Alexis Sanchez had a quiet game by his standards, yet he was still able to notch the winning goal for the Emirates outfit. The Chile international continues to be the North London outfit's most important player by some distance, and it showed, yet again, with this performance.
The Chilean was enduring a largely frustrating night until he popped up with this late strike. He started off on the left and looked bright in the early stages, especially when cutting inside. Nonetheless, he switched flanks soon after, allowing himself the opportunity to function on his favoured right foot.
Neither side created much during the opening 45 minutes, but Arsenal began to grow into the game throughout the second half. With Sanchez now operating in a central role, he was afforded a licence to leave his mark on proceedings. As Aaron Ramsey squared the ball across the 6-yard-box in the dying moments, the Chilean dispatched with aplomb.
|Position||Team||Goals||Total Shots||Shot Accuracy (%)||Chances Created||Passes||Pass Accuracy (%)||Dribbles||Touches|
Even without his goal - his 14th in 22 appearances since joining in the summer - he was often the creator of everything good for the Gunners. Throughout 90 minutes he managed two attempts at goal, just one of which found the intended target, squandering a late chance to double his tally as he flashed the ball wide of the mark.
He also played a number of delightful through balls that really should have been capitalised on by his Arsenal teammates, including one apiece for Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud in behind the Southampton defence. His match total of three key passes was only bettered by team-mate Santi Cazorla.
He produced some tremendous displays of skill throughout. Dribbling with pace, before deceiving the opposition with his supreme trickery, he proved a constant thorn in Southampton’s side.
He completed three dribbles, yet it is his first-half ‘blind-pass’ – as he looked to the right, before knocking a perfectly weighted ball to the left flank - that remains distinct in the memory.
It was another stellar performance from the Chile international, who continues to repay his £35 million summer transfer fee.