181216 Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin Image Credit: AFP

Southampton: A late goal by substitute Charlie Austin gave relegation-threatened Southampton a thrilling 3-2 victory over Arsenal on Sunday in new Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuettl’s first home game.

It was the Londoners’ first defeat in 23 games in all competitions and meant they lost ground on fourth-placed Chelsea, while Southampton moved out of the bottom three.

Danny Ings, back after injury, headed two fine goals in the first half from equally good crosses by Matt Targett and Nathan Redmond.

In between, Mkhitaryan drew Arsenal level with a header of his own and early in the second half he scored via a big deflection.

Yet in the 85th minute Austin, who had come on for the tiring Ings, headed in a cross by Shane Long.

“We knew those crosses would be dangerous, we’ve been working on them all week, and I was there to put them away,” said Ings.

“As a club we know the position we’ve put ourselves, and with the squad we’ve got it’s not good enough.

“But if we keep showing resilience and hard work we can turn it round. It shows we’re moving in the right direction already.”

The win sent Southampton above Burnley into 17th place while Arsenal remained fifth in the table.

“We weren’t concentrated through the 90 minutes. There were spells where we didn’t defend well as a group,” said Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi.

“Southampton deserve credit. They had a game plan and they stuck to it, but it’s disappointing by us.

“We’re frustrated the unbeaten run is over. We had chances to win the game. But we should give ourselves some credit for going on the run. Now we have to keep going and try to go on another run.”

Eden Hazard set up an early goal and then scored for the first time since October to lead Chelsea to a 2-1 win over Brighton.

Playing in a “false nine” role in Chelsea’s attack for the second straight game, Hazard laid on the opener for Pedro Rodriguez with a low Centre across the six-yard box in the 17th minute.

A mistake by Brighton defender Leon Balogun led to Hazard’s goal in the 33rd, with Willian cutting out a pass from the back and playing the ball through for Hazard to run clear and finish low from just inside the area.

Hazard last scored against Southampton on October 7.

“I like to score, but it’s not important for me,” said Hazard. “The most important thing is to win games. I just enjoy my football and that’s why I’m on the pitch.

“We want to be top of the league at the end of the season. We know Man City and Liverpool are good teams — we don’t want the gap to be big.

“I always play with the same ability and quality. As a winger and striker I just try to enjoy my football.”

Outplayed in the first half, Brighton improved after the break and reduced the deficit when Solly March turned in a shot from close range in the 66th.

Chelsea moved seven points behind first-placed Manchester City.


Brighton 1 Chelsea 2

Southampton 3 Arsenal 2

Playing later

Liverpool v Manchester United