London Saints

Saints 1-1 Arsenal

Gaston Ramirez fires Saints in front against Arsenal

Gaston Ramirez fires Saints in front against Arsenal

Southampton’s team at the Britannia Stadium had been chosen to cope with Stoke’s hobnail approach, but something different was needed for the visit of the more aristocratic Arsenal, so out went Hooiveld and Rodriguez, with Ramirez returning and Cork switching to full back to cope with Walcott and Chamberlain in the continued absence of Clyne.

Out too went Davis, with mistakes in the last two difficult games catching up with him – the trouble with this came with Boruc returning, and proceeding to mis-handle every early cross that came his way.

That apart, and once Arsenal began to allow us a touch of the ball after an impressive beginning, there was little to chose between the sides, and eventually it was Saints who went ahead – Ramirez produced a clinical shot when the loose ball came his way following scrappy play by both teams.

It should have been enough to see us to half time at least, but Do Prado’s inadvertent precise finish to Walcott’s low free kick gifted the visitors an equaliser.

For most of the second half, a Southampton winner remained a possibility, but Szczeny managed to grab a rebound from Sagna and when Ramirez had the ball in the net for a second time, he found the linesman flagging after a move that never looked quite legal, although slow-mo TV replays cast some doubt on the decision. Then, of course, Nigel embarked on his substitution routines and handed the initiative to the Gunners for the closing stages – fortunately they were mis-firing.

LSSC Man of the Match: Morgan Schneiderlin, as even his most outspoken critic admitted he may have had a good game.

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