Southampton's apparent recent inferioritycomplex (at least results' wise) to the so called "big clubs" waswashed away as they deservedly beat the mighty Arsenal 2-0 at St Mary's.

Theresult reinforces the Saints' Champions League qualification pedigree and onceagain casts doubt on Arsenal's defensive solidity. Manager Arsene Wenger seems(outwardly) to reject the need for new recruits, especially at the back, duringthe January transfer window, but surely he is not oblivious to where theirmajor issues lie.  Defensive slip ups cost them dear for the umpteenthtime this campaign against Southampton.

Howthey must secretly wish they had called in their apparent first refusal on the returning(to England) Cesc Fabregas, who has instead lit up Chelsea's title charge thisseason, providing the ammunition for the ravenous Diego Costa to flourish upfront with his leading assists' count.

GrazianoPelle could have scored early on for the Saints with a header that drifted justwide. Sadio Mane was less profligate as he used the slight breeze in the 34thminute to curl a delightful chip into the net from an almost impossible angle,after running into the channel and beyond the defence, but was aided by thekeeper, Wojciech Szczesny rushing from his line to present an opportunity toshoot in the first instance. 

In thesecond half, Alexis Sanchez powerful shot was saved brilliantly by FraserForster to maintain the home side's lead.

Saintsmade the points safe when Dusan Tadic scored in the 56th minute, stabbing homeafter Szczesny had kicked an initial effort out as his defenders struggled toclear the ball. Saintswere denied a third when Mathieu Debuchy headed off the line after another defensivemix up by the Gunners.

Sanchezalmost got a goal back for Arsenal from a free-kick late on as his shot justcleared the bar, but Southampton were well worth the win that keeps them fourthin the table.

Arsenal not only missed the opportunity to break into theChampions League places, but even more galling for their fans saw Tottenhamleapfrog above them into fifth place. Wenger will have much to ponder on thismorning.