• Jose Fonte header put Saints 3-0 up following a corner with 21 minutes left 
  • Shane Long taps home after half-time to double Southampton lead 
  • Cuco Martina hits incredible goal with outside of boot from 30 yards 
  • Barclays Premier League match at St Mary’s kicks off at 7.45pm GMT
  • Southampton XI: Stekelenburg, Martina, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Wanyama, Clasie (Romeu), Davis, Mane (Juanmi), Ward-Prowse (Tadic), Long
  • Saints subs: Yoshida, Juanmi, Ramirez, Gazzaniga, Caulker
  • Arsenal XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini (Chambers), Ramsey, Walcott (Iwobi), Ozil, Campbell (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Giroud
  • Arsenal subs: Gibbs, Gabriel, Ospina, Reine-Adelaide

Dan Ripley for MailOnline

  • Dan Ripley

    Host commentator

Shane Long of Southampton (right) celebrates with team-mates as he scores their second goal

90+2min: But Southampton are not done yet! Shane Long is once again played in on goal only this time after darting inside the box he fires in a near post finish which flies through the legs of Petr Cech.

87min: Ronald Koeman started the week with a bold gamble in criticising his side but it has really paid off big time this evening.

The Southampton fans know it too as they chant in support of their manager with ‘one Ronald Koeman.’

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman holds back Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil as Ryan Bertrand looks on

84min: Southampton have pretty much settled to play on the counter attack now, not a bad tactic considering how shaky Mertesacker and Koscielny have looked.

Arsenal are still looking to attack though as Giroud’s weak header from a cross loops easily into Stekelenburg’s arms. 

81min: Final change for Southampton as Juanmi comes on to replace Mane.

78min: Final change for Arsenal as Alex Iwobi, nephew of former Bolton Wanderers legend Jay-Jay Okocha, replaces Walcott.

Laurent Koscielny (from left), Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal look dejected as Southampton extend their advantage at St Mary’s

74min: Arsenal make a second change and it’s another former Southampton player coming on as Calum Chambers replaces Mathieu Flamini.

72min: Tempers are flaring but then Victor Wanyama’s reckless challenge on Ramsey is what provokes an angry reaction from the Arsenal midfielder, as the two square up before being separated by the referee.

Dusan Tadic has replaced Ward-Prowse for the hosts.

69min: It gets worse for Arsenal. Following a debatable corner, Ryan Bertrand swings in a near post cross and there with a header is Jose Fonte to power home.

For all of Southampton’s poor defending from corners in the first half, it’s the Saints taking advantage from set-pieces.

Jose Fonte (right) scores the third goal for Southampton with a header

Fonte celebrates scoring his side’s third goal at St Mary’s

67min: There is a standing ovation for Clasie as he departs, with former Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu replacing him. Can he match the job of keeping Ozil quiet? It’s a tough ask.

66min: Problems for Southampton as Jordy Clasie has gone down inside his own half near the penalty box with what appears to be cramp.

It appears there is nothing left in the tank for the midfielder as Saints prepare a replacement.

65min: On comes Oxlade-Chamberlain, as Joel Campbell departs for the Gunners who have 25 minutes to rescue something from this game.

61min: Arsenal continue to press. This time Ramsey spots space to shoot from 20 yards but his deflected effort loses power as Stekelenburg easily takes.

Shane Long celebrates after scoring the second goal for Southampton against Arsenal

55min: Now Arsenal are in trouble! Southampton counter the Gunners, with Shane Long spraying the ball out wide to Sadio Mane before darting into the box at the far post to tap a low cross from the forward into an empty net.

The big question is did Long trip Koscielny after playing the ball out side to Mane. Arsenal feel they should have had a free-kick there – and they have a case.

Click here for more maps and stats with our excellent Match Zone

52min: Or maybe they will get away with it. Cech is back to his feet and will continue. Will that sczre of a second Southampton goal spark Arsenal into a revival?

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal goes between Victor Wanyama (left) and Jordy Clasie of Southampton

50min: Arsenal look in even bigger trouble as Virgil van Dijk heads into the back of the net from a free-kick but his foot is JUST offside as the ball is played into the box. ‘Just’ being enough of course.

Arsenal haven’t completely got away with it though. Petr Cech collided with Van Dijk trying to make a save and is now down receiving treatment.

Manager Arsene Wenger looks dejected as his Arsenal trail at Southampton

Click here for more maps and stats with our excellent Match Zone

You expect Mesut Ozil to produce an assist every time he steps on the pitch these days, but it’s not happened for the German so far.

Three chances have been created but two of those were from corners, and the other from a free-kick.

Ozil has popped up across the attacking areas of the pitch for Arsenal but he needs to somehow become more involved from open play – rather than pick fights with Jordy Clasie.

Click here for more maps and stats with our excellent Match Zone

It really is a goal you just keep on watching. It’s not just the distance and power that makes Cuco Martina’s goal special.

The technique to use the outside of his boot and find the bottom corner with perfection is out of this world.

Aside from that wonder whack, there hasn’t been too much between the teams with both sides having good opportunities in front of goal. 

We have a top second half all set that’s for sure.

Aaron Ramsey (from left), Olivier Giroud and Nacho Monreal of Arsenal look dejected as Cuco Martina of Southampton scores their first goal

42min: Goodness me, that’s a DREADFUL finish. The move is a simple one to break down Arsenal, Sadio Mane sending a ball over the Arsenal defence.

But after Shane Long homes in on goal he lifts a lob over the onrushing Cech, over the bar, over the stand and I can imagine the ball has landed somewhere near where The Dell used to be.

39min: One thing Southampton haven’t learned from this game is that they really need to sort their marking out.

Remember that Ozil corner from the opening five minutes? Well the German whips another ball into a similar position where Walcott can can only nod into the side netting. Another let off for the Saints.

Nacho Monreal (centre) of Arsenal and James Ward-Prowse of Southampton battle for the ball

35min: Lovely finish from Shane Long, spinning 180 degrees to back heel past Cech from an acute angle.

But it came after he fouled Per Mertesacker and he is also booked for kicking the ball away.

33min: Mesut Ozil and Jordy Clasie are exchanging verbals, and while it’s not even come to handbags yet, the pair are constantly taking snipes at each other.

But if Clasie’s job was to win wind the German up and stop him playing, it’s certainly working so far.

30min: Southampton started the game sloppy, but it’s now Arsenal looking a mess at the back. Laurent Koscielny fails to deal with a bouncing ball inside the box, but despite it falling loose for Steven Davis, the Southampton midfielder can only perform an airkick as the Gunners scramble clear.

James Ward-Prowse has a shot on goal for Southampton as the hosts attempted to double their lead

25min: Southampton started poorly but are causing Arsenal problems at the back. James Ward-Prowse picking up a loose ball before making an angle to shoot and firing narrowly wide.

Cuco Martina of Southampton scores their first goal with a long range shot

Martina celebrates scoring the opening goal with Southampton team-mates as a dejected Theo Walcott looks on

19min: OH MY WORD – WHAT A GOAL! We have seen pass of the day but this is perhaps goal of the month as Cuco Martina has rifled a first time 30-yard effort with the outside of his right boot which has fizzed into the bottom corner leaving Petr Cech with absolutely no chance. Stunning!

Click here for more maps and stats with our excellent Match Zone

11min: For all their defensive marking mishaps and basic errors in attack, Southampton have at least battled well in midfield so far and as a result Arsenal’s attacking influence has been kept to a minimum.

Southampton’s Cuco Martina vies for the ball with Arsenal’s Theo Walcott

5min: A couple of set-pieces already for Arsenal and both have presented good chances. The latest sees Ozil chip a ball into the box, but Per Mertesacker misses out on connecting near the post despite shaking off the marking of Shane Long.

Southampton’s Jose Fonte heads in front of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud

2min: What are Southampton playing at? Arsenal win a corner in the second minute and Mesut Ozil’s near post delivery is met by a completely unmarked Olivier Giroud who heads over.

He didn’t even have to peel off his marker – he was just standing there!

Remember to get the most out of our live coverage by following all the action with Sportsmail’s excellent Match Zone.

It features the latest line-ups, formations, match stats and a handy player comparison tool.

In addition there are heat zones for EVERY player as well as detailed maps of all the goals as they go in.

Nine games down. One to go.

Out come the players at St Mary’s with Arsenal wearing their gold away strip as they look to grab a win and end the day top of the Barclays Premier League table.

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil performs a back flick during the warm up

The pitch at St Mary’s looks in great nick ahead of the last game of Boxing Day

Festive Southampton fans share a laugh before the match

Things are looking good for Arsene Wenger lately – and he has no intention of changing the winning formula that worked so well against Manchester City on Monday.

Mesut Ozil goes in search of his 16th assist of the season. His 15 so far are as many as Southampton’s entire squad have managed this campaign.

Arsenal are unchanged tonight

Arsenal have the opportunity to top the Barclays Premier League tonight after Leicester City’s defeat at Liverpool.

Here’s how the table looks at the minute – although this relies on Newcastle United vs Everton remaining goalless. Follow the latest updates from that game HERE.

A couple of significant absentees from that Southampton XI, with Graziano Pelle and Cedric Soares missing out.

Here’s Ronald Koeman’s explanation: ‘Graziano picked up an injury this week, again it was his knee.

‘Cedric, the same. He got an injury in the training session yesterday.’

Good evening, here’s the team news from St Mary’s.

Southampton (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg; Martina, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand; Wanyama, Clasie; Davis, Mane, Ward-Prowse; Long.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Campbell; Giroud.

Arsene Wenger checks out the pitch at St Mary’s ahead of the game



Arsenal will look to build on their win over Manchester City last week, as they travel to the south coast to take on Southampton on Boxing Day night.

The Gunners took a crucial step in the title race by beating their title rivals on Monday, but that will mean little unless they can keep up their good form against Ronald Koeman’s Saints.

The home side are in need of points themselves, sitting in the bottom half of the table following their most recent defeat, to the Gunners’ north London rivals Spurs.

Join Sportsmail’s DAN RIPLEY for all the action, with kick-off at 7.45pm 

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