ARSENAL 2 SOUTHAMPTON 0: THREE POINTS IN THE BAG (PLAYER RATINGS)

Arsenal went four points clear at the top of the table with a 2-0 victory over Southampton. Two goals from Giroud were all the gooners needed to get the result. The game was delayed for 15 minutes and it was also the launch of the club’s ARSENAL FOR EVERYONE initiative.

The game started with the gooners looking to seize the initiative, Wilshere and Ramsey hit the post within 8 minutes and then came the moment magical insanity. Clyne played a harmless ball to Boruc. The Pole wanted to do a Cruyff dribble but forgot his skills at home, Giroud did not mind.

The Christmas gifts have started coming, thank you Boruc.

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The second half was a cagey affair as both sides were cautious to avoid making mistakes. Szzczesny saved from Lallana, Rodriguez. Ozil came close in the 63 minute; Wilshere forced a save from Boruc in the 68 minute. However, the Saints were to make the another mistake in the 86 minute. Fonte pulled Mertesacker and the referee pointed to the spot. Giroud in the absence of Arteta and Ozil stepped up and scored the killer blow.

PLAYER RATINGS

SZCZESNY: made some good saves and dominated his 18 yard box. A clean sheet (7)

SAGNA: came from his international break rest and was as solid as usual (6.5)

MERTESACKER: did well against the Saints aerial power. The Big Friendly German is his great form ( 7)

KOSCIENLY: recovered from his red card for France and put his normal energetic and committed performance (7)

GIBBS: Kieran is playing some scintillating football, defending very well and dealt with Lallana and Clyne well (8)

ARTETA: was not at his best today, gave away possession a lot of times and was almost punished by rodriguez in the first half (6)

RAMSEY: did not do anything spectacular nor did he do anything bizarre. Decent shift from Rambo. Almost got his goal with a cheeky back heel.

WILSHERE: was his normal driving self. Ran into the crowd a number of times; did well when he switched to central midfield wit Arteta’s injury (6.5)

CARZOLA: Santi is far from his best, but is surelu getting there. Good performance after his trip to Africa with the Spanish team.(6.5)

OZIL: was well marked by Wanyama and Schneiderlin, still managed to create a good chance and his movement was good (6.5)

GIROUD: two goals from Olivier. Surely a better player fom last season. His commitment to the cause makes up for every shortcomings he has as a player.

SUBS: ROSICKY (6), WALCOTT (6), MONREAL (6)

MAN OF THE MATCH: In a game that did not have many flashpoints, Gooner of Steel feels the man of the match would go to KIERAN GIBBS. He was solid and dealt with the threat of Lallana, Clyne and later, Ward-Prowse and Davis.

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The season is just 12 games old. There are 26 games to go. Gooners should not expect to dominate every game or dictate the play or the time. Instead, we must look forward to getting as many points as possible and if we do so without playing spectacular, I don’t mind.

Three points closer to the title #COYG

To all faithful readers, gooner of steel has been under the weather for a while, but I am back and better. Continue reading this blog. Have a goonerific week ahead.

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