Southampton vs. Arsenal: Premier League Live Score, Highlights, Recap
Theo Walcott's return to St. Mary's will be considered an unsuccessful one as both he and fellow former Saint, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, were almost ineffective against a resurgent Southampton side.
Despite the Gunners dominance of the first 10 minutes, the two teams fought out a very open encounter for the majority of the game, although a goal-laden four minutes provided pretty much all of the genuine scoring chances.
Some questionable Arsenal defending got Gaston Ramirez's 2013 off to a fine start but the Uruguayan's opener was cancelled out just several minutes later by a Guly Do Prado own-goal.
Arsenal Starting XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski; Walcott
Arsenal Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Gervinho, Giroud
Scorers: Do Prado O.G. (41')
Southampton Starting Xi: Boruc, Cork, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Davis, Guly, Ramírez, Lambert
Southampton Subs: K.Davis, Hooiveld, Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse, Richardson, Mayuka, De Ridder
Scorers: Ramirez (38')
Arsenal's run of four consecutive wins comes to an end at St. Mary's as a very resolute Southampton team hold the Gunners in the final Premier League fixture of the day.
Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both made their names with the south coast club and it's a nice touch to see the home supporters praise their former youngster, chanting "Theo" as the 23-year-old makes the rounds.
Arsenal remain in 5th place and are now four points behind Chelsea while Southampton will be pleased with a very much earned point.
90'+3—S'TON 1-1 ARS
The Arsenal defence is the busier one in these dying minutes and even Gervinho is back, helping to clear the pressure being heaped on this Gunners outfit.
90'+3—S'TON 1-1 ARS
The home crowd go into a chorus of "When the Saints Go Marching In" as they sense the incoming point that's just one minute away.
A deserved point, at that.
90'+1—S'TON 1-1 ARS
We'll have three minutes of extra time here and it's very much a case of "next goal's the winner" at St. Mary's.
90'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Giroud shows just what he brings to the table that Walcott doesn't, chesting a floated pass down with ease, despite great pressure from the Saints defence.
Yoshida does well to prevent the striker winning a corner, clearing the ball for a throw-in.
88'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Jason Puncheon does excellently to get away from his marker before jinking his way past Kieran Gibbs in the Arsenal area.
However, the former Blackpool man's fired effort is directly at Wojciech Szczesny, giving the Pole little hassle.
Puncheon could have shot anywhere else from the right-hand side and it would have been a goal there.
86'—YELLOW CARD (De Ridder)
Clearly up for this game, Steve de Ridder goes into Probert's book just minutes after coming on.
Ramsey and Gervinho effectively reduce us to 9 men.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 1, 2013
That's both goal scorers off now and Guly Do Prado is replaced by Steve de Ridder.
83'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Admirably, Southampton are far from "parking the bus" and evidently feel that they can pinch something from this disappointing Arsenal side.
The Saints midfield have been a constant source of chances this evening.
81'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Just 10 minutes to go for Arsenal to find that little something extra and continue their Premier League romp.
79'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Upon further review, we can confirm that the disallowed Ramirez goal was not an offside decision but was given for a push on Laurent Koscielny.
Gaston Ramirez, the scorer of the Southampton opener, has come off for James Ward-Prowse.
Arsene Wenger makes the use of his two remaining substitutes, putting Aaron Ramsey on in the place of Santi Cazorla while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won't get the chance to finish against his old club, being taken off for Gervinho.
While his brain might be as sharp as ever, Rickie Lambert's legs are not and the veteran is replaced by the much more spritely Jay Rodriguez.
72'—RAMIREZ PUTS THE BALL IN THE NET!!!
However, it won't stand as Lee Probert notices a raised offside flag to deflate the St. Mary's crowd.
Gaston Ramirez is judged to be past the last defender, but is actually onside and the goal should have counted after review. Nigel Adkins will feel quite aggrieved at that come full time, you can guarantee.
70'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Following some laughable mishaps earlier in the game, Artur Boruc does well to get his body behind a Theo Walcott sighter, reaching low to stop the Arsenal attacker's powerful shot.
68'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Southampton now having the majority of the pressure it seems and the St. Mary's crowd are getting right behind their team.
Saints defence not feeling any impact from that Giroud replacement just yet.
65'—YELLOW CARD (Schneiderlin)
The first player to be booked today is Schneiderlin after he brings Santi Cazorla down near halfway.
63'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Arsenal are let off the hook after Schneiderlin slips just as he winds up to pounce on a shaky Szczesny save just eight yards out from the Gunners goal.
The introduction of Giroud says that Arsenal are going for the jugular here, but the Saitns pose a very real threat going forward, even if they aren't great at the back.
Walcott moved wide to accomodate Giroud and first act is a dreadful cross over the bar. Definitely a centre-forward then....— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) January 1, 2013
That tactical change talked about earlier is indeed being put into effect as Lukas Podolski comes off for Olivier Giroud.
55'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Szczesny is cool as a cucumber as he calmly passes the ball about his defence, despite having an onrushing Rickie Lambert coming straight at him.
The Arsenal stopper then does well to tip a Do Prado effort wide as it was firing just inside Arsenal's right post.
One of the Polish goalkeepers definitely having a better day than the other at St. Mary's.
52'—S'TON 1-1 ARS
Ramirez and Wilshere clash once more, but this time the Southampton man goes a little further north and is pulled up for kicking the young Gunner in the face while challenging for a pass.
Accidentally, of course.
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