By Oladapo Okeowo
In a game of second strings and Arsene Wenger in the stands for the first of his four-game ban (it seems to be a time for bans), the Saints were no match for the cannons as Arsenal outclassed Southampton 5-0 to advance to the Round of 16 in the Emirates FA Cup.
A hat-trick and a brace by Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck respectively condemned the Saints to defeat.
The young Southampton side had no response to the fluidity and movement of the Arsenal team. It was a befitting revenge for last season’s 4-0 reverse in the same competition. Arsenal will find out who they face in the next round at the draws on so-and-so day.
The first goal came off a neat one-time pass into the path of Welbeck who calmly chipped the goalkeeper to score his first goal in his first start since May 2016.
The second goal was not long in coming as a long pass from Oxlade-Chamberlain was taken down by Danny Welbeck before slotting it through the legs of the Southampton goalkeeper. It was cruise control from here on.
A run to the byline and cutback was scored by Theo for his first of three.
The second half started and Southampton threw players forward in a bid to get a goal. They were foiled and were victims of a quick counter that led to the fifth goal and Walcott’s third. Minutes before this, Alexis had also played provider for Theo with a cutback he rolled into the goal.
Southampton’s introduction of Tadic and Redmond could not stem the tie nor aid their quest for a consolatory goal.
Lucas Perez almost got goal as a reward for such a great game but was denied by the legs of the Southampton goalie. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also had himself a fantastic game in the middle of the pack.
A good day in the office for the Arsenal. Clean sheet, no injuries, win. Check. Check. Check.