Arsenal made light of Arsene Wenger and Granit Xhaka absence as they demolished Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Both Wenger and Xhaka were suspended for four matches each – starting with the FA Cup game- after the Gunners boss was found guilty of misconduct in the league game against Burnley and Xhaka red-carded in the same match.
But Arsenal ensured their off the pitch problems had no effect on them as they keep their hope of winning a silverware this season alive, thrashing the Saints 5-0 at the St. Mary Stadium.
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Both Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott who had been out with different injuries ensured that Arsenal progress in the competition. The England internationals scored a brace and a hat-trick respectively.
Starting his first game in nine months after the knee injury that sidelined him for the lengthy period, Welbeck showed he has lost none of his power and pace as he terrorized the Saints defence leading to three goals in opening 35 minutes- scoring twice and assisting Walcott’s first goal.
Alexis Sanchez came off the bench to replace Welbeck and provided two more assists for Walcott to complete his hat-trick against his former club.
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The Gunners dominated the game completely and they took the inexperienced team featured by Claude Puel to the sword. The Saints manager appeared to be more concerned about the league game against Swansea on Tuesday as he made ten changes to the team that defeated Liverpool in the EFL semi-final.
If Welbeck retains this consistency, he will be a key asset for the Gunners in their title pursuit.