LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 10 – A stoppage-time penalty from Santi Cazorla secured Arsenal a memorable 2-1 win over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Southampton started the game well and boasted equal share of possession early on, but the opening goal silenced the Emirates faithful.
Dusan Tadic stepped up to a free-kick and cracked it against the bar only for the ball to deflect in off the back of the diving Petr Cech.
The home side hit back through Laurent Koscielny with a brilliant overhead kick to level matters going into the break, and with the game seemingly headed for a draw, Jose Fonte conceded a stoppage-time penalty.
Santi Cazorla confidently stepped up to send goalkeeper Fraser Forster the wrong way and give Arsene Wenger’s side all three points.
The first goal of the game was a bit of a strange one when Dusan Tadic stepped up to take a free-kick.
The Serb hit the ball sweetly over the wall only for Cech to deflect it onto the underside of the bar and off his back.
With the home support silenced it took Arsenal a while to get back into the game, but influential defender Laurent Koscielny gave them exactly what they needed for their voice to return.
A spectacular overhead kick from the France international, after the Saints failed to clear a corner, saw the Emirates erupt on the half-hour mark, and they went into the break with their tails up.
New signings Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi looked lively on their debuts, with the German in particular enjoying plenty of possession and looking comfortable in Wenger’s back-four.
In the second half Arsenal fans voiced their displeasure at the average performance on display as they never really looked like finding a winner until stoppage-time.
Saints defender Jose Fonte clattered the first-half goal scorer and despite their protests it was the correct call from the referee.
And after a delay due to Southampton’s passionate protests, Santi Cazorla eventually stepped up and fired his penalty right down the middle to secure all three points for Wenger and his men.