Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the premier league with a defeat as Southampton dismantled boys from North London 4-0 at Saint Mary’s stadium on Sunday.
Cuco Martina’s world-class strike left the Gunners with an uphill task, Shane Long tucked in a second early in the second half and Jose Fonte’s header effectively ended the Gunners’ hopes.
The visitors were aggrieved – Long appeared to trip Laurent Koscielny in the build-up to his goal – but they couldn’t find a response against a spirited Saints side. And Long rubbed salt in their wounds with a fourth in stoppage time.
Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott went close with first-half headers but Arsenal lacked their usual fluency and struggled to create much in open play.
No side has won as many points as the Gunners in 2015 and, as Arsène Wenger said ahead of this game, his team is still “on the right train, heading the right way”.
But such is the nature of the Premier League – and this season in particular – that losing to Southampton after beating Manchester City does not raise too many eyebrows.
Arsenal only have to wait 48 hours for a chance to get back on track – against Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium.