Gabon striker has been directly involved in seven goals in the Premier League this season (six goals, one assist); the most of any Arsenal player in their first seven appearances in the competition.
Nelson shows promise on his big day
Reiss Nelson made his first Premier League start for Arsenal. He was solid and composed on his full league debut and wasn’t afraid to get on the ball and try and make things happen.
The youngster was replaced by Wilshere in the 64th minute following a good afternoon’s work. At 18 years and 120 days old, Nelson is the youngest player to start a Premier League match for the Gunners since September 2013.
Hughes can take positives from Southampton’s performance
Southampton lost the match but they can consider themselves unlucky not to have come away from the Emirates with at least a point. They scored two goals, their first goals in the league since a 1-1 draw with Burnley in February.
Shane Long caused Arsenal countless problems and Charlie Austin came on and scored. Apart from the unsavoury scenes at the end and Jack Stephen’s sending off, Southampton could be pleased with their efforts, if not slightly disappointed with the result.
Of course, at this stage of the season, points are all that matter, but if Southampton continue to show the fighting spirit they showed today, they still have a chance of avoiding relegation.
Yet another Mustafi mistake
Sometimes Shkodran Mustafi makes the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Today was one of those days. Shane Long got on the end of a Cedric Soares cross at the near post and pounced while Petr Cech and Mustafi hesitated.
As soon as the goal went in, Mustafi turned around and blamed Cech. However, as the defender, he was caught ball watching. Mustafi needs to take responsibility when he makes these mistakes rather than having a go at others around him.
Arsenal’s entire defence needs to be improved in the summer and Mustafi could be at risk.
Welbeck and Iwobi link up well
Two of Arsenal’s most inconsistent and underperforming attacking players took their chances against Southampton. Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi are continually criticised for not creating or scoring enough but that wasn’t the case against the Saints.
Welbeck scored twice and both goals were assisted by Iwobi. Welbeck should have had a hat-trick but his two goals were enough to secure Arsenal’s victory. Iwobi has had a poor season for Arsenal but this performance should give him some much-needed confidence.