Arsene Wenger pleased with Arsenal mentality against Southampton

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry

Danny Welbeck scored twice as Arsenal edged out Southampton 3-2 in an incident-packed game to leave their opponents stuck in the Premier League's relegation zone.

Welbeck's recall suggests he is in contention to make the squad for Russian Federation, though he refuses to look beyond Thursday's Europa League tie against CSKA Moscow.

The England worldwide had found the net in the first half too, his deflected drive making it 2-1 after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's poked finish had cancelled out Shane Long's early opener for the visitors.

Welbeck put the hosts ahead as he collected Alex Iwobi's slide-rule pass before cutting inside and seeing his shot deflect in off the heel of Maya Yoshida.

Charlie Austin restored parity for Southampton in the 73rd minute but Welbeck got the victor eight minutes later from Iwobi's assist.

Southampton remain third-bottom, three points from safety but with a game in hand over Crystal Palace in 17th.

The Gunners needed fifteen minutes to pull themselves together after the opening goal, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on their first real chance-after a flick-on from Danny Welbeck, Aubameyang just beat Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and another defender to the ball for the equalizer. And I've seen him behave when it was really hard and tough, so he deserves everything he gets.

The England forward had not scored a single league goal since September previous year, but proved the catalyst for a much-changed Arsenal side ahead of their Europa League quarter-final second leg at CSKA Moscow on Thursday.

And at the end of the first 45 minutes it was the Gunners that walked into the tunnel with a 2 - 1 lead. I know when I get the opportunity in front of goal I will put them away.

This isn't the first time that Long has gotten on the score-sheet against Arsenal.

Danny Welbeck netted a brace in a game which saw both sides end with only 10 men.

"I'm happy with the assist, glad to get the goals". It was the England forward's first league goal since September.

"I'm pleased for him because he has been through hard times", Wenger said.

Southampton's Jack Stephens was sent off in stoppage time for a clash with Gunners substitute Jack Wilshere - who should also have been dismissed according to Southampton manager Mark Hughes.

"His game is about going past people, about taking them on, and overall I believe he's shown he has the necessary tactical and technical level".

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