S'hampton vs Arsenal Player Ratings

Arsenal were lucky to get a point against an impressive Southampton side after Tuesday's Barclays Premier League encounter ended in a 1-1 draw at a very slippery St Mary's.

Southampton vs Arsenal: Theo Walcott

After a 6-1 thrashing at the Emirates earlier in the season, Nigel Adkins got his tactics spot on as the Saints looked like the better team against Arsenal, who were supposed to be the better-rested side.

The home team had a bright start, closing down Arsenal at every given opportunity and all that hard work paid off in the 34th minute. Lukas Podolski was pressured into giving the ball away in his own half and a poor clearance cost the Gunners dear as the ball eventually fell to Gaston Ramirez, who calmly slotted home Southampton's opener. 

Unfortunately they could not go into the break with the advantage as Theo Walcott's free-kick ended up in the back of the net, compliments of Guilherme Do Prado who stabbed the ball past a helpless Artur Boruc.

Despite bringing on Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho, things did not improve for the Gunners after the restart and Southampton were still the better side and looked the most likely to steal the winner, although they ultimately had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Southampton

Artur Boruc - 6

The ex-Fiorentina man had a terrible start to the game as he was suffering from a serious case butterfingers but escaped unscathed.

His defenders ensured he didn't have much to do after the restart and his catching improved tremendously.

Maya Yoshida - 7

The tall Japanese had a very solid game and had an easy task of handling the runs of Arsenal's red-hot lone striker Theo Walcott, further enhancing the reputation of Asian footballers.

Jose Fonte - 7

Fonte gave a good account of himself as he read the game well and left nothing to chance. The Gunners were not fluid in their passing movement and had to resort to high balls, which he dealt with effortlessly.

Jack Cork - 6

His reaction time may be a little slow at times and although he did not offer much going forward, he kept things tight at the back and left Lukas Podolski cutting a frustrated figure down the flank.

Luke Shaw - 7.5

The young Shaw rose to the occasion against the other hot English prospect in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, matching him pace for pace.

He did an even better job when everyone thought he was going to be the weakest link after Walcott was deployed on the right. The big boys will surely be making a move on this man in the near future if he keeps this up.

Morgan Schneiderlin - 7

The silent performer for his team. Not the fanciest of footballers to watch but he broke down Arsenal's already-poor passing movement and kept pressing the visitors high up the pitch. Picked up the first booking of the game after a cynical tackle on Santi Cazorla.

Steven Davis - 6

The former Rangers player did not perform as well as his other team mates but stuck to his task religiously, chasing down every loose ball and ensuring no oppositiong player could dwell in possession for too long.

Guilherme Do Prado (83' off) - 7

Tried the direct approach early on but some players just do not have the gift in taking players on and he quickly realised that. It was really unfortunate that his overenthusiastic defending was telling touch in Arsenal's equaliser.

His unfortunate contribution was the third time the Saints have scored for Arsenal this season.

Jason Puncheon - 8

The willing runner in this Southampton side and had plenty of joy down the right for Southampton, making Gibbs look like an amateur footballer. The Saints could have got maximum points if he had taken his chances early in the game.

Rickie Lambert (74' off) - 7

Perfected his cushioned headers to bring his team mates into play, which terrorised the Arsenal defence.

His team-mates strongly believed he could win the 50-50 battles (which he did) and there were always options for a pass even before he leapt off the ground to challenge in the air.

Gaston Ramirez (77' off) - 7.5

Looked uncomfortable with the ball at times, but he fired his team into the lead, giving Szczesny no time to react to his shot. His finish for the "second goal" was even better but pity it was disallowed for a mixture of offside and a push on Laurent Koscielny.

Substitutions

Jay Rodriguez (74' on) - 6.5

The removal of Lambert changed the game to Arsenal's favour but fortunately for the home side it was not a costly substitution. His fresh legs injected some pace to the game but failed to deliver in the final third.

James Ward-Prowse (77' on)

N/A

Steve De Ridder (83' on)

N/A


Arsenal

Wojciech Szczesny - 6.5

Unlike Boruc, Szczesny's ball handling was flawless and he made a couple of stops to keep the score at one. In addition to the tricky playing surface, Szczesny also had to be on his toes as his defence was a total disappointment.

Bacary Sagna - 4

Had a game he would want to quickly erase form his memory banks as he was absolutely shambolic in defence. In addition to his hopeless defending, he lost the ball needlessly on numerous occasions in midfield and offered little going forward.

Thomas Vermaelen - 6.5

The only player who looked decent in the Gunner's back four but as a skipper he should have been more vocal given the mess his defence was in.

Laurent Koscielny - 5

Was always second best to the aerial balls against Lambert and must have breathed a huge sigh of relief when he was replaced.

Koscielny did however do well to find space in the opposition area when going forward, and would have been there to apply the finish even if Do Prado did not turn the ball into his own goal.

Kieran Gibbs - 4

Quick to get forward but nowhere to be seen when he was needed at the back. His defending was absolutely tragic and he was tortured by Puncheon from start to finish.

Mikel Arteta - 5

Lazy to run into space and make himself available when the visitors had possession, which explained why Southampton saw plenty of the ball especially in the first half.

His failure to help Podolski out on the left when he was closed down by three Southampton players resulted in the first goal. Did not hold his midfield together at all.

Jack Wilshere - 6.5

Another energetic midfield display from the young Englishman. Despite his misplaced passes and repeatedly running into trouble early on, he kept on going and showed great character.

With Arteta sitting deep and Cazorla drifting in and out of the game, the responsibility of bringing the ball forward rested on his young shoulders.

Lukas Podolski (58' off) - 4

Another quiet game for the German, who barely had a touch of the ball and was on the field merely to make the numbers. It was him who gave the ball away in his own half which eventually led to the opening goal as well.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (74' off) - 6

Could have done better in the game as he did not seem to have the confidence to take on Shaw. His crosses were decent but they counted for nothing as the only player to aim at in the penalty area was Walcott, which meant the short pass to someone else was a wiser option.

Santi Cazorla (74' off) - 6

Fatigue was the only factor that stood in the way of him making a difference in a game where Arsenal needed him the most. His midfield partnership with Wilshere looked promising though.

Theo Walcott - 4

Despite the hat-trick against Newcastle, he was virtually a bystander in the game and squandered the few counter attacks that Arsenal had with his sloppy play. Definitely not the return to St Mary's he had in mind.

Substitutions

Olivier Giroud (58' on) - 6.5

Offered some physical presence upfront which the visitors desperately needed. His hold up play and touches were good but that decisive pass from him was disappointing.

Aaron Ramsey (74' on) - 6

Looked pumped up and tried his best to make something happen, but you knew it was not going to be Arsenal's day when they could not even get a string of passes together and there was nothing much he could have done to change that.

Gervinho (74' on) - 4

His contributions in the last 15 minutes can be summarized in five words - "better off on the bench".



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