Arsenal Away Lost 3 – 0
Against Brighton, Harry Lewis dutifully sat on the bench although McCarthy had clearly not convinced even himself of his fitness, in spite of a lengthy injury break opportunity to change things. He was in a similar position at Arsenal where Southampton fielded a keeper not too far off twice his age – nice work, if you can get it. This was Willie Caballero, of course, and the desperate new acquisition did about as well as a 40-year-old would be expected to do: a couple of decent saves, but also at fault for two goals. Despite a patched up team badly missing suspended Salisu and Romeu, the opening exchanges were so familiar, with Saints nicely on top, and Adam Armstrong troubling Ramsdale, but then Arsenal played through the visiting team’s press and found themselves up against a defensive line strung across the pitch like a bar football team, and nowhere near close enough to breakaway forwards who included Lacazette who rarely spurns a chance to score against us. Ralph rightly bemoans going behind, but that doesn’t mean having to give up, which is how much of the remaining 70 minutes felt. Tierney managed to get the ball into the middle at the third time of asking and Ødegaard beat Caballero with a tepid header to give Arsenal a healthy two goal half time cushion. The manager’s troubles included misreading the London weather but he changed things at the break, now sporting a heavy coat over his sensible winter three-piece (and no disco shoes either). On the pitch, Willie was lucky not to be punished for missing a cross as Gabriel was found to be offside when he poked the ball home; no such reprieve a couple of minutes later when Gabriel Magalhäes (no, not Jimmy) headed straight in with Caballero stranded. After that, the goalpost proved to be our best defender, denying both Martinelli and Sako, before Lyanco came on for the closing stages. That represented the end of our attackers, with Broja the latest to limp off after Adam Armstrong had failed to see out the opening half. It didn’t stop Saints rattling up their on target shots, and they finished with six – one more than Arsenal, as hitting the post doesn’t count. Our team managed eleven shots overall and also forced eight corners, but somehow it didn’t feel like that sort of game.
LSSC Man of the Match : Nathan Redmond, clearly our best player.