Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan put the game beyond Southampton within 18 minutes of the first half.
It wasn’t a vintage Arsenal display but three points on a day when Manchester United drew with Liverpool, was extremely welcome.
Southampton had chances early on and they will regret Redmond’s decision to take an extra touch, which allowed Leno the chance to close him down but in all honesty, they offered very little, even after a formation change.
Arsenal did enough to make it comfortable but they could have added to the total if they had just shown more precision and less haste. The Gunners looked more effective than they were because Southampton never really pushed hard enough to ask questions.
The early impact of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s arrival has passed and unless something changes soon, it’s Cardiff or the Saints who will be joining Huddersfield and Fulham in the championship next season.
The North London club just need to keep winning but this ‘Ozil business’ is becoming a distraction as Unai Emery continues to make life difficult for himself. We are now wondering why he made so much fuss to sign Denis Suarez when he never gets a game.
Here are the Player Ratings:
Leno – 7 – Continues to show that he was a wise investment and is a genuine heir to the David Seamen throne. Great save from Redmond early on.
Lichsteiner – 6 – Southampton never really put him to the test and therefore he looked reasonably content. Promising going forward and showed dashes of quality but he lacks what it takes.
Mustafi – 6 – Spent most of his time complaining about decisions going against him. Nearly caught out by Arsenal’s offside trap.
Sokratis – 7 – He’s glad to be back and so are Arsenal fans. Never happier than when he pinches the ball or upends the opposition.
Kolasinac – 8(MoM) – A bundle of energy, constantly looking for opportunities to get forward and was a constant threat. Probably his best performance in an Arsenal shirt. No one wanted it more.
Torriera – 6 – Dependable and secure, never really troubled during this encounter but he shows signs of wear and tear over a long season.
Xhaka – 6 – Not as good as his performance on Thursday against Bate and this is his problem, inconsistency. Stray pass nearly lead to a goal, lacks concentration in key areas.
Mkhitaryan – 7 – Another good performance from the Armenian. Created a goal, scored a goal. Fast becoming the unsung hero in the ranks.
Ramsey – 5 – Poor showing, nowhere near his best, looked totally off key and should have been subbed in the first half.
Iwobi – 8 – Fizzing with energy and purpose down the left flank.
He has had his share of flack but is always ready to give his best.
Twice the player he was under Wenger.
Lacazette – 8 – Could have had a hat trick. A constant threat to the Southampton goal with pace and ambition. One chance flew over the bar from three yards out and surprised everyone including the Frenchman.
Koscielny – 6 – No major contribution in either department.
Ozil – 7 – Has he taken Emery’s Wife out on a date or something? Continues to knock on the door without it ever being opened wide enough by his coach to get through. Showed little touches of class that kept Arsenal going. Can open up the game with a single touch.
Aubameyang – 7 – Worked well with Ozil and looked good but needs to be far more selfish when in front of goal. Nice work but not back to his best yet.
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