Manchester United beware: Arsenal and Southampton big winners

Manchester United beware: Arsenal and Southampton big winners

Cazorla Arsenal
Wikimedia: Ronnie Macdonald

With the big boys of the Premier League finally wrapping up their games, it was Arsenal that finished the weekend with the biggest victory.

The Gunners headed into the Etihad Stadium in Manchester with a huge task in front of them: gets points or be stuck in seventh place in the Premier League standings behind all of their major rivals.

Not only did they get points, but they won the game in dominant fashion over Manchester City, the second place team in the league.

Arsenal forced the issue at every opportunity. They pinned City in their defensive third multiple times and forced turnovers with endless pressure coming from the Gunners attackers. Vincent Kompany, one of the elite defenders in world football, made a massive mistake in his own penalty area by taking Nacho Monreal to ground and giving up a penalty kick. Santi Cazorla buried the chance giving Arsenal the lead in the 24th minute.

From that point on Arsenal controlled the game with aggressive defensive work. Oliver Giroud buried a free kick with a header to finish off the scoring in the 66th minute. Cazorla continued his great run of form with a perfectly weighted free kicked.

The Manchester City defense was caught totally off guard and did little to help goal keeper Joe Hart.  It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means as both teams gave the ball away numerous times with little to no pressure on them.

Arsenal gained three valuable points and jumped bitter rivals Tottenham to climb into the fifth place one point behind Manchester United and three points behind Southampton.

Southampton were also big winners on the weekend, securing a vital three points against Newcastle. A loss could have sabotaged a potential top four spot and would have left them level with Manchester United on points.

With heavyweights Man United and Arsenal breathing down their necks, every point is crucial as they look for their highest finish in the Premier League in recent memory.