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Shane Long took full advantage of a defensive miscue to open the scoring, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Welbeck turned the situation around before half-time.
Substitute Charlie Austin tied things up just minutes after coming on, but Welbeck struck again inside the final 10 minutes. Jack Stephens and Mohamed Elneny received late red cards.
Here’s how Sunday’s match played out.
Wenger Rotates, Welbeck Stakes Claim
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger predictably opted to rest a handful of starters with an eye on Thursday’s UEFA Europa League match against CSKA Moscow, introducing Reiss Nelson and Welbeck, among others.
The former easily held his own, to the delight of the fans, but it was Welbeck who stole the show with a goal and assist in the first half.
Per football writer James McNicholas, he may give Wenger something to think about ahead of the contest against CSKA:
The 27-year-old initially made headlines for the wrong reasons after the break with a comical miss after Austin had equalised. But before the laughter from the traveling fans had died down, he made up for the miss by giving his side the lead again. James Olley of the Evening Standard noted it’s all in a day’s work:
James Olley @JamesOlley
What were you worried about? #afc 3-2 #Saints Welbeck converts a tougher chance at the back post, squeezing a header past McCarthy.
Mustafi Blunders Away
One player who didn’t impress on Sunday was Shkodran Mustafi, who all but handed Long the opener on a platter.
On a hopeless cross into the box, the German didn’t make any attempt to play the ball and instead anticipated Petr Cech would make the clearance. The goalkeeper didn’t come off his line, and Long took full advantage, sprinting in front of his marker and poking the ball into the net.
Men in Blazers were not impressed:
Men in Blazers @MenInBlazers
In slow-motion replay, you can see Shane Long pull down Mustafi’s shorts, give him a wedgie and a wet willie before stabbing the ball home
Aubameyang’s Hot Start Continues
Aubameyang scored the equaliser for the Gunners on Sunday―a clever flick past goalkeeper Alex McCarthy―and made some club history in the process:
7 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in seven goals in the Premier League this season (six goals, one assist); the most of any Arsenal player in their first seven appearances in the competition. Gunner. https://t.co/NxpgviwTVy
Austin Strikes Again
Saints more than held their own after the break, and with just under 20 minutes to go, Austin came on to aid the search for an equaliser.
The former Queens Park Rangers forward had a sterling record against the Gunners, and as shared by Coral, his great run continued:
Charlie Austin has scored every time he’s faced Arsenal in the Premier League, and he’s done it again here!!! https://t.co/X8LSULJ8Ka
The 28-year-old needed just minutes to find the net, finishing off a quick free-kick routine. Once again, the Arsenal defence made mistakes in the buildup.
Late Drama and Controversy
Both teams had players sent off late, and on both occasions, there was controversy involved. First, Stephens retaliated after a shirt tug from Jack Wilshere, and somehow, the Arsenal man got away with a yellow card while Southampton lost their player.
With emotions still running high, Elneny made the mistake of raising his hands at Cedric Soares. There was little in the incident, but once again, the red card came out. Eurosport UK summed things up nicely:
Eurosport UK @Eurosport_UK
Stephens and Elneny both sent off in the late stages of the match! 🔴 #ARSSOU https://t.co/jjPwoVUplD
Arsenal face CSKA Moscow in Russia on Thursday, while Southampton play host to Chelsea on Saturday.