It’s time for another trip down memory lane, and while this game only happened twelve months ago, it’ll feel like it’s a million miles away for Arsenal fans. This time last year, the Gunners defeated Southampton 2-0 to ensure that their faint hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League were kept alive. Unlike this year, where there’s just one game remaining, Arsenal still had three games remaining to try and make up some ground on Manchester City due to the fact that last season didn’t have a World Cup right around the corner in the summer.
Arsenal fans out there will be happy to know that justice has been served, as BBC Sport reports that midfielder Mohamed Elneny’s red card has been overturned following an appeal.
In what is probably one of the quickest returns from an appeal in Premier League history, the Premier League confirmed that the Egyptian’s dismissal was “wrong” for what was judged to be violent conduct. The 25-year-old was sent to a not so early shower in injury time, with the incident stemming from a confrontation with Southampton defender Cedric.
Arsenal and England striker Danny Welbeck seems to not know if he wants to be brilliant or brilliantly rubbish. The former Manchester United striker scored the winner in the Gunners 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday.
However, he also contrived to miss an absolute sitter from close-range against the Saints too. The performance against the relegation-threatened team from the south coast summed his career up.
Can be a threat
Danny Welbeck has many good attributes. The forward is quick, good with his feet and will work hard for the team. He never hides, even when he has missed the easiest of chances.
On Sunday afternoon, Danny Welbeck bagged a brace for Arsenal against Southampton in a thrilling game, which saw both teams reduced to ten men.
Southampton offered the first threat on goal on seven minutes. Dusan Tadic got in behind the Gunners defence and pulled the ball back to James Ward-Prowse, who hit a rather tame effort towards goal that Hector Bellerin cleared near the goal line.
The Saints took the lead on 17 minutes. Wing-back Cedric dug out a cross and striker Shane Long poked home at the near post. The home side struggled to create anything until the equaliser arrived on 28 minutes.
On Sunday afternoon, Arsenal host relegation-threatened Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are currently sixth-place in the table and a top-four finish now looks well beyond Arsene Wenger’s team. However, the Gunners have been in decent form of late, winning their last five games in all competitions, having scored at least two goals in all five of the victories.
The north London side has also won their last two Premier League games 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium. One of the positives, as always it seems with Arsenal is their home record.
Arsene Wenger has provided updates regarding the availability of several players for the the game at the Emirates against Southampton on Sunday.
It seems Henrikh Mkhitaryan might be out for a long time. The Armenian was subbed off after an hour of the Europe League game against CSKA Moscow on Thursday, and the manager says there might be damage to his medial knee ligament. Therefore, it’s impossible to say at this point how long his absence will last, but more will be revealed soon. Let’s hope the fear is proven needless.
As we approach the final few months of the season, it’s clear to see that Arsenal aren’t going to be making much noise in the Premier League as opposed to the Europa League. With that being said, they’ve still got some fascinating matches left which could set the tempo for their entire 2018/19 campaign and beyond.
Some fans may see these matches as a little bit useless considering the Gunners’ position, but they’ve still got something left to fight for. If they do crash out of Europe then they’ll need to ensure they finish strong domestically, with these three games, in particular, looking like must wins for Arsene Wenger’s men.
Arsenal’s home game against the relegation-threatened Southampton this season was initially scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 7th, but it was later moved to Monday evening in order to enable live coverage by Sky television.
Now, due to Arsenal playing a Europa League game against CSKA in Moscow the following Thursday, it has been rescheduled again. It will be played on Sunday, April 8th, kicking off at 2:15 PM.
Having previously sacked Mauricio Pellegrino, the Saints have appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager. How much sense exactly it makes to sack a manager for being involved in a relegation battle only to hire a manager that has already been sacked elsewhere for the same reason (Stoke City) remains to be seen.
According to Sky Sports, Arsenal and England forward Theo Walcott has completed a medical and agreed personal with Everton ahead of a £20million move to Merseyside.
Former club Southampton were also reportedly interested in signing the winger. However, it seems that the 28-year-old will be plying his trade on Merseyside in the near future.
Surplus to requirements at Arsenal
There is no question that Walcott is surplus to requirements at Arsenal. The fact that he has failed to start a Premier League game this season illustrates that perfectly. He was a regular in the cup competitions in Arsene Wenger’s fringe teams.
Arsenal are reportedly holding out for £30 million for winger Theo Walcott as rumours surrounding his future continue to gather pace. This huge price-tag is despite the fact Walcott has barely featured for the Premier League side this season.
Arsenal’s last league game ended in a pulsating 2-2 draw with Chelsea as the two London clubs played out one of the games of the season so far. The draw was one the fans will be largely contented with as the Gunners came very close to finishing the game with nothing.