A meek Arsenal display saw the holders crash out of the FA Cup on Saturday as Southampton reached the fifth round.
Southampton were immediately on the front foot as Danny Ings’ fourth-minute shot was deflected behind. James Ward-Prowse took the corner which skimmed the crossbar before the Gunners cleared. It was all Southampton early on, with the visitors pinned back before the Gunners finally mounted an attack through Willian. The Brazilian was at the heart of most of Arsenal’s scant early attacks.
On 15 minutes, former Gunner Theo Walcott found Che Adams who left Gabriel for dead, and forced Gunners keeper Bernd Leno into a smart save.
It seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken and Southampton took the lead on 24 minutes. Kyle Walker-Peters fired the ball across the six-yard box and the out-of-sorts Gabriel deflected it into his own net.
Arsenal’s best move of the first period came on 37 minutes but Pepe’s final ball to Cedric Soares was too strong.
Arsenal were almost level on 68 minutes but Forster’s boot deflected Nketiah’s flick behind for a corner. Alexandre Lacazette replaced Hector Bellerin on 73 minutes, with the away side sensing an equalizer. They kept pressing but Saints bodies always seemed to be in the way. Southampton were limited to counter-attacks for the final 15 minutes as Arsenal dominated.
Bertrand’s foul on Pepe gave Arsenal a great chance late on but the Frenchman’s delivery of the free-kick was woeful.