Giroud two good as Arsenal beat Southampton
French striker fires brace Gunners beat Southampton 2-0 to go four points clear atop English Premier League table
Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points after Olivier Giroud capitalised on a shocking mistake by Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc to set his side on course for a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Giroud wrapped up the victory with an 86th minute penalty to ensure Arsene Wenger’s side took full advantage of second-placed Liverpool’s failure to beat Everton in the Merseyside derby earlier in the day.
France forward Giroud had given Arsenal a 22nd minute lead when Boruc was caught in possession with the ball at his feet. Giroud’s goals condemned Southampton to only their second league defeat of the season and snuffed out any hope Mauricio Pochettino’s side had of claiming the win that would have moved them to the top of the table.
Southampton arrived in north London boasting the best defensive record in the EPL after conceding just five goals in their opening 11 games, one fewer than Tottenham.
The last thing Arsenal expected, then, was to be gifted an opening goal by the kind of lapse that will give Boruc nightmares.
Poland international Boruc inexplicably failed to clear his lines after collecting a back-pass from Nathaniel Clyne and allowed Giroud to close him down before attempting to round the striker with a series of clumsy drag-backs.
Giroud eventually poked the ball away after the ’keeper had twisted and turned three times and, with Boruc stranded, rolled the ball into an unguarded net.
Everton 3-3 Liverpool
Fulham 1-2 Swansea
Hull 0-1 Crystal Palace
Newcastle 2-1 Norwich
Stoke 2-0 Sunderland
Arsenal 2-0 S’hampton