Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise for his side after they romped to victory in the FA Cup fourth round against Southampton. Saturday evening’s fixture was flagged as a potential upset given Arsenal were travelling to St Mary’s and Southampton were coming off the back of three consecutive wins in all competitions. But the Gunners made light work of their Premier League counterparts and Wenger was delighted with every player at full time.
Arsenal’s returning forward Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick against his former side Southampton as the Gunners delivered a demolition job in Saturday evening’s FA Cup fourth round clash. Danny Welbeck scored the other two goals on the night, both in the first-half, but Walcott takes the match ball and grabs the headlines after his ruthless showing in front of goal.
Dominant throughout, and taking real advantage of a weakened Southampton side, Arsenal took the lead in the 15th minute through Welbeck. Lucas Perez played a brilliant one-touch through ball in behind the Saints defence and Welbeck expertly chipped young Harry Lewis in goal to open the scoring.
On Saturday evening Arsenal visit resurgent Premier League rivals Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Southampton had become known as one of the most inconsistent teams in the Premier League this season. However, four wins in their last five outings in all competitions has lifted spirits among Saints fans. In fact, the Saints have won their last three home games, without conceding a goal.
The Saints will be buoyed by a 1-0 win at Liverpool in the semi-final second leg of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, which saw Claude Puel’s side make it through to the final of the competition.
Arsenal travel to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday evening. The Gunners are in fine form, coming off the back of three consecutive wins in all competitions. But given Southampton recently dispatched of Liverpool to reach the EFL Cup final, while beating Arsenal in the earlier round, could they prove to be a tricky cup opponent this weekend?
Arsene Wenger’s men have gone six games without defeat, winning five and drawing one in the Premier League and FA Cup. The Gunners’ away form has been impressive too, seeing past Preston North End (FA Cup) and Swansea City (Premier League) on their travels in recent weeks, but the manager isn’t taking anything or granted.
Various reports are hinting that Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck could lead the line from the start against Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday. The 26-year-old has recently recovered from a lengthy knee injury and has been given cameo appearances in recent weeks to help build up his match fitness. He could be making his first start since April this weekend too.
Manager Arsene Wenger is said to be considering throwing Welbeck into the mix for the trip to Southampton as the stiff competition for places for the Premier League fixtures is likely to see him missing out most weeks. But with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud expected to be rested this weekend, it gives the chance for fringe players Welbeck and Lucas Perez to come into the side and prove their worth.
Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat against Southampton in the EFL Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger decided to field a weakened team as now the custom in the League Cup for the Gunners.
In truth, Arsenal produced a lacklustre display without the star names of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in particular. The defeat was hardly a surprise considering the team that was fielded.
Struggled to impress
However, the performance was particularly poor. Hardly any of the outfield players impressed against a Southampton side that showed nine changes from their starting line-up from the win weekend win over Everton.
Arsenal exited the EFL Cup at the quarter-final stage on Wednesday night, as Southampton defeated the Gunners 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
The visitors opened the scoring with the first real attempt on goal on 13 minutes. Sofiane Boufal saw an effort blocked but the ball fell to Dutch midfielder Jordy Clasie on the edge of the area and the former Feyenoord star struck the ball first time into the right side of the net.
Arsenal came back into the game slightly but failed to real threaten the Saints goal. The visitors were attempting to hit the Gunners on the counter-attack, although they too struggled to represent a real threat on goal.
Arsenal welcome Southampton at the Emirates Stadium in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup tonight, and are favourites to come out on top to progress to the last four.
The Gunners are in decent form ahead of their meeting with Southampton and will fancy their chances with home advantage and bragging rights from their win earlier in the season.
Arsenal are coming off the back of six wins and four draws from their last 10 games in all competitions, having picked up points against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain recently. The Gunners have beaten Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Reading in the third round and last-16 respectively to make it this far in the competition, and will reach the semis if they can edge to victory.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has been ruled out of Wednesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final meeting with Southampton with a hamstring injury. The French international noticed a twinge shortly after coming on in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth and subsequently exacerbated the injury by playing on it.
It’s a blow for the player himself as he would have featured against Southampton this week given the lack of starts afforded to him in the Premier League this season. But now Giroud is officially ruled out of the game at the Emirates Stadium, Lucas Perez looks set to lead the line after recovering from his own recent injury.
Arsenal host Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.
Arsenal are on an unbeaten run of 19 games in all competitions after a 3-1 home win against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday, with Alexis Sanchez scoring a brace and Theo Walcott also getting on the scoresheet.
Sanchez is the Gunners top scorer with eight goals, but looks unlikely to feature in this clash as boss Arsene Wenger normally fields a weakened side in the League Cup.