After a 6-0 shellacking at the hands of Chelsea back on the 9th of April, Southampton was motivated to perform in their next match. Since their next match was against a skidding Arsenal, this was the best chance for the Saints to bounce back. They did just that as they pulled off the upset victory.
Multiple factors played into the Saints’ win against the Gunners but the most glaring reason has to be their defence. It was a masterful performance from the entire Saints squad as they prevented one of the most explosive clubs in the Premier League from scoring a goal.
There was only one goal scored in the match and that was from defender Jan Bednarek. He is mostly known for his physicality and awareness on defence but he has had a stellar scoring season as a defender. That is not his role for the most part but the 2021-22 campaign has been amazing for the club.
If you look at the odds on Southampton FC sponsorship betting platform Sportsbet, you can see that the Gunners were the favoured club heading into the game. The season so far has been awesome for Arsenal but this recent skid has been huge. They might lose out on qualifying for the Champions League because they’ve fallen out of the top four spots.
Highlighting Fraser Forster’s performance
In the game against Arsenal on the 16th of April, the Saints pulled off quite a performance. They were amazing throughout the match but the player who deserved the man of the match award was Fraser Forster. The goalkeeper was crucial to the result of the match as he constantly stopped Arsenal’s offence. It was a noteworthy game for the Englishman who has been monumental for the Saints’ success this season.
During the match, Forster managed to save shots from the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. Those two youngsters are Arsenal’s two biggest stars and Forster managed to stop their contributions. Those were massive moments for Forster because he was lambasted for the 6-0 loss to Chelsea a few days before. Most of the people within the Saints camp knew that loss wasn’t on Forster but he received most of the vitriol.
Bednarek talked about how important Forster was for the Saints in this match. The Pole said, ‘Obviously it could go either way but thankfully we had Fraser in the goal, who made a fantastic performance and we kept a clean sheet, so that’s good. I think Fraser made a good game against Chelsea – the problem was they had so many chances that he couldn’t keep a clean sheet and he conceded six goals. Thankfully today we kept a clean sheet, but he was outstanding with the saves he made’.
Hasenhüttl praises the Saints’ effort
With the win against Arsenal, the Saints rose to 12th in the standings. This essentially ensured them away from the relegation zone which they were dangerously close to in the early days of the 2021-22 season. This was a noteworthy game for the Saints and manager Ralph Hasenhüttl because it was an energy-filled game that was won through effort.
The Saints needed these three points and they worked hard for the win. On both offence and defence, they were decisive with most of their moves as they secured a clean sheet while also attacking well.
After the match, Hasenhüttl praised the Saints’ effort because they proved that they deserve his trust. He said, ‘We absolutely needed these points after our last home game. Against a good side, we tried to play a little different today… It was a special day for him and I’m very happy after the session where it looked like he couldn’t play because he has a problem with his ankle after an accident, that he pushed hard and did everything from yesterday to today at 3 o’clock to be available’.
Bednarek wants to continue his blistering 2021-22 season
Apart from Forster, Bednarek was another big star during the match against Arsenal. Of course, he was the only player who scored a goal during the match. He wants to continue this kind of play because he knows that he is capable of scoring more goals even if he is a defender. He has been one of the best Saints players this season which is a promising development since he is only 26 years old.
Bednarek talked about how he has improved this season and why he wants to keep it going. He said, ‘When you are a centre-back you try to defend, but it’s also important to score a few goals in the season to help the team from the set-pieces. We work a lot with Dave Watson on them and the hard work is paying back. Hopefully, I can score a few more this season… We have six games to go and we have time to prepare. We don’t have too much pressure – we are far away from the relegation battle, so now we can enjoy playing football, enjoy doing what we love, and that’s what we will try to do in the coming weeks’.Hopefully, more people can believe in the Saints because they are a promising team, especially with a good manager at the helm. You should also look at the Southampton FC sponsorship with Sportsbet where you can bet on the Saints during their Prem games.