Arsene Wenger admits he is anxious by Arsenal's defensive anxiety

Arsenal brought on Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Giroud as the second half wore on, and with two minutes left on the clock, up popped Giroud to head home a Sanchez cross into the bottom corner.

A win would lift Arsenal back into the top four, for the time being at least.

The France striker has yet to start a league game this season and media reports before the match had suggested he could be loaned out in January to secure more playing time ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

"At the beginning the feeling is that we have conceded at the end again, as it was more or less the same against [Manchester] City", Pellegrino said. Overall, I think the spirit was great.

The goal was a huge relief for Arsenal who toiled all afternoon in search of an equaliser after Charlie Austin capitalised on mistakes from Per Mertesacker to score after just three minutes. Out of luck "We started really well, got the goal". The Arsenal manager declared his only responsibility was to the club's needs, not the worldwide aspirations of the players nor the national head coaches.

In fact, most of the visitors' first half opportunities came on the break, most threateningly when Alexis Sanchez controlled a Southampton corner inside his own area and led a sweeping move that was halted by Pierre-Emille Hojbjerg's saving tackle as Alexandre Lacazette prepared to shoot.

Arsenal pressed forward with more objective after the restart, dominating possession, yet unable to penetrate a home defence that was demonstrating far more resilience than the Gunners' own back line. Another must-win game for the Gunners, and Arsene Wenger will be taking very few chances at a venue which has traditionally been a banana skin for Arsenal in the past.

"I feel the waste of time becomes a real problem in England", he said.

  • Stacy Allen