Arsenal 2-2 Southampton
Goals: Alexandre Lacazette x2 (£9.3m) | Danny Ings (£6.0m), James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m)
Assists: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m), Gabriel Martinelli (£4.5m) | Ryan Bertrand (£4.8m)
Penalty saves: Bernd Leno (£5.0m)
Missed penalty: Ward-Prowse
Bonus Points: Lacazette x3, Leno x2, Ings x1
Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m) went a long way to proving he can be the primary Arsenal asset for their appealing fixtures.
As we highlighted in our Captain Sensible article on Friday, in the four matches before Gameweek 13, he was top for shots in the box, big chances and shots on target among Arsenal colleagues, despite playing fewer minutes than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) during that time.
Not surprisingly, that led to the Frenchman outscoring his Gabonese colleague by 12 points to five in a 2-2 draw with Southampton.
That score came from two well-taken goals while Aubameyang registered only a Fantasy assist.
The first strike came as Lacazette collected a rebound following a poor Aubameyang shot from close range and blasted it into the net himself.
In the second half, the Frenchman poked home at the back-post following Gabriel Martinelli‘s (£4.5m) ball across goal.
However, it must be said that the current Arsenal climate is not exactly a positive one and could understandably put Fantasy managers off investing.
Unai Emery continues to earn criticism for the way he sets up his Arsenal team, especially how Aubameyang and Lacazette spent most of the Southampton match isolated from the rest of the team.
The manager went with the same 3-4-1-2 formation that he used against Leicester, featuring Mesut Özil (£7.2m) just behind the two centre-forwards.
“Last year we played well in a lot of matches with Lacazette, Aubameyang and Ozil. We also need to take confidence and the players are ready to do that. It’s not a problem with the system. First is to have confidence and connect with our supporters and I think it is coming with that. The players today, for example, Lacazette scored, Aubameayang and Ozil worked for 90 minutes and if we scored at the beginning of the second-half maybe that was the key to connect with our supporters being together and stronger.” – Unai Emery
Just as was the case at the King Power Stadium, Arsenal were second-best with this system and did not create anywhere near enough chances. That might be perhaps understandable away at an in-form Leicester but is considerably more concerning at home against relegation-threatened Southampton.
Emery tried to change things at half-time by introducing Nicolas Pépé (£9.2m) for Calum Chambers (£4.4m), switching to a back-four and deploying the Ivory Coast international and Aubameyang either side of Lacazette.
While Pépé did hit the bar following a Kieran Tierney (£5.4m), overall, his introduction did not have the desired effect on Arsenal’s fortunes and the change of shape arguably made them more susceptible to Southampton’s attacks.
This only further heaped the pressure on Emery who was asked after the match if his constant changing of the system is hindering any rhythm among the players.
“That decision (to change formation) is because I need to find solutions. We use three centre-backs to feel stronger defensively and in the first half, I think we were better defensively but it wasn’t enough. In the second half, I changed because we needed to attack more. We did for about 20-25 minutes but defensively we lost balance and we conceded more than we wanted and that is the issue.” – Unai Emery
With these ongoing problems, Fantasy managers may still have to ask themselves whether they think Arsenal are actually capable of capitalising on their upcoming schedule, which features Norwich (away), Brighton (home) and West Ham (away).
For example, before Norwich’s 2-0 victory at Everton on Saturday afternoon, a Gameweek 14 trip to Carrow Road looked more appealing but with the Canaries now back to winning ways, and finally able to start first-choice centre-back Christoph Zimmermann (£4.4m) again, it feels slightly less promising.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s defensive problems continue as they still have just one clean sheet at home this season, the 1-0 win over Bournemouth in Gameweek 8.
They conceded the first against Southampton amid a moment of poor concentration. Chambers bundled Nathan Redmond (£6.2m) over and gave away a free-kick, which Ryan Bertrand (£4.8m) took quickly enough to send Danny Ings (£6.0m) through on goal.
The former Burnley and Liverpool forward made no mistake from close range, adding his fifth goal in seven league matches.
Since Gameweek 7 only Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) has scored more goals (nine) than Ings’ five among forwards. Despite that, the Southampton man is still owned by just 3.3% of Fantasy managers worldwide.
The fact he is capable of delivering even though the Saints have been in a poor run of form is particularly encouraging for anyone considering his signature.
Furthermore, Ings has an appealing run of fixtures on the horizon facing Watford (home), Norwich (home), Newcastle (away), West Ham (home) and Aston Villa (away) between now and Gameweek 18.
However, it must be said that on this particular occasion, Southampton’s attack was helped by Arsenal’s poor defending.
The Saints arguably could have scored more than the two goals they did as the hosts gifted several golden opportunities.
In the second half, Sokratis Papastathopoulos (£5.0m) dallied on the ball too long in the box and allowed himself to be dispossessed by Cédric Soares (£4.8m) whose square ball to Michael Obafemi (£4.9m) should have been considerably better.
“We won so many balls in the opponent half and had so often a counter-attack situation. I think about Cedric when he plays to Michael and it was a big chance for a goal and then Moussa and Sofiane – a lot of chances.” – Ralph Hasenhüttl
Southampton got their second goal following another defensive error.
Tierney was penalised for a pull-back on Ings inside the penalty area, resulting in a 71st-minute penalty for the visitors.
However, owners of the striker might be a little frustrated by how the ball ended up in the back of the net.
Bernd Leno (£5.0m) saved James Ward-Prowse‘s (£5.8m) effort from the spot and conceded the rebound, robbing Ings of any assist for winning the penalty in the first place.
Finally, there was a first start of the season for Southampton forward Obafemi who has come back into the fold after Hasenhüttl previously had concerns about the player’s mentality.
He started alongside Ings in a 4-4-2 formation and arguably would have scored had Cédric’s delivery been better.
“I was buzzing to be playing and I think I showed out on the pitch why I should be starting. I just kept my head down and kept working hard and waited for my chance to come.” – Michael Obafemi
Arsenal XI (3-4-1-2): Leno; Sokratis, D Luiz, Chambers (Pépé 46′); Tierney, Guendouzi, Torreira (Willock 83′), Bellerín (Martinelli 83′); Özil; Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Southampton XI (4-4-2): McCarthy; Bertrand, Bednarek, J Stephens, Cédric; Redmond, Højbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong (Boufal 86′); Ings (Long 73′), Obafemi (Djenepo 76′).
Gameweek 13 – FPL Match Reports
- West Ham United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur
- Arsenal 2-2 Southampton
- AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Leicester City
- Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
- Everton 0-2 Norwich City
- Watford 0-3 Burnley
- Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea
- Sheffield United 3-3 Manchester United
- Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United
Nominated for ‘Best in Fantasy Football – Editorial’ at the Football Content Awards 2020
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