Arsenal 6 Southampton 1

Santi Cazorla, that midfield maestro, the wizard with both feet was the architect as the rampant Gunners rifled six past Southampton. Arsenal were gifted an own goal that got them into the goalscoring groove, but in truth, such was their dominance, Arsene Wenger’s men looked in the mood even before Jos Schneiderlin deflected Kieran Gibbs shot for the opener. A superb Lukas Podolski free-kick doubled the Gunners’ advantage, with Gerevinho – playing a more central role – netting his first of the afternoon on 34 minutes. The Saints, still the only pointless team in the Premiership, gave the Gunners more help, with this time Nathaniel Clyne deflecting another Gibbs effort for a 4-0 scoreline after only 37 minutes. A howler from Wojciech Szczesny allowed Daniel Fox to breach an Arsenal defence for the first time this season for 4-1 at half time. But Gervinho and substitute Theo Walcott restored the Gunners’ dominant mood in the second half for a 6-1 scoreline which spoke volumes of Wenger’s teams’ determination.

Southampton we must recall gave both the Manchester sides a game that neither could have anticipated, and arguably could have gotten at least a point if not more from either outing. Against Arsenal however, the Saints were handed a footballing lesson, which also signalled Wenger’s intent. Injured on international duty, Abou Diaby was close to featuring but given his injury history Wenger elected to give Francis Coquelin a start. His disciplined role alongside a defensive Mikel Arteta gave the Gunners’ defence the protection, and in which Per Mertersacker, Gibbs, Carl Jenskinson and the embodiment of assistant coach Steve Bould’s influence, skipper Thomas Vermaelen who once again demonstrated the knack of knowing when to sit and when to advance. Vermaelen later surged forward for a shot from which Walcott profited two minutes before time.

Before that, it was an Arsenal side run by Cazorla, who increasingly is getting that understanding with Podolski that bodes well for Arsenal fans. And they were off their seats on 11 minutes. Gibbs ran at Clyne and his shot hit in off the retreating Schneiderlin, giving Kelvin Davis no chance. It would prove to be a busy and frustrating afternoon for the Saints’ ‘kepper. When Coquelin was brought down on the half hour mark, to earn a free-kick, up stepped Podolski. The German let fly with a quality curled left footed shot full of deception which proved too good for Davis. In fairness to him, it would have been too good for most ‘keepers. A mere four minutes later, Gervinho made it 3-0. Arteta found himself on the right for a change, and fed the Ivorian in full flow to beat Davis at his near post.

Game over you felt, but Southampton continued to play. But once again when the promising Clyne got in the way of Gibbs drive on 37 minutes, Davis was again beaten. It was too easy, and coming up to half time, you got the feeling that concentration could prove top be the issue for the Gunners. However it was Szczesny’s inability to hold onto a routine cross that gave what was to prove the visitors only bright moment of the afternoon. Fox finished with Szczesny helpless.

Arsenal resumed their awesome offensive first half momentum when Gervinho got his second. Substitute Aaron Ramsey took Cazorla’s pass neatly beyond Clyne and struck the post, with Gervinho hitting the rebound in from a yard out. On came Theo Walcott who alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain began their careers on the south coast. Cazorla was once again the instigator of the attack for the Gunners’ sixth. The 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 winner fed Vermaelen, whose shot was parried by Davis. Walcott was alert to the follow up and hit his first goal of the season for the Gunners first home win to complete the rout, and in some style too.