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Southampton dump holders Arsenal out of FA Cup

24 January 2021, MVT 11:52
Southampton's English striker Danny Ings (L) vies with Arsenal's Spanish defender Pablo Mari during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, Hampshire,on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /
24 January 2021, MVT 11:52

Southampton dumped FA Cup holders Arsenal out of the competition on Saturday, winning 1-0 courtesy of a Gabriel own goal to set up a fifth-round meeting with Wolves.

The much-changed Gunners, who have won the competition a record 14 times, fell behind midway through the first half and could not find a way back.

Ralph Hasenhuttl fielded a strong side at St Mary's, with Danny Ings returning after a hamstring injury and a positive coronavirus test alongside former Arsenal forward Theo Walcott.

Mikel Arteta made seven changes from their 3-0 Premier League win against Newcastle on Monday.

Southampton, who had never previously beaten Arsenal in the FA Cup, were the brighter team in the first half in the winter sunshine on England's south coast.

James Ward-Prowse rattled the crossbar from a swerving corner and Che Adams forced a fine save from Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Southampton got the reward their positive approach deserved in the 24th minute.

Southampton's English midfielder James Ward-Prowse (L) and Southampton's Polish defender Jan Bednarek react at the final whistle during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, Hampshire,on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /

Mohamed Elneny gave away possession on the edge of his own box and the ball was worked to Kyle Walker-Peters on the right side of the Southampton attack.

The defender drilled it across the six-yard area and it was inadvertently turned in by Gabriel -- the first time rejuvenated Arsenal had conceded since December 26 against Chelsea.

Ward-Prowse then struck a shot from distance that sailed wide and Ings hit a fierce volley that was blocked by Hector Bellerin.

Arsenal found their feet in the second half and Fraser Forster was forced to make a sharp save with his feet to keep out Eddie Nketiah's deflected shot after a pass from Nicolas Pepe.

Arteta threw on forward Alexandre Lacazette to bolster his attack as Arsenal pinned Southampton back.

Lacazette was inches away from getting on the end of a teasing cross by fellow substitute Bukayo Saka as the minutes ticked away but Arsenal could not find an equaliser.

The exit will be a bitter disappointment for Arsenal, who have won the FA Cup four times in the past seven seasons -- in sharp contrast to their toils in the Premier League.

Arteta's side will return to Southampton for a league meeting on Tuesday, aiming to continue their fine recent run that has lifted them to 10th in the table.

Southampton, United Kingdom | AFP

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