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Gunners' hard work paid off: Nketiah

Southampton 0 Arsenal 2

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Full advantage: Eddie Nketiah (centre) is congratulated

Full advantage: Eddie Nketiah (centre) is congratulated

PA

Full advantage: Eddie Nketiah (centre) is congratulated

Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy endured a night to forget as Arsenal returned to winning ways with victory over 10-man Saints.

The Gunners had lost their previous two games since the return of the Premier League but a goal apiece for Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock earned Mikel Arteta's side a 2-0 victory at St Mary's.

McCarthy gifted Nketiah the ball for the opener and, after Jack Stephens was dismissed for a late foul on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he failed to hold an Alexandre Lacazette strike as Willock gobbled up the chance.

Having lost at Manchester City and Brighton since the resumption of the season, the three points were enough to take Arsenal back into the top half.

Nketiah said Arsenal had "fought and worked hard".

He said: "I think it was a very important three points. We knew we had to roll our sleeves up and really fight for the three points and hopefully we can build and keep pushing forward.

"It was difficult, they came out really strong in the second half and I thought all the boys fought and worked hard. It's really hard in the heat to keep going but I think we did that.

"Luckily at the end we were able to wrap it up and add a bit of gloss to the scoreline."

On his goal, Nketiah said: "We work a lot on our high press and I think we did it well, and for me personally I try and give it all to the team. I could just tell, a bit of uncertainty from the goalkeeper and I just kept pulling in.

"I've done that about 100 times so it's nice that one of them turned into a goal."

Southampton have lost 10 home league matches in a season for only the second time in their history, also losing 10 in the 1993-94 season.

Southampton visit Watford in the league on Sunday (4.30pm). Arsenal are in FA Cup action on the same day, visiting Sheffield United in the sixth round (1pm).

Belfast Telegraph