Wanyama's Southampton sink frail Arsenal

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 01, 2022
  • Sadio Mané is congratulated on opening the scoring against Arsenal (Photo:Southampton FC)

Strong, determined, fighter these were just some of the words thrown around by the commentators in describing Victor Wanyma's performances as a revived Southampton side sunk Arsenal 2-0 a significant New Year’s Day victory.

Goals in either half from Sadio Mané and Dušan Tadić were the difference as Ronald Koeman’s men opened up a three point gap on the Gunners at St Marys.

Having edged a tight opening to the game, Saints took a 34th minute lead through Sadio Mané’s improvised finish from an acute angle when he produced a clever strike from outside of the area which he chipped into the net for a first half lead.

Fraser Forster made a fine save to deny Tomas Rosicky ten minutes into the second 45, and shortly after that, Saints sealed their first win of the year when Tadić finished at the far post from Szczesny’s weak clearance.

It could have been more for the hosts, with Graziano Pellè having an effort cleared from the line by Mathieu Debuchy, but the two goals were enough for Saints, who made it a fourth match unbeaten with a thoroughly deserved victory.

Saints made three changes to the team that started the draw against Chelsea with Florin Gardos, Ryan Bertrand and James Ward-Prowse all coming into the side.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain skewed an awkward to control strike high and wide, with clear chances remaining at a premium until Saints opened the scoring on 34 minutes.

A chipped ball forward by James Ward-Prowse was chased down by Sadio Mané, who beat the advancing Szczesny to it just outside of the area, where from an acute angle the Sengalese forward then proceeded to clip the ball into the net from the touchline.

The ball crossed the line despite Per Mertesacker’s best attempts to clear it off the line for Mané’s third goal in as many games.

Mané wouldn’t complete the half as he succumbed to an injury shortly after the goal, though he was on the pitch to almost help Saints double their lead before the break when Ward-Prowse’s shot from Mané’s low cross was saved well by Szczesny.

It would prove pivotal as a minute later, Saints made it 2-0. Terrific work by Steven Davis on the right saw him control a loose ball which he then drilled across the area, where Debuchy sliced a clearance against Szczesny.

The goalkeeper’s attempt to put the ball out of danger arrived straight at the feet of Tadić who gleefully poked home at the far post for 2-0.

Tadić even went close to making it three moments later, when he curled a shot on the turn wide as Saints threatened to run riot avenging their 1-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium last month.