After win at Saints, ‘dynamic’ Arsenal aim to march into the top four
Second-half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud put Gunners just three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City
10 May, 2017 — By Steve Barnett
Alexis Sanchez put Arsenal ahead when he wrong-footed two defenders before calmly slotting the ball past Fraser Forster
SOUTHAMPTON 0, ARSENAL 2
ARSENAL’S hopes of securing a top-four finish are alive and kicking after second-half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud earned a 2-0 victory at Southampton last night (Wednesday).
After a lacklustre first half, Sanchez sparked the game into life with a moment of magic when he wrong-footed two defenders in the box before calmly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Fraser Forster. Substitute Giroud made the game safe three minutes after coming off the bench when he headed home from close range following good work from Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey.
The result leaves the Gunners three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, and four points behind third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand.
After seeing Arsenal follow up Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United with another well-fought 2-0 win at St Mary’s, manager Arsene Wenger was quick to praise his “dynamic” side.
“We were fully focused and I felt that when we suffered we stuck together,” said the Frenchman.
“We worked hard, and we have another clean sheet.
“I know we can go forward and score goals. The whole team was dynamic, focused and showed a convincing desire to win the game.”
With another tricky away day coming up on Saturday, when the north Londoners travel to Stoke, goalkeeper Petr Cech says that the Gunners will do everything that they can to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
“We are aware we need to win all our remaining games to be in the race for the Champions League. Every game we try to give ourselves that chance,” he said.
“We shot ourselves in the foot against Tottenham when we lost 2-0. But on Sunday we had a big win against United and now at Southampton, where historically we haven’t done that well in the league.
“It was tough in the first half but then we found the opening goal and settled into the game. We deserved to win.”
ARSENAL: Cech, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Bellerin, 36), Gibbs, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil (Coquelin, 89), Sanchez, Welbeck (Giroud, 80).
Substitutes not used: Ospina, Gabriel, Iwobi, Walcott.