Arsenal tightened the screw on the top four challenge a little bit more on Wednesday night, with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Southampton.
Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud gave the Gunners a much needed three points to move within breathing space of Liverpool, with a game in hand.
Arsene Wenger still needs The Reds to slip up at West Ham on the weekend, but regardless of whether that happens he’ll have learnt a lot from his players at St. Mary’s.
Arsenal made just one change from the side that beat United 2-0 last weekend, with changes expected to be made for the equally tricky trip to Stoke on Saturday.
However, before we get into all of that, let’s see how the boys faired against Claude Puel’s men during Wednesday’s crunch Premier League game.
Petr Cech – 7.5
Kept us in the game during the first half and on another night things could’ve been very different. Cech now has three clean sheets in his last four Premier League outings.
Rob Holding – 8
I’m starting to believe this guy is the best £2million Arsenal have ever spent, because yet again he showed a strong and composed performance against a troubling Saints attack. Important to keep him grounded but a lot of great things to come from Holding.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7
Nothing special tonight but great to see him back in the side. His last game was the 3-0 loss to Palace a month ago and he had to fill the shoes of Laurent Koscielny. Adapted well to the new system and in line to play the FA Cup final later this month.
Nacho Monreal – 6
What you see is what you get with Monreal, and personally I prefer him playing as a left wing-back because his defensive composure isn’t the best. His toughest test will come at the weekend with Stoke’s ability to break fast.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6
Was taken off injured with a hamstring problem and the early signs don’t look good. However, before he left the field there were plenty of positives. Got shots away and challenged the Saints defence.
Granit Xhaka – 7
Starting to make the Gunners midfield his own now and there’s really no reason to take him out of the side at this point. Had a couple of strikes at goal but his passing distribution is what gets the Arsenal team ticking.
Aaron Ramsey – 8
You can see there’s something different about Rambo since changing this formation and it didn’t take long for him to be pulling strings in midfield. His execution in the final third needs some improvement but starting to establish a good connection with Xhaka.
Kieran Gibbs – 5
Didn’t really strike me as a player that’s good enough to be in this squad and a summer move gets closer with every appearance he makes.
Alexis Sanchez – 8 (MOTM)
Grabbed the opening goal after flooring two Southampton defenders. His low shot beat Forster and in celebration he was seen tapping the Arsenal badge. Alexis has been poor recently but that goal gave him a good bit of confidence.
Mesut Ozil – 6.5
Kept himself to himself throughout most of the game. Picked up another assist by teeing up Alexis and deserves a good rest before Stoke on Saturday!
Danny Welbeck – 7
Welbz does a lot of the things that made Alexis such a good centre forward, constantly coming back into the midfield to pick up the ball.
Olivier Giroud – 7
Hector Bellerin – 6
Francis Coquelin – N/A