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

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

How they 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 this season, providing the ammunition for the ravenous Diego Costa to flourish up front with his leading assists' count.

Graziano Pelle could have scored early on for the Saints with a header that drifted just wide. Sadio Mane was less profligate as he used the slight breeze in the 34th minute 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 the keeper, Wojciech Szczesny rushing from his line to present an opportunity to shoot in the first instance. 

In the second half, Alexis Sanchez powerful shot was saved brilliantly by Fraser Forster to maintain the home side's lead. Saints made the points safe when Dusan Tadic scored in the 56th minute, stabbing home after Szczesny had kicked an initial effort out as his defenders struggled to clear the ball. Saints were denied a third when Mathieu Debuchy headed off the line after another defensive mix up by the Gunners.

Sanchez almost got a goal back for Arsenal from a free-kick late on as his shot just cleared the bar, but Southampton were well worth the win that keeps them fourth in the table. Arsenal not only missed the opportunity to break into the Champions League places, but even more galling for their fans saw Tottenham leapfrog above them into fifth place. Wenger will have much to ponder on this morning.
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