Tue, Dec 18, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Hasenhuettl’s revitalized Saints stun Gunners

AFP, SOUTHAMPTON, England

Southampton’s Charlie Austin, right, scores against Arsenal in their Premier League match at St Mary’s in Southampton, England, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Unai Emery on Sunday admitted Arsenal need to fix their leaky defense after Southampton’s Charlie Austin punished a howler from goalkeeper Bernd Leno to seal a shock 3-2 win that ended the Gunners’ 22-match unbeaten run.

Austin settled a thrilling English Premier League clash at St Mary’s when he headed home with just five minutes left after Leno misjudged Shane Long’s cross.

Southampton had twice taken the lead through Danny Ings, only for Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s brace to draw Arsenal level on each occasion.

Leno’s mistake handed Arsenal their first defeat in 15 league games and brought a stunning halt to their longest unbeaten run in all competitions since 2007.

Conceding Arsenal need to tighten up at the back, Emery said: “We haven’t conceded a lot of chances, but today they scored three goals.”

“That is a lot so we need to improve with this. We need to do some analysis on how we can improve and do better, but our way is a good way and we need to continue,” he said.

“We need to continue taking responsibility for the 90 minutes. Southampton deserved the result because they pushed and played with big ambition,” he added.

While it was a bitter afternoon for Arsenal, Southampton’s first win in 15 matches in all competitions was cause for much celebration.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl, taking charge of his first home game, danced a jubilant jig on the pitch at full-time after securing the maiden victory of his reign.

Hasenhuettl watched Southampton lose 1-0 at Cardiff City in his first match and, in a PR stunt this week, he sent free drinks vouchers to Saints season-ticket holders.

The Austrian, who left his role as RB Leipzig boss in May, was the toast of St Mary’s after Southampton won at home in the Premier League for the first time since April to climb out of the relegation zone.

“It’s amazing what the team can do in a week,” Austrian coach Hasenhuettl said. “It was very intensive, we had time to work on the basics and built the fundamentals for our game.”

“I’m very proud of how focused and uncompromising they [the players] were, and when they had the chances, how merciless they were,” Hasenhuettl said.

It was a fantastic atmosphere and a special feeling here to win the match,” he said.

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