Injury-Prone Welbeck Deserves A Break - Wenger

BEN STANSALL  GettyImages

BEN STANSALL GettyImages

A brilliant display from Danny Welbeck saw Arsenal come from behind to eventually beat relegation-threatened Southampton 3-2 in a gripping encounter at the Emirates Stadium.

The home side fell behind after Shane Long stole a march on Shkodran Mustafi to prod the ball past Petr Cech, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang restored parity with a neat finish after a delicate touch from Welbeck.

Welbeck cut in from the left to fire the Gunners in front via a deflection before the break.

However, substitute Charlie Austin pulled the Saints level with a tap-in in the 73rd minute.

A late Welbeck header ensured Arsenal took all three points despite a below-par performance.

The match ended on a chaotic note as Stephens saw red for lashing out at Jack Wilshere, who himself earned a yellow card for his part in an injury-time scuffle, while Mohamed Elneny was also sent off for a shove on Soares.

A precious point was there to be snaffled and, having ruined their first league game under Mark Hughes with a wretched collapse against West Ham last Saturday, that unfamiliar sensation Southampton were experiencing was a surge of optimism.

The Gabon global has scored five goals in his first six Premier League games following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in January, thus, becoming the first player to achieve that feat at the Emirates outfit. "In the end I got the (second) goal".

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And at the end of the first 45 minutes it was the Gunners that walked into the tunnel with a 2 - 1 lead.

- Arsenal have won six matches in a row in all competitions for the first time since May 2017 (also six).

Another England World Cup hopeful was heavily involved as the injury-ravaged Welbeck netted his first league goals since September.

Shane Long has scored four goals against Arsenal in the Premier League, only against Aston Villa (six) has the Irishman netted more often.

"I'm pleased for him because he has been through hard times", Wenger said.

It was yet another weird Premier League game at the Emirates v Southampton.

Saints were starting to come back into the contest and Cech was on hand again to keep out a long-range Hoedt strike as Gunners boss Wenger reacted by introducing Wilshere and Alexandre Lacazette from the bench.

"I'm personally very happy and pleased for him, because this guy has gone through some hard times".