Arsenal Slip to Second Place After Mid Week Fixtures
Arsenal lost their lead at the top of the Premier League following their draw at Southampton. Their one point lead over Manchester City was eradicated on Wednesday when City crushed Tottenham for the second time this season, this time at White Hart Lane.
Chelsea also played on Wednesday, but were unable to capitalise on Arsenal‘s dropped points, only managing a 0-0 draw with cellar dwellers West Ham.
Arsenal apparently arrived late at the Southampton ground after being caught in traffic on Tuesday and it seemed like most of the team were not mentally prepared for the game. They played probably their worst half of football this season and were lucky to go in at half time only one goal down.
They came out with renewed enthusiasm in the second half and Olivier Giroud got on the end of a Bacary Sagna cross / shot to even the scoreline in the 48th minute. Only two minutes later, the in form, Santi Cazorla gave Arsenal the lead with a superb shot with the outside of his left foot.
But this was not to be Arsenal‘s night and Southampton evened the score again only two minutes later through Lallana, who put away Rodriguez‘s cut back.
Ozil and Monreal both missed chances to put Arsenal back in front while Rodrigez was denied by Szczesney.
To make matters worse for Arsenal, going into a crammed fixture list in February where they meet Liverpool and Manchester United, Flamini was sent off for a two footed tackle and will receive a three match ban.
Man City took advantage of the Arsenal slip up in a big way, beating Tottenham 5-1 at their own ground. Having already lost 5-0 to Liverpool at home and 6-0 to Man City at their ground, it is hard to believe Tottenham are hanging onto to 5th place in the league with a negative goal difference.
Liverpool beat cross town rivals Everton 4-0 on Tuesday to stay in 4th place and still in touch with the leading three.
Arsenal play Crystal Palace on Sunday and should pick up all three points, unless they play two halves of football like the first at Southampton on Tuesday.
Manchester City play Chelsea on Monday and it is hard to see anything but a City victory based on their recent home form.
By Max Power