Arsenal returned to winning ways after getting a vital 2-0 win away at Southampton. Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock scored the goals for the Gunners, who were largely comfortable in the game and deserved the three points.
Manager Mikel Arteta made a slight tweak to his system, by playing three at the back, with Kieran Tierney tucking in alongside Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding. That worked well as they held a dangerous Southampton team to very few chances.
At the other end, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the crossbar, before na Alex McCarthy howler allowed Nketiah to opened the scoring in the 20th minute.
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Around the 85th minute, Jack Stephens was sent off after making lunging tackle on Aubameyang, who would have been through on goal.
The subsequent free-kick from Alexandre Lacazette was blocked twice before Willock poached in from close range.
All in all, a satisfactory result for Arsenal after a wobbly restart to their season. Here’s how we rated their players:
Emiliano Martinez - 7
A clean sheet for Martinez on his first league start in a while. He didn’t have a lot of saves to make, but he made a couple of smart stops to deny any inroads for the Saints.
Hector Bellerin - 5
We are still waiting for Bellerin’s best to come out since the restart. The right-back has looked short on form and confidence. Some of his touches and movements up and down the pitch don’t seem on point.
Shkodran Mustafi - 7
Was booked early on for a clumsy tackle on Danny Ings, but recovered well and defended his area nicely. He made a couple of vital interceptions late on to keep a clean sheet.
Rob Holding - 8
Holding was brilliant from start to finish. He was dominant in the air, read the game well and passed the ball with great purpose. A good outing from the Englishman.
Kieran Tierney - 7
Tucked in as a third centre-back today and looked very comfortable there. His passing was precise and the defensive actions were decisive most times. Arteta may just continue with this shape for the upcoming games.
Subbed off in the second half after limping a bit.
Bukayo Saka - 8
Another game where Saka was lively and always looking forward. He was playing in a left wing-back role, but was immaculate going forward and created some good chances. Should have had an assist late on when he played in a glorious ball for Lacazette.
Granit Xhaka - 8
Back in the team after injury, Xhaka considerably improved the Arsenal midfield and had a good game. His long-range passing was superb, along with his ability to break up play.
Dani Ceballos - 4
Another game where Ceballos struggled to have much impact positively. His passing was slow and naive, he struggled to cover a lot of ground and the intensity levels weren’t very high.
Subbed off with 10 minutes left in the game.
Nicolas Pepe - 5
A quiet day at the office for Pepe, who tried to take on defenders and create moments in the final third, but didn’t get a lot of joy. A disappointing cross after a quick counter-attack epitomised his game. Got a telling off from Bellerin for not pressing a Southampton player.
Subbed off after the hour mark.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 8
A selfless and dedicated performance from the captain, who always made the right runs in behind and should have scored in the 10th minute with one of those runs.
Setup Nketiah with a good chance which he missed, forced Stephens into making a tackle worthy of a red card and was involved till the final whistle.
Eddie Nketiah - 7
Pressed McCarthy well to get an open goal tap-in for himself. However, he missed a couple of good opportunities, especially the one set up by Aubameyang. He ran, ran and ran without too much productivity.
Subbed off later on.
(SUB) Joe Willock - 7
Came on for Pepe and played on the right wing. Wasn’t involved a lot before settling the game with an instinctive finish.
(SUB) Sead Kolasinac - 6
Came on for Tierney and helped the defence keep a much-awaited clean sheet.
(SUB) Alexandre Lacazette - 6
His rebound free-kick forced McCarthy into an uncomfortable save which allowed Willock to score. Missed a great chance in stoppage time to make it 3-0.
(SUB) Ainsley Maitland-Niles- 5
Came on for the last 10 minutes and got some valuable minutes playing in central midfield.