Southampton – Arsenal: High Octane Southampton Impress on Hasenhüttl’s Premier League Home Debut (3-2)
Southampton’s high pressing and quick counterattacking took Arsenal by surprise. Some more proactive half-time changes from Unai Emery kept the visitors in the game but Charlie Austin came up with a late winner, meaning Southampton secured the first Premier League victory of the Ralph Hasenhüttl era.
Tactical analysis and match report by Martyn Davis.
Southampton made two changes from their 1-0 defeat at Cardiff. Danny Ings came in for Austin up front and Mario Lemina was taken out in favour of Maya Yoshida as their Austrian coach switched to a 3-4-3. Having suffered a loss in Hasenhüttl’s first game in charge, they were looking to make up for that with a victory over Arsenal.
Unai Emery made a whole raft of changes from Arsenal’s victory over Qarabag midweek, with only Laurent Koscielny staying in the lineup. Four changes were also made from the team that faced Huddersfield a week ago with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi, Nacho Monreal and the previously mentioned Koscielny coming in. Granit Xhaka dropped into a makeshift center-back role as Emery returned to a 3-4-3 formation.
Arsenal had been on a 23 game unbeaten run before this match and had seen performances improve over recent weeks, with a switch to a back three making the most of available personnel.
Southampton’s press causes Arsenal buildup struggles
Arsenal predictably dominated possession in the early stages of the game. Southampton set up in a 5-4-1 medium block A medium block refers to a team that retreats in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents some way into their own half . . .