Bukayo Saka was once again the star of the show as Mikel Arteta’s resurgent side maintained their fine form with an excellent 3-1 win over Southampton at St. Mary Stadium.
One month ago, before Arsenal match against Chelsea on Boxing Day, Gunners were sitting four points off the relegation zone.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal had suffered eight Premier League defeats in their first 14 games and had endured their worst start to a campaign since 1974-75 campaign.
The 3-1 win against Chelsea on Boxing Day has sparked a remarkable revival in north London and now – after this 3-1 at Southampton – Arteta’s side sit eighth, and they are just five points off the top four spot.
The enthusiasm of youth given to Arsenal by the brilliant Bukayo Saka, Kieren Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe has revived the team. And arrival of Thomas Partey from injury would add spice to the team.
Saka has now scored four goals in six league games since Boxing Day, with his excellent strike late on in the first half at St Mary’s sending Arsenal into half-time 2-1 in front.
The visitors had fallen behind after just three minutes when Stuart Armstrong was left unmarked to rifle home a fabulous half-volley from James Ward-Prowse’s corner.
Nicolas Pepe’s sixth goal of the season make it level before Saka skipped round Alex McCarthy to finish off Alexandre Lacazette’s through ball.
It was the type of turnaround that has epitomised Arsenal’s form since Boxing Day and they went on to put the gloss on another impressive victory with a 10th goal of the season from Lacazette on 72 minutes.
Again, Saka was at the heart of the move, rolling a perfect cross into the France striker’s path, having been picked out by a wonderful cross-field ball from Cedric Soares.
Arsenal have now won five of their last six Premier League games, with a goalless draw against Crystal Palace the only blot on their copy book since Christmas.
Arsenal away win at St. Mary was the first time this season that they had come from behind to claim three points in the Premier League. This shows the development that’s going on in the team, and what Arteta’s team could wrought out in the future.
And the fact they achieved it without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was missing once again due to family reasons, and the injured Kieran Tierney made it even more impressive.
Saka was magnificent once again. He may still be a teenager, but he is already one of the leaders in this side.
Arsenal have plenty of exciting young talents on their hands, but none bigger than the 19-year-old, who is rapidly becoming their most important player.
The Gunners host league leaders Manchester United on Saturday, a team they’ve already beaten once this season.
Victory in north London and their hopes for a Champions League spot, which seemed a distant dream just four weeks ago, will be very much alive.