EPL: Arsenal keep top-four hopes alive with Southampton win

Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud struck in the second half of a largely forgettable contest on the south coast as Arsenal recorded their first win at St Mary's since 2003.

Arsenal have won both of their games since losing 2-0 at White Hart Lane last month and now find themselves fifth, three points off the top four with as many games remaining in their season. "Once he has the ball in the box, he's unsafe", Wenger told Sky Sports.

The goal came after a boring first half where Southampton had the better chances to score first, but Arsenal controlled the game after going ahead.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "The goal he (Sanchez) scored tonight shows what he's about: very good technique in a short space".

"He's very good in a small space and once he has the ball in the box he's unsafe".

"All we can do is to keep winning our games and we will need another strong performance at Stoke on Saturday".

"I am very pleased because we had a consistent performance from the first to the last minute", said Wenger. We knew that coming here is not easy to play, it's a good team, a team that like to play.

Arsenal are fretting over the fitness of midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the England worldwide limped off during the Premier League win over Southampton at St Mary's. "It is our last home game, our fans will be totally behind us and the fact that it is Arsenal will add to the mix, so I'm really looking forward to it".

He was only on the pitch a matter of moments but Giroud headed home an Aaron Ramsey centre to settle matters on 83 minutes, his sixth league goal as a substitute this season and the 100th European top-flight strike of his career. "In the second half we took over and created many opportunities to score".

"It seems we had all the good situations in the first half, but second half for them just one situation is enough to score and this is hard to accept".

Arsene Wenger: "I believe that, for us, it's important to maintain the focus and intensity in every single game".

"Against the top six, often we can play good games with chances but without reward".

"He's got a small chance, he was not far [away from returning], practiced [on Tuesday] but was risky to play him [at Southampton]", Wenger said.

"Maybe the City game [FA Cup semi-final] gave us confidence".

  • Julie Sanders