Arsenal kept their Champions League hopes alive as they moved up to fifth place with a 2-0 win over Southampton at St Mary's on Wednesday.
- Southampton 0 Arsenal 2
- Cech denies Gabbiadini and Redmond
- Sanchez breaks deadlock after break
- Gabbiadini spurns chance to equalise
- Giroud seals victory late on
The Saints had the better chances in the first half, but Petr Cech ensured the score remained deadlocked at the break, but Arsene Wenger's side upped the ante in the second half to score twice and close the gap on the top-four to three points with three games remaining in the season.
Both teams made a slow start as the game lacked any sort of intensity in the opening 15 minutes the visitors were presented with a chance when Aaron Ramsey fired wide at the near post after being picked out in space by Mesut Ozil.
But the Gunners were wasteful in possession as they gave the ball away in the final third on numerous occasions, and they were almost made to pay on 31 minutes when the ball broke for Manolo Gabbiadini after Dusan Tadic had been tackled by Shkodran Mustafi, but Cech was quickly off his line to deny the Italian striker one-on-one.
Gabbiadini then curled a free-kick inches past the right post from 25 yards out in the 40th minute, and Nathan Redmond drew a superb save out of Cech with his rasping 30-yard strike two minutes later.
Alexis Sanchez was one of the main offenders for the Gunners in the first half with his sloppy passing, but the Chilean forward brought his A-game after the break.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 10, 2017
Ozil played a defence-splitting pass for Sanchez, who left Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens on the turf with a dazzling turn before beating the advancing Fraser Forster on the hour mark.
Claude Puel's men had opportunities to get back into the contest, but Gabbiadini failed to make contact with a cross at the near post on 77 minutes with just Cech to beat, before Sofiane Boufal danced his way through four players on the top of the D and spoiled his fine skill with a poor shot that went wide of the goal.
The north Londoners sealed the win seven minutes from time when Sanchez floated in a cross towards the far post for Ramsey, who cushioned a header back across goal where Olivier Giroud was left with a simple tap-in.