Premier League
Arsenal2Southampton0

Arsenal 2-0 Southampton

Olivier Giroud scored in either half as Arsenal edged past an impressive Southampton to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc gifted the hosts the lead, dwelling on a back-pass and allowing Giroud to tap in.

Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey had hit the post, while Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez went close for the visitors.

Giroud sealed the win from the penalty spot after Jose Fonte was penalised for pulling Per Mertesacker's shirt.

That relieved home tension and maintained Arsenal's 100% league record at Emirates Stadium since an opening-day

It was not a vintage performance but the Gunners will be delighted to extend their advantage over second-placed Liverpool.

Southampton remain third following their best start to a top-flight season, but they will regret being undone by two mistakes.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Wenger 'very happy with difficult win'

Boruc's error was inexplicable and follows on from the bizarre goal he recently when Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic beat the Pole with an upfield clearance that bounced over his head.

But that aside, for a club on the brink of extinction following relegation to League One in 2009, Saints looked remarkably comfortable with their elevated status and caused Arsenal trouble throughout.

They were not helped by an illness to Dejan Lovren, which saw Jos Hooiveld come in for his first league start this season, and left their defence looking less solid than it has for most of the campaign.

Wilshere saw a chip hit the post and Ramsey was denied by the same piece of woodwork with an audacious flick from Mesut Ozil's cross.

The pressure was building but that could not legislate for Arsenal's opener; Boruc received Nathaniel Clyne's pass and tried to dribble past Giroud, only to be robbed of possession and Giroud tapped in.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Pochettino upset with manner of defeat

It was harsh on Southampton and they worked hard to atone - Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez drawing fine saves from Wojciech Szczesny.

An injury to left-back Luke Shaw forced Mauricio Pochettino to reorganise his formation at half-time, but Saints remained in the ascendancy and Lallana again tested Szczesny's reactions.

However, Arsenal gradually regained the momentum and Boruc was alert to thwart Ozil and Wilshere before Theo Walcott was introduced as a substitute with 20 minutes left after two months out injured.

That offered the Gunners the sort of pace they had been missing and put Saints firmly on the back foot, leading to Arsenal's second goal.

Shortly after Walcott had drilled wide, Mertesacker was prevented from meeting a cross by Fonte's shirt pull and a penalty was awarded.

Giroud sent Boruc the wrong way to wrap up the points.

For a gallery of images from today's matches, go to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 1Szczesny
  • 3Sagna
  • 28Gibbs
  • 8ArtetaSubstituted forRosickyat 74'minutes
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 10Wilshere
  • 16Ramsey
  • 12Giroud
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forMonrealat 81'minutes
  • 19CazorlaSubstituted forWalcottat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Vermaelen
  • 7Rosicky
  • 14Walcott
  • 17Monreal
  • 21Fabianski
  • 23Bendtner
  • 44Gnabry

Southampton

  • 31Boruc
  • 2Clyne
  • 23ShawSubstituted forDavisat 45'minutes
  • 4Schneiderlin
  • 6FonteBooked at 86mins
  • 26HooiveldBooked at 45mins
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 12WanyamaBooked at 48mins
  • 7Lambert
  • 20LallanaSubstituted forOsvaldoat 54'minutes
  • 9Rodriguez

Substitutes

  • 3Yoshida
  • 8Davis
  • 17Osvaldo
  • 22Chambers
  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 38Reed
  • 40Gallagher
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
60,007

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 2, Southampton 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Southampton 0.
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).
Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Offside, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal tries a through ball, but Jack Wilshere is caught offside.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) because of an injury.
Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).
Jos Hooiveld (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.
Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.
Victor Wanyama (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

Booking

Jose Fonte (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Arsenal 2, Southampton 0. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty conceded by Jose Fonte (Southampton) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Arsenal. Per Mertesacker draws a foul in the penalty area.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.
Foul by Pablo Osvaldo (Southampton).
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal replaces Mesut Özil.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.
Attempt missed. Victor Wanyama (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Jack Wilshere.
Attempt blocked. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jay Rodriguez.
Offside, Arsenal. Theo Walcott tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by James Ward-Prowse.
Attempt saved. Pablo Osvaldo (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Tomas Rosicky replaces Mikel Arteta because of an injury.
Delay in match Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) because of an injury.
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).
Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).
Jose Fonte (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Pablo Osvaldo (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Victor Wanyama.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Theo Walcott replaces Santiago Cazorla.
Attempt saved. Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bacary Sagna with a cross.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal129121428
2Liverpool127321124
3Chelsea127321124
4Southampton12642822
5Everton12561421
6Man Utd11623520
7Tottenham11623320
8Newcastle12624020
9Man City116141619
10Swansea12435115
11West Brom11353014
12Aston Villa11425-114
13Hull12426-614
14Stoke12345-213
15Cardiff11335-612
16Norwich12327-1311
17West Ham12246-510
18Fulham12318-1010
19Crystal Palace12219-147
20Sunderland12219-167
View full Premier League table

Top Stories