Southampton knocked holders Arsenal out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 fourth round victory over the Gunners at St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Southampton’s 24th minute opener proved to be the winner, as Kyle Walker-Peters’ teasing cross was diverted into his own net by Gabriel.
The Saints had largely dominated in the first period and were well worth their lead at the break, but Arsenal were much improved in the second half and had opportunities to equalise through Eddie Nketiah and Rob Holding. However the former blazed over and the latter saw his shot saved by the feet of Fraser Forster as Southampton stood firm and progressed into the FA Cup fifth round.
Let’s get into some player ratings
Fraser Forster (GK) – 6/10 – Hardly had a save to make for the first hour, but pulled off a big stop with his feet in the second half to keep out Nketiah.
Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) – 7/10 – His terrific teasing cross was turned into his own net by Gabriel as Southampton took the lead.
Jan Bednarek (CB) – 8/10 – Produced an important first half block to keep out a goal-bound Pepe effort, followed by a crucial interception to prevent Martinelli being played through on goal.
Jack Stephens (CB) – 7/10 – Southampton had to put in a more defensive shift in the second half, but Stephens cleared and headed anything that came his way.
Ryan Bertrand (LB) – 6/10 – Really energetic, willingly tearing forward down the left flank in the first half. Forced to sit deeper and stick diligently to his defensive duties in the second.
Stuart Armstrong (RM) – 6/10 – Distribution was really impressive, pulling off a couple of cross field diagonals and a neat first time pass to send Adams scurrying away in the second half.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – 8/10 – Clattered the crossbar in the opening exchanges with an in-swinging corner, before picking out Walker-Peters in the buildup to the Saints’ opener. Instrumental for Southampton – moved the ball smartly and harried the Gunners out of possession.
Ibrahima Diallo (CM) – 7/10 – Mopped up terrifically at the back on a number of occasions, notably in the second half with a burst of pace to dispossess Pepe.
Theo Walcott (LM) – 6/10 – Switched flanks with Armstrong on a couple of occasions. Looked sharp and lively, linked up well with Adams.
Danny Ings (ST) – 6/10 – Rattled the post early in the second half after beating the Arsenal backline for pace. Really sharp, instrumental in leading the Saints press.
Che Adams (ST) – 6/10 – Almost opened the scoring with a strong solo run, but was kept out by a low Leno save. Was replaced with 13 minutes remaining.
Dan N’Lundulu – 5/10
Shane Long – N/A
Bernd Leno (GK) – 6/10 – Got down quickly to deny Adams with a smart, reflex save in the first half.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – 6/10 – Got forward more frequently in the second half as Arsenal saw more of the ball, before being replaced on 70 minutes.
Rob Holding (CB) – 6/10 – Was presented with one of Arsenal’s most promising openings, but fired over from a corner in the second half.
Gabriel (CB) – 5/10 – Beaten too easily by Adams as the Southampton striker came close to opening the scoring, before turning Walker-Peters’ cross into his own net
Cedric Soares (LB) – 6/10 – Playing in a less familiar left-back role, bombed forward at every given opportunity and looked lively. Switched to right back when Bellerin came off.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – 5/10 – Caught on the ball on a couple of occasions by Southampton’s energetic press, unable to have a telling impact on the game.
Mohamed Elneny (CM) – 5/10 – Caught in possession deep inside his own half in the build up to Southampton’s opener. Replaced just before the hour mark.
Willian (CAM) – 5/10 – Looked more effective in the number 10 role when he got on the ball – but he drifted in and out of proceedings and the game largely passed him by.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – 6/10 – Really grew into the game and was Arsenal’s best player in the second half. Teed up Nketiah in the second half with a clever flick, before sending his strike partner away with an excellent through ball.
Eddie Nketiah (ST) – 5/10 – Combined well with Pepe in the second half, before seeing an effort deflect wide. Had Arsenal’s best chances of the game, but his close range effort was kept out by Forster.
Gabriel Martinelli (LW) – 6/10 – Made a terrific run in behind the Southampton backline from an Arsenal free kick, but failed to make a clean connection with an attempted volley. Thoroughly lively, looked Arsenal’s most dangerous player before being replaced on 57 minutes.
Thomas Partey – 5/10
Bukayo Saka – 6/10
Alexandre Lacazette – 5/10