Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

EPL: Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0

EPL: Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0

The Gunners boosted their Champions League qualification chances last weekend by beating Manchester United 2-0, before goals Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud secured a 2-0 win at Southampton on Wednesday to leapfrog Jose Mourinho's side into fifth place. Stoke however is not a happy hunting ground for Arsenal with the last Premier League win at the Potters home stadium coming in 2010. A 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League was undoubtedly the team's nadir this season. Sanchez subsequently came off, apparently with an injury that Arsenal will certainly hope is only minor.

The win takes Arsenal within one point of Liverpool with two games of the season left.

"West Ham have all my support against Liverpool".

A third FA Cup Final in four years awaits Arsenal later this month, as they face double-chasing Chelsea. After the Bayern Munich humbling Wenger's future looked in major doubt, but the Frenchman may well end up doing enough to fight on.

The game quickly descended into a scrappy affair but Sanchez reasserted Arsenal's dominance with a cross-goal finish from the edge of the box, a touch off Shawcross helping it on its way.

Then if Liverpool lose 1-0 to West Ham and see off Middlesbrough 3-1 they too would finish on 73 points, 74 goals and a goal difference of 30. Subs: Berahino 7, Crouch 7, Sobhi n/a.

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Arsenal: Petr Cech 6, Shkodran Mustafi 6, Laurent Koscielny 6, Rob Holding 6, Hector Bellerin 7, Granit Xhaka 6, Francis Coquelin 7, Nacho Monreal 7, Mesut Ozil 7, Alexis Sanchez 8, Olivier Giroud 7.

In between, Sanchez slid in a brilliant through-ball for Ozil to take a touch and finish well in the 55th.

Should Arsenal get anything out of this match, they'll need to work their way around the tough defence of Stoke. The towering forward gets to the near post to meet Arnautovic's cross, but it looked like it may have gone in off his hand!

Arsenal, undeterred, reestablished their two-goal cushion soon after. Replays showed the striker punched the ball into the net, but the offence was missed by match officials.

Obviously I would prefer to play against the giants of Europe, but avoiding them next season may allow the team to keep their confidence in the Premiership for longer and stay in the title race until the closing stages. - The Chilean also scored his 15th away goal in the Premier League this season - only Kevin Phillips (16 in 1999-00) has scored more in a single campaign.

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