A lacklustre Arsenal bowed out of the EFL Cup at the hands of a spirited Southampton side. Arsenal lost the match 2-0 at the Emirates courtesy of two first half goals from Clasie and Bertrand. Southampton progress to the Semi-finals of the competition.
Manager Arsene Wenger, who has never won this competition during his 20-year reign in north London, had made 10 changes to the Arsenal team which beat Bournemouth 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday and paid the price. The visitors dominated the early exchanges and the goal came on 13th minute when Clasie’s venomous strike beat Martinez. They made it 2-0 as Ryan Bertrand was given time to shoot inside the area.
Arsenal were below par and not good enough at all. Iwobi and Reine Adelaide looked bright but didn’t have the conviction in their final passes. Lucas Perez also was another peripheral individual in the game as it was one of those days for the Gunners. Chamberlain’s introduction in the second half improved Arsenal’s quality but Ox missed a telling opportunity in the final quarter and summed up the dismal Arsenal performance as they suffer their 5th defeat in the last 6 quarter final ties of the EFL Cup.
Arsenal vs Southampton Line-up:
Arsenal: Martinez; Jenkinson(Maitland-Niles), Gabriel, Holding, Gibbs; Coquelin, Elneny(Xhaka); Iwobi, Ramsey, Reine-Adelaide(Oxlade Chamberlain); Perez
Southampton: Forster; Martina, Yoshida, Van Djik, Bertrand; Clasie, Reed(Hojberg), Davis, Mcqueen, Boufal(Sims); Long
Arsenal vs Southampton Manager Words:
Arsene Wenger: “I regret that we lost the game. We had played well until now. If you look at the players who played well, some of those who did not play were on the edge.
“In midfield we had Coquelin, Ramsey, Elneny, Xhaka, Perez… Giroud was injured. We had Iwobi, one of the regular players in the first team.
“The problem wasn’t there. We had players who are used to top-level competition. But we didn’t have the right urgency.
“I’m disappointed. We had a disappointing performance, particularly in the first half.”
Claude Puel: “It was a great performance because this game was a different profile. We were clinical in the first half, with two goals from two chances. I like this.
“After, in the second half, we had many chances to score another goal and make the game safe against a good team.
“It was a fantastic game to achieve that result: good solidarity, good attitude. I enjoyed what my players did.”
Arsenal vs Southampton Highlights: