Arsenal struggled to a hard fought 2-1 win over Southampton in a premier League week four fixture at the Emirates stadium on Saturday.
Laurent Koscielny marked his birthday with a spectacular goal as Arsenal fought back to level against Southampton at half time, cancelling out an own goal from Petr Cech. Cazorla scored from the spot after normal time following a foul on Olivier Giroud inside the area.
Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas took centre stage as Premier League football resumed after the international break during which fans watched some old favourites grace the Emirates turf.
Lucas was one of three changes – Francis Coquelin also came into the side – and one of two birthday boys – captain Koscielny also had that honour. Granit Xhaka dropped to the bench alongside Alexis and the fit-again Alex Iwobi, as Wenger kept something in reserve for the opening Champions League game in Paris on Tuesday.
Teeming rain in north London saw the floodlights deployed earlier than usual. The spotlight, meanwhile, was trained on those two Arsenal debutants. Mustafi was busier in the early stages as Arsenal struggled to find the fluency of their win at Watford.
The home side faced an uphill task when Petr Cech inadvertently gave the Saints the lead, brilliantly tipping Dusan Tadic’s free-kick onto the bar only for the rebound to hit him on the back and bounce in.
Laurent Koscielny came to the rescue, marking his birthday with a stunning overhead kick after good work from debutant Shkodran Mustafi.
Driven on by Francis Coquelin, Arsenal made the running in the second half, but the closest they got was a shot from Alexis that whistled just over the bar.
That was until the dying seconds, when Olivier Giroud was hauled down by Jose Fonte and Cazorla kept his nerve to beat Fraser Forster.
It was just enough to end Southampton’s resistance – and make it two wins on the spin in the Premier League.