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Saints 1 Arsenal 1
3:42pm Tuesday 1st January 2013 in Sport
This live event has finished
- Saints out of the relegation zone
- Three draws in a row for Saints after holding the Gunners
- Ramirez gives Saints the lead but Do Prado own goal levels things up
- Aston Villa draw with defeats for Reading and Wigan earlier
That's three draws on the trot
Saints are out of the bottom three with a fine point
Full time - Saints 1 Arsenal 1
Puncheon turns one way then the other but drives a right footed shot straight at the keeper who pushes it away
Final change for Saints with Steve De Ridder coming on for Do Prado with seven minutes remaining before Gervinho cuts in wide and drives low but hits the side netting
Arteta drives a shot but it goes wide
Ward-Prowse replaces Ramirez for Saints on 77 minutes
74 minutes - changes for both teams.
Rodriguez on for Lambert for Saints.
Double change for Arsenal with Gervinho and Ramsey replacing Chamberlain and Cazorla.
Ramirez gets the ball in the net but ruled out for a foul
Walcott has a shot from 20 yards which he drills low but straight at Boruc
Good period for Saints as first Puncheon and then Ramirez have shots but they are both off target
Schneiderlin booked for a foul on Cazrola
58 minutes - Arsenal sub with Giroud replacing Podolski
Do Prado curls in an effort from 25 yards that Szczesny turns wide.
From the corner the ball hits Sagna and from a yard out the Arsenal keeper reacts very quickly to make a good stop to prevent the seocnd own goal of the game.
Bright start to the second half for Saints
The second half is underway
Half time - Saints 1 Arsenal 1
Arsenal appeal for a penalty for handball against Cork but not given by the referee before Walcott gets the ball in the net but is rightly flagged for offside.
GOAL - 41 minutes - Saints 1 Arsenal 1
Puncheon gives away a free kick on the right that is whipped into the box low by Walcott.
Do Prado slides in to try and block it but diverts it into his own net.
GOAL - 34 minutes - Saints 1 Arsenal 0
Shambles of a goal from an Arsenal point of view but brilliant for Saints.
Sagna has the chance to clear but only finds Puncheon. He mishits his shot and it comes out to Ramirez who side foots home from 12 yards out
Just to clarify that few chances should really read no chances thus far.
Saints are looking very composed here.
Few chances in the game but at this stage that suits Saints better.
Saints starting to get a foothold in the game.
Saints have a penalty appeal turned down after Yoshida goes down in the area.
Cazorla's shot deflected wide before a worrying moment as Boruc lets a seemingly easy take from a cross go straight through his hands. Moments later he drops another cross.
Arsenal having a lot of the ball early on.
Saints will have planned for that, to stay tight, let the Gunners have the ball but be hard to break down and have a threat on the break.
The game is underway
The teams are out and we are virtually ready to go.
15 minutes until kick-off at St Mary's.
Swansea equalise against Aston Villa.
Apparently well deserved.
Saints will breathe a sigh of relief.
Reading have lost at Tottenham, Wigan soundly beaten by Manchester United.
If Saints beat Arsenal then it will be a huge day.
There will be a major talking point in the Saints team with Kelvin Davis dropped...again. This time for Artur Boruc.
So, just to recap, it was Kelvin Davis number one, Paulo Gazzaniga number two, then Paulo Gazzaniga number one, Kelvin Davis number two, then Artur Boruc number one, Kelvin Davis number two, then Paulo Gazzaniga number one, Kelvin Davis number two, then Kelvin Davis number one, Artur Boruc number two and now Artur Boruc number one, Kelvin Davis number two...in 19 league games.
All make sense!?
There has been a potentially huge goal at the bottom of the table with Aston Villa taking a 2-1 lead over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
SAINTS: Boruc, Cork, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, S Davis, Do Prado, Ramírez, Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, Hooiveld, Richardson, Ward-Prowse, De Ridder, Rodriguez, Mayuka.
ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott.
Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Gervinho, Giroud.
Teams are out.
For Saints there is a recall in goal for Artur Boruc.
Jack Cork is moved to right back with Maya Yoshida back in the centre of defence alongside Jose Fonte with Jos Hooiveld dropped.
Steven Davis also comes into the team in midfield, while Gaston Ramirez is also recalled in place of Jay Rodriguez.
It's also a big day for Terry Paine.
The Saints legend and Daily Echo columnist has flown in from South Africa to be officially givne the title of the club's honorary president.
Paine has said that it's bigger than winning the World Cup in 1966.
For the Gunners centre-back Per Mertesacker could be available after illness for the New Year's Day trip to Southampton.
Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky was left on the bench for Saturday's 7-3 win over Newcastle, so may also come back into contention to feature at St Mary's.
Defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) are expected to start training again this week.
Full team news will be coming shortly but Saints will again be without captain Adam Lallana.
Right-back Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt with a knee complaint that forced him to miss Saturday's 3-3 draw at Stoke.
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has warned clubs looking to lure away Luke Shaw or any of his other players this month.
Saints have improved greatly of late, having lost just two of their previous nine Barclays Premier League fixtures heading into today's match with Arsenal.
The north Londoners have taken Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott from the south coast club in recent years and have been linked with a move for 17-year-old academy graduate Shaw.
Manchester City and Chelsea have also reportedly shown interest in the left-back, although Adkins does not expect him to be going anywhere.
"I've not read any of the newspapers," the Saints boss said.
"I think Luke gets linked every week with Arsenal, doesn't he?
"Luke is under contract, he is playing football for us in the Premier League, which is important.
"We are not looking to let him go anywhere if anyone wants to come in for any of our players, by all means speak to the chairman. He does the deals and all the best with that."
Adkins gave a similar response when asked about Rickie Lambert's future following speculation of a January move away from St Mary's.
The Saints boss was, though, less forthcoming when asked of players arriving at St Mary's, following links to Cagliari's Davide Astori and Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Adkins was, understandably, more concerned about this evening's encounter with Arsenal, which will see Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain return to the club.
The latter is a man Adkins knows particularly well after the winger's key role in Southampton's promotion from npower League One in 2011.
"I think he will get a fantastic reception," the Saints boss said.
"He is one of the players that came through out system.
"We are excited watching him play. We'd love him to still be at Southampton, but he is an Arsenal player now and an England international.
"I went to watch him against Reading the other night and he was exhilarating, with his acceleration to go away, a desire to get on the football. He is a joy to watch.
"I think everybody at Southampton is proud of what he is doing now.
"Everybody at the football club has had a role and a responsibility to play in Alex's development, but it is down to him as well. He is an exciting young talent."
Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hopes old club Southampton will have enough about them to stay in the Premier League, but will be going all out to maintain the Gunners' momentum with a fifth straight win.
Oxlade-Chamberlain came through the Southampton academy before catching the eye of several top-flight clubs and eventually following Theo Walcott from St Mary's to Emirates Stadium in a big-money move last summer.
The 19-year-old has developed quickly under the guidance of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, going on to win full England honours and a place in the squad for Euro 2012.
After helping Nigel Adkins' squad get up out of League One and set on their way towards a triumphant top-flight return, Oxlade-Chamberlain hopes the Saints stay back up among England's elite will not prove shortlived.
"I hope they do stay up. They have got goals in them, but it is just defensively," said Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was on target as Walcott netted a hat-trick in the 7-3 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
"That, though, is hard for anyone in the Premier League because there is so much attacking ability."
Meanwhile, fellow former Saint Theo Walcott has hinted he could be close to signing a new deal with the Gunners.
Walcott, whose contract ends in the summer, said in The Sun: "I'm sure that something will be sorted very soon.
"I've always said I wanted to stay and I enjoy playing for this team. Now we will just see what happens.
"I will continue to play my football and let the people who look after me and the club talk to each other and go from there."
Welcome to the Daily Echo's coverage of Saints v Arsenal at St Mary's.
The 5.30pm kick-off, which is being televised live on Sky Sports, sees Saints return home after back-to-back away draws with Fulham and Stoke over the Christmas period.
Saints lost their last home game against Sunderland but are hopeful of getting back to winning ways against the Gunners.
They will certainly be hoping to do far better than earlier in the season when Saints were beaten 6-1 by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Theo Walcott and Alex Chamberlain are expected to feature against their former club.
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