TWO GOALS: Gervinho
THE GUNNERS hit Southampton for six at Emirates Stadium this afternoon as they put their sluggish start to the season well and truly behind them.
The 6-1 scoreline was an accurate reflection of the home side’s supremacy in a one-sided match.
Arsenal went into this match having convincingly beaten Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield just prior to the international break, a result that has appeared to have turned their season.
After two goal less draws against Sunderland and Stoke the football world was writing the red and white half of north London out of the title race; they are now paying a tad more respect.
The game was as good as over after a scintillating opening period by the Gunners who were clearly firing on all cylinders.
They went ahead in rather fortunate circumstances after just eleven minutes when Jos Hooiveld was guilty of an own goal after good work by Lukas Podolski. The German international showed his tenacity to win the ball back before passing to Kieran Gibbs who drove the ball across the Southampton area, with the result that Hooiveld put past his ‘keeper, Kelvin Davis.
Podolski got on the score-sheet himself with a quite exquisite free-kick on 31 minutes after young midfielder Francis Coquelin was needlessly fouled by Steven Davis 25 yards from goal.
The rampant home side went 3-0 up in the 35th minute after Mikel Arteta neatly played Gervinho in, and the Ivorian fired the ball past the hapless Davis.
More ill-fortune was to hit the Saints, when after yet another Gibbs cross, Nathaniel Clyne diverted the ball into his net on 37 minutes.
Only a shoddy piece of goalkeeping just before the break by Arsenal custodian Wojciech Szczesny, who let a docile cross slip from his grasp allowing Daniel Fox to net, spoilt Arsene Wenger’s team talk with the score at 4-1.
The second half started with the visitors looking to overturn hurt pride and Arsenal easing off the accelerator.
Much vaunted Saints striker Rickie Lambert missed a golden opportunity to boost his side’s shot confidence just after break and it was downhill from there for the South Coast outfit
Gervinho on 71 minutes, after good work by sub Aaron Ramsey, made it 5-1 and former Southampton player Theo Walcott, with a tidy curling effort just before the final whistle, wrapped up the scoring.
Creative midfield player Santi Cazorla is a real capture for the Gunners. The new Arsenal man looks a steal at just £15m.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson said of the talented Spaniard: “They have pinched him. He is creative, two-footed and has everything about him.
“I do think Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, will also be good. Arsenal will be a force, there is no doubt about it. They have Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna to come back.”
Southampton have faced champions Manchester City, top-flight runners-up Manchester United and a rampant Arsenal in what has been a tricky return to the big time; and now have no points. Their season will get easier from here on in.
As for Arsenal, there is a feelgood factor at present despite the painful loss of goal scorer supreme and talisman Robin van Persie.
There are new heroes being discovered if the start of campaign, and this match in particular, is anything to go by.