Former Premier League player and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp believes Arsenal were given a “reality check” during their clash with Southampton on Sunday.
It was only the second time they dropped points in the league this season, cutting their lead at the top to just two points over Manchester City.
It seemed as though it would be another routine win for the visitors when they opened the scoring just 11 minutes in – Granit Xhaka‘s volley into the roof of the net set the tone for such a possibility. However, the second half was a different story as the Saints equalised through Stuart Armstrong and were into the ascendancy.
“I think we stopped doing all the simple things right,” Mikel Arteta said in a review of what went wrong for his side. “The distances on the ball positions were too far, we gave too many simple balls away in very dangerous areas without much pressure, and that didn’t allow us much continuity like we had in the first half.
“Then you are more tired because the game becomes more open, and there are more transitions, and you are fatigued. I think again we finished the game on top of them, and we tried to go for the second goal, but we didn’t find a way to do it.”
While they have had a habit of starting games well and have enjoyed a fantastic start to the season, Jamie Redknapp believes that the game swung in the second half. Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports: “They [Arsenal] played some great stuff, White and Saka linking up [in the build-up to the opener], Xhaka picking up positions in good areas. It’s a great finish, great movement, and it happened time and time again. Could it be two or three? But they ran out, it seemed to be a bit of a reality check for them.”
It was something that Les Ferdinand agreed with, adding: “Unusual for Arsenal, they seemed to run out of ideas. Then they started to get in the game and put Arsenal under pressure. At the end, you were thinking Southampton were going to win the game. It was a good play to pick it up from the goalkeeper, great ball in, great run from Armstrong, great ball, great finish. From then on, you thought Southampton were going to go on and win.”
After their start to the season, it could provide the side with a reflection point for where they are on their journey to the top, with plenty of games to go before the end.