Southampton withstands Arsenal onslaught to get draw – Fitnessnacks & Sports

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    Southampton and Arsenal played out a heart-stopping 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Friday. The Premier League leaders have now drawn each of their last three games. Southampton had a late two-goal lead on the night but threw it away in added time.

    The two teams entered the match in completely contrasting situations. Regardless of the outcome on the night, Arsenal sits atop the Premier League standings, narrowly ahead of reigning champions Manchester City. Southampton, on the other hand, was bottom of the table at the beginning of the day and the end.

    Saints start fast in north London

    Nevertheless, the visitors were, incredibly, on the scoresheet within 30 seconds of the game. England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made a horrendous mistake to allow Southampton a glorious opportunity. In an attempt to pass the ball out from the back, Ramsdale instead gave the ball straight to Carlos Alcaraz. The Argentine attacker gathered the ball and quickly took the shot from distance to beat a diving Ramsdale.

    Southampton doubled its lead in the 14th minute at the hands of former Gunner Theo Walcott. After yet another giveaway, this time in midfield, Alcaraz collected the ball in a dangerous position. Then, he ran towards a retreating Arsenal defense. Alcaraz went from scorer to provider, as he played in an onrushing Walcott with a beautiful pass through the backline. Walcott quite easily slotted the shot into the back of the net.

    The Gunners finally woke up and responded to Walcott’s strike with a goal just six minutes later. Star winger Bukayo Saka made a fantastic run down the right flank and sent a cross into a dangerous area inside Southampton’s box. The ball eventually made its way to Gabriel Martinelli in the center of the area. Martinelli converted his shot through the Saints’ defense to cut the deficit to 2-1.

    After a frantic opening 20 minutes, the match settled. Although both teams had a few solid chances to score yet again, the first half ended with three goals. Ramsdale redeemed himself a bit with two quality saves in back-to-back seconds. Arsenal also had a ball cleared off the line by a Saints defender just before the break.

    Visitors add a third to put the game away

    Southampton would, however, grab their third goal of the game in the 66th minute. Fully against the grain, the visitors were able to capitalize after earning a corner kick. James Ward-Prowse picked out Armel Bella-Kotchap inside the box, who then flicked a header toward Duje Ćaleta-Car. The substitute beyond Ramsdale in goal.

    Arsenal scores twice late against Southampton to force draw

    While it looked like a certain loss for Arsenal, the hosts were able to get back into the game with two late goals. Martin Odegaard grabbed his 12th goal of the current campaign with only two minutes remaining in regular time. The usual playmaker struck a perfect curling shot into the back of the net from outside of the box. Saka then scored a goal of his own in added time. The star England international latched onto a loose ball inside the six-yard box and leveled the scoreline with a meticulous finish.

    At the least, the draw may give the Gunners a bit of morale boost. In the grand scheme, though, the result does not help either side. Southampton remains in the basement of the top flight. Arsenal, on the other hand, is now five points ahead of City. However, the reigning champs have two extra games in hand.

    The top two teams also have to face off next week. The matchup in Manchester could very well help determine the league champions.

    PHOTO: IMAGO / Colorsport

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