Southampton v Arsenal - Player Ratings

Last updated : 27 February 2005 By Mike Bohndiek
Some bizarre defending and a poor final ball saw us drop another two points. If there was any slight chance of catching Chelsea, it has gone, and we now face an up hill task just to finish second.

Key Incidents:

Red Card (David Prutton) (43) – He could have no complaints. Having already made one rash challenge on Flamini, he dived in late on Pires, leaving the referee no choice other than to send him off. His aggressive reaction to the decision will surely lead to a lengthy suspension.

Goal (Arsenal) (45) – Not one of our finest goals, but they all count. Thierry twisted and turned before squaring the ball to Freddie who couldn't miss from two yards out.

Red Card (Van Persie) (58) – Two extremely foolish bookings. He showed his immature side, and it was little wonder that Arsene was seen shouting at him as he left the field.

Goal (Southampton) (67) – This was always going to happen in this game. As soon as you saw Crouch make his way into the box, it was inevitable. Lehmann came for a corner, but totally missed allowing Crouch to nod the ball down. It bounced up and went in off the underside of the bar, eluding both Ash and Freddie on the line.

Man Of The Match – Ashley Cole

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann - 6 - Other than the goal he had a fairly sound game. However, he will be remembered in this game for the goal. He had no need to come out that far.

Ashley Cole - 8 - He never stopped working. Dug in and gave strength and leadership to the defence, and kept driving us on. Was unlucky to be ruled offside when it seemed he had grabbed us an injury time winner.

Pascal Cygan - 6.5 - Made a few mistakes early on, and didn't deal with the height of Crouch at all well.

Philippe Senderos - 6.5 - I was bemused at the inclusion of Senderos for this match. Why bring in a inexperienced youngster to play against the height of Crouch and the pace and skill of Camara? He looked out of his depth.

Kolo Toure - 6.5 - I was also confused by his change of position. If a player is low on confidence after having a poor game midweek, is the best way for him to recover that confidence really by playing him out of position? I don't think so. He didn't dominate that area of defence. He did however provide an outlet on the right.

Robert Pires - 6 - Had a fairly quiet game before being taken off due to injury. Early reports suggest he will miss our next three, including the champion's league second leg.

Patrick Vieira - 6 - Did not dominate the midfield as he could. Again he didn't give us his all, and made a number of sloppy passes, and rarely put his foot in when required. A disappointing performance, which is unfortunately becoming a regular theme.

Mathieu Flamini - 7.5 - Another great performance. He is another great find from Wenger. He is accomplished in the tackle and on the ball and has composure by the bucket load. Always keeps his cool, and keeps other calm around him.

Freddie Ljungberg - 7 - Tried to lift the team, but just couldn't do so. He had a fairly average first half, but was better in the second.

Thierry Henry - 6 - Had an average first half before springing to life in the second. He really should have scored when set up by Van Persie in the area, and had a few other chances.

Robin Van Persie - 5 - What a fool he has been. Here we have a player who is trying to break through into the first team having made successful Carling Cup appearances. He knows he has three guaranteed games in the first team due to suspensions, and that this could be his chance. Instead, he doesn't even last a full 90 in one game after a stupid red card.


Gael Clichy - 6 - Went into left midfield to replace Pires. Deputised well, and did well going forward.

Emanuel Eboue – 6 - Once again he showed his attacking ability. He is good at running at defenders, and has the pace to scare them.