This live event has finished
- Saints earn a point after a thrilling encounter at St Mary's
- Jose Fonte had given Saints a 1-0 lead in the first half
- Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla scored quickly after the break
- Adam Lallana levelled for Saints almost immediately
- Teenage striker Sam Gallagher made first ever start for the home side
A brilliant game here at St Mary's tonight ends with honours even. Saints owner Katharina Liebherr has a big smile on her face as she applauds the team off after an excellent display against the league leaders. Saints remain ninth in the table. Thanks for joining us tonight. We'll have a full report and reaction on the website for you soon. We'll be back with our next blog when Saints visit Fulham on Saturday.
SAINTS 2 ARSENAL 2
James Ward-Prowse booked for dissent (90 mins).
Arsenal: Olivier Giroud off, Lukas Podolski on (90 mins).
Saints: Steven Davis off, Guly do Prado on (89 mins).
CHANCE (87 mins): Luke Shaw gets down the left and sends in a cross that deflects off Bacary Sagna. The ball nearly loops over Wojciech Szczesny, but he manages to tip it over the bar. From the resulting corner, James Ward-Prowse picks out Jose Fonte, but his side-footed effort from 16 yards is brilliantly tipped away by the Arsenal keeper.
Arsenal: Santi Cazorla off, Kieran Gibbs on (86 mins).
Mathieu Flamini goes in with two feet on Morgan Schneiderlin and is shown a red card. Easy decision for Lee Mason. Arsenal down to ten men for the last ten minutes. (80 mins)
A frantic start to the second half saw Arsenal score twice in the space of four minutes to turn the game on its head. Santi Cazorla produced a simply stunning finish to put them ahead...
Saints: Sam Gallagher off to a standing ovation, James Ward-Prowse on (70 mins)
Arsenal: Serge Gnabry off, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (70 mins)
Arsenal go close to regaining the lead. Mesut Ozil sprints forward from halfway, goes past Maya Yoshida and fires in a shot from the left side of the area. The ball deflects off Jose Fonte, who had slid in to block, and loops over the head of Artur Boruc. It seems to be in the air for an eternity, before hitting the bar and bouncing to safety (64 mins).
SAINTS 2 ARSENAL 2 (Adam Lallana 54)
Saints level the game within moments of the restart. Jay Rodriguez beats Bacary Sagna down the left, squares the ball, and there is an unmarked Adam Lallana to slam past Wojciech Szczesny.
SAINTS 1 ARSENAL 2 (Santi Cazorla 52)
Amazing turnaround. Santi Cazorla slices a beautiful shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards after Mesut Ozil's pass picked him out.
It's such a massive night for Sam Gallagher and he has done well so far, other than one bad miss. Here he is in action...
SAINTS 1 ARSENAL 1 (Olivier Giroud 48)
Arsenal level things up within a few minutes of the restart. Bacary Sagna beats Jay Rodriguez to an overhit cross and fires a a ball into the six-yard box, where Giroud manages to flick it in.
Arsene Wenger wasn't looking too happy in the first half but that might have just changed...
The second half is underway.
SAINTS 1 ARSENAL 0
CHANCE (44 mins): Incredibly, this is Arsenal's first effort. Per Mertesacker meets a corner, flicking the ball towards goal. It goes into the path of Laurent Koscielny six yards out, who prods the ball forward, but Artur Boruc makes an excellent reaction stop.
CHANCE (42 mins): A glorious move by Saints, as Sam Gallagher lays the ball back to Adam Lallana just inside the box. He flicks a back heel to Steven Davis, who does a 360-degree spin on the ball, before sending it back to Gallagher. Just as he pulls the trigger, though, Laurent Koscielny slides in to make an amazing block.
Wojciech Szczesny can't keep it out at the near post...
CHANCE (36 mins): It's a real shame for the youngster, but Sam Gallagher has missed a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0. Nacho Monreal makes a terrible mistake, kicking a clearance from near his own byline straight against Steven Davis. The ball spins across goal and into the path of Gallagher six yards out and right in line with the middle of the goal. He's a little off balance as he shoots, and he puts his effort wide.
Jose Fonte beats Nacho Monreal to head home the opening goal...
Olivier Giroud cautioned after a poor tackle on Morgan Schneiderlin (31 mins).
CHANCE (23 mins): Adam Lallana fires in a shot from 20 yards that deflects off Mathieu Flamini and goes just wide.
SAINTS 1 ARSENAL 0 (Jose Fonte 21)
A well-deserved lead for Saints. Luke Shaw sends over a cross from the left, and Jose Fonte, above, outjumps Nacho Monreal to head past Wojciech Szcsesny at the back post.
Come on #saintsfc !! http://t.co/MJZ7F23haK— @DejanLovren05 28 January 2014
CHANCE (8 mins): Arsenal try to play their way out of their own area, but are caught by Saints, as Jay Rodriguez slides in to tackle Nacho Monreal. The ball falls to the feet of Sam Gallagher just inside the box, but his well-struck right-foot shot is beaten away Wojciech Szczesny.
CHANCE (7 mins): Saints have started well, and they created the game's first opening as Luke Shaw broke away down the left and delivered a cross to the near post. Per Mertesacker made a mess of his clearance, with the ball hitting Sam Gallagher six yards out and going wide.
Referee Lee Mason gets the match underway.
The teams are out here at St Mary's. Kick-off now just a few minutes away. We will have updates here for you throughout the match.
Looking forward to going back to where it all began for me tomorrow.... #Saints #StMarys #AFC http://t.co/YI4xnFxatv— @Alex_OxChambo 27 January 2014
And to the relief of those shortly to get out of their cars, and the players who are now out warming up, the rain has just stopped
Here's the latest traffic news for those heading to the ground...
Thomas Lewis Way; Busy inbound approaching Bevois Valley Road.@SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Stoneham Way Busy inbound approaching Thomas Lewis Way jct @SouthamptonFC @arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Bassett Avenue; Busy inbound approaching Burgess Road jct & The Avenue; Busy inbound approaching Inner Avenue.@SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
West Quay Road; Slow traffic inbound approaching Town Quay.@SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Redbridge Rd Busy inbound approaching Millbrook Rdbt & Millbrook Road West; Busy inbound approaching Mountbatten Way.@SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Just a reminder,Please be aware that Eastgate MSCP just off of East St has levels 7,8,9&10 closed due to repair work @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
M271; Heavy Traffic, delays southbound approaching Redbridge Rdbt @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino confirmed yesterday that the club are considering signing one new player before the transfer window closes on Friday night. He has also addressed the issue of the market in tonight's matchday programme. In his own notes, he said...
The transfer window closes later this week and we continue to monitor movements. Obviously, it is encouraging to have the support from Katharina (Liebherr, the owner), but we will only bring in players if we feel that it is right to do so.Mauricio Pochettino
Poch said yesterday he'd have "no fear at all" starting @Sam9allagher in a big Prem Lg game. So it seems. Starts for #saintsfc v Arsenal.— @gordonsimpson 28 January 2014
The big news for Saints tonight is that 18-year-old striker Sam Gallagher starts up front. The teenager scored his first senior goal when he netted in last Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup fourth round win against Yeovil, at St Mary's. This is a different kettle of fish for the youngster, though, but also a wonderful occasion for him. He plays in the absence of Rickie Lambert, who has not overcome a hamstring injury in time, while Dani Osvaldo is also absent through a club-imposed suspension. Calum Chambers starts at right-back, instead of Nathaniel Clyne, who is on the bench. Maya Yoshida partners Jose Fonte at the heart of defence, with Dejan Lovren out injured. Victor Wanyama is back on the bench, after recovering from a hairline leg fracture that he suffered in early December.
For Arsenal, Mikel Arteta comes in for the injured Jack Wilshere. The Gunners are pretty much at full strength for this one, though. There is also a place on the bench for ex-Saints winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Most City Centre routes busy due to sheer volume of traffic @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
SAINTS: Boruc; Chambers, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw; Cork, Schneiderlin; S Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez; Gallagher.
Subs: K Davis, Clyne, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Hooiveld, Isgrove.
ARSENAL: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Flamini; Ozil, Cazorla, Gnabry; Giroud.
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Bendtner.
Referee: Lee Mason.
Itchen Bridge; Slow Traffic; Busy inbound approaching Central Bridge. @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
5:18pm Tue 28 Jan 14
A strong risk of heavy showers tonight, but will they still water the pitch before each half?
Burgess Road; Busy eastbound approaching The Avenue jct. @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
St Andrews Road; Delays southbound approaching Six Dials.@SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
ARSENAL will need to be at their best to beat Saints tonight, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Gunners boss brings his league-leading team to St Mary’s tonight and is
expecting a tough night against the hosts.
“They are above expected and the quality of their displays has been very good and everybody who goes today to Southampton knows that they will get
a difficult game,” said Wenger.
“That’s why we want to focus on being at our best, because Southampton on our plan is a game where you want to take the points but you know we need to fight to get them.”
West Quay Road; Delays inbound approaching Town Quay.@SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Northam Bridge Busy outbound approaching Bitterne Road West & Northam Road; Busy outbound approaching Northam Bridge @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Stoneham Way; Busy inbound approaching Thomas Lewis Way jct. @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
PHOTO: It was also 3-2 in May 2001, when @mattletiss7 won it with The Dell's final competitive goal. #saintsfc http://t.co/gNsvendzf1— @SouthamptonFC 28 January 2014
4:54pm Tue 28 Jan 14
As much as I hate saying this but I would take a draw right now.
Away from St Mary's, Saints fans might be interested in the latest on Kenwyne Jones, who once went on strike as he tried to force a move to Sunderland from Southampton.
Now it’s time to look forward! We’re three hours from kick-off at St Mary’s – tonight’s team news will be announced at 6.45pm GMT. #saintsfc— @SouthamptonFC 28 January 2014
Town Quay; Delays inbound approaching Platform Road.— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Thomas Lewis Way; Delays inbound approaching St Denys Road jct. @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
In other Saints news, the club today released Aaron Martin.
Bassett Avenue; Busy in both directions. @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Stoneham Way; Busy outbound approaching Jct 5 on the M27.@SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
If you're heading to St Mary's tonight, be sure to wrap up warmm and wearing something waterproof, as there is a risk of rain and temperatures are expected to be around 6°C - although that could be ever lower at the ground.
SAINTS have an injury concern over Rickie Lambert ahead of tonight’s visit of Premier League leaders Arsenal.
The striker has been suffering with a slight hamstring problem, and is a doubt for this evening’s match.
Mauricio Pochettino revealed yesterday that a decision would be made after assessing him in training.
With Dani Osvaldo suspended, Jay Rodriguez is the most likely candidate to lead the line if Lambert misses out.
Tonight's other Premier League fixtures:
7.45pm ko unless stated:
- Manchester United v Cardiff,
- Norwich v Newcastle,
- Swansea v Fulham,
- Crystal Palace v Hull (8pm),
- Liverpool v Everton (8pm).
Northam Road/Six Dials; Busy outbound approaching Northam Bridge. @SouthamptonFC @Arsenal— @scchighways 28 January 2014
Some key head-to-head stats ahead of tonight's match:
Top Scorers: Jay Rodriguez (11) v Olivier Giroud (12)
Most Assists: Steven Davis (6) v Mesut Ozil (10)
Bad boys: Morgan Schneiderlin (5Y/0R) v Mikel Arteta (4Y/2R)
One of the key battles tonight could be between Jack Cork and Mesut Ozil.
Both Cork and Morgan Schneiderlin will have a lot to look out for tonight, but perhaps no one more than lethal playmaker Mesut Ozil, right.
Keep him quiet and Saints’ chances improve greatly.
M271; Heavy Traffic, delays southbound approaching Redbridge Rdbt.— @scchighways 28 January 2014
With the game being a 7.45pm kick-off, many fans will be flocking to the city after work this evening.
This could mean traffic problems during and after rush hour. We'll provide an update of any issues here.
Dani Osvaldo has also been ruled out, after being suspended by the club for two weeks following an alleged headbutt on Jose Fonte.
Saints will be missing Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez, who suffered injuries during the last Premier League match, a 2-2 draw at Sunderland.
Saints welcome Arsenal to St Mary's tonight, as they look to come to terms with some injury problems.