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Geregistreerd op: 10 Apr 2017
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10-04-2018 03:44:52    Onderwerp: Reageren met citaat

It was a game of great saves and awful defending, of fine attacking play and gripping twists in the narrative, and there was a redemptive ending for the enduring frustration that is Danny Welbeck. The drama was relentless and for neutrals there was the bonus of seeing the contest descend into chaos after Jack Wilshereís clash with Jack Stephens in added time.

Yet Southampton departed with an empty feeling. They had teased their supporters with the rarity of a Shane Long goal and their pursuit of an equaliser during the second half had yielded a reward when Charlie Austin, who had entered the fray moments earlier, cancelled out Arsenalís lead with his first touch in the 73rd minute.
A precious point was there to be snaffled and, having ruined their first league game under Mark Hughes with a wretched collapse against West Ham last Saturday, that unfamiliar sensation Southampton were experiencing was a surge of optimism.
Yet the speed with which it was replaced by despair encapsulates why their hold on their Premier League status remains so uncertain. They had been level for eight minutes when Dusan Tadic allowed Alex Iwobi to cross for Welbeck, who had just produced a contender for miss of the season, to rise above Cťdric Soares and head home Arsenalís winner. ďAt that point you need to have clarity of thought to make sure you take something out of the game,Ē Hughes said.
There are six games left for Southampton, who are three points below 17th-placed Crystal Palace, and Welbeckís second goal was the cue for a loss of composure from Stephens, who accepted the bait when he felt Wilshere nibbling at him. Wilshere was in full wind-up-merchant mode as Southampton attacked and the frustration was too much for Stephens to bear.
It was a naive reaction and the way the centre-back lashed out left Andre Marriner with no option but to send him off. Mohamed Elneny would follow him down the tunnel Ė ArsŤne Wenger suggested Arsenal could appeal against the Egyptian midfielderís dismissal for pushing Soares Ė but the damage was already done.
ďWilshere should have been sent off,Ē Hughes said. ďJack Stephens has reacted to being pulled back for about 20 yards. Itís not correct but itís understandable. But if youíre going to send Jack off, you have to send Wilshere off for bouncing up. I thought I saw a definite movement with his knee towards Jack.Ē
Wilshere escaped with a booking and Hughes was left to reflect on Southamptonís failure to take advantage of opponents whose minds were elsewhere for long spells. The visitors began with a cautious 5-4-1 system, with the return of Oriol Romeu giving the midfield a steelier look and Long foraging on his own up front. Yet they had players who could trouble for Arsenal on the break and James Ward-Prowse Youth jersey had an early effort hacked off the line by Hťctor BellerŪn.
The opening stemmed from an error from Shkodran Mustafi, who was an accident waiting to happen in the heart of Arsenalís defence, and Southamptonís reward arrived in the 17th minute. Sead Kolasinac allowed Soares to squeeze in a cross from the byline and Long nipped in front of the motionless Mustafi to prod Johnny Gaudreau Jersey his second goal in 46 appearances beyond the exasperated Petr Cech.
Wengerís decision to rest seven players before his sideís trip to CSKA Moscow for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday demonstrated where Arsenalís priorities lie. Their challenge for a place in the top four is all but over.
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