Player Ratings

Southampton 1-0 Arsenal Player Ratings: Willian flops as holders exit FA Cup

Arsenal's defence of the FA Cup ended at the fourth-round stage as they failed to get going offensively against a solid Southampton side.

 
3:05pm on Saturday 23rd January 2021
By
Robin Bairner

Arsenal's defence of their FA Cup ended on Saturday as they were defeated 1-0 away to Southampton.

An own goal from Gabriel was the difference between the sides, with the Gunners made to pay for a slow start to the game.

Although Mikel Arteta's side were able to mount an improved display in the second half, this arrived too late and they were unable to get back on terms. The first period, meanwhile, was worryingly reminiscent of the poor displays they habitually turned in during the first half of the season.

Southampton v Arsenal: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE

Nicolas Pepe: 7.2

Nicolas Pepe continues to be something of an enigma at Arsenal. He shows moments of the quality that attracted them to spend so much money to sign him from Lille but rarely manages to put it all together.

That was evident in this encounter. The winger was quiet in the opening period but improved dramatically after the break, when he became Arsenal's chief attacking outlet.

He typified the fine margins that his side lacked in order to get back into the game, however, and was notably wasteful with a second-half free kick that flew over the top from a tight angle.

On the plus side, the attacker did create a couple of big chances - the only two that arrived over the course of the game for either side.

BAD PERFORMANCE

Willian: 6.1

Willian was not Arsenal's worst performer but his impotence in this fixture typified that of his team.

This was seen as an opportunity for the Brazil international to fight for a spot in the starting XI, but he came up completely short. He mustered only a single shot, which was not on target, and was not an influence offensively.

While he was unable to instigate anything going forward, he was a passenger defensively and achieved only a couple of ball recoveries.

STAR MAN

Jan Bednarek: 7.3

A colossal performance in the heart of the Southampton defence from Bednarek, who was one of the chief reasons that Arsenal were so impotent as an attacking force.

He swept up everything that came close to him. Won two of the three tackles he attempted, seven of the nine duels he competed for and all four headers he challenged.

Throw in five clearances, two interceptions and five recoveries, and this was a complete defensive display.

Southampton v Arsenal: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

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