Arsenal blanks Southampton on Alexis, Giroud goals to inch closer to fourth place
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) – Arsenal kept alive its ambitions of qualifying for next season's Champions League by beating Southampton 2-0 in the Premier League thanks to second-half goals by Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud on Wednesday.
Sanchez moved onto 20 league goals for the season when he collected Mesut Ozil's first-time through-ball and deceived two defenders with a clever turn inside the area, before slotting home a low finish in the 60th minute.
Giroud–just on as a substitute–added the second in the 83rd, heading home after Sanchez's cross was helped back into the middle by Aaron Ramsey.
Arsenal is making a traditional late-season charge in a bid to seal a top-four finish, with this fourth win in its last five league games lifting Arsene Wenger's side above Manchester United and into fifth place. Arsenal is three points behind fourth-place Manchester City, and four points behind third-place Liverpool with a game in hand.
Arsenal has three matches left, against Stoke, Sunderland and Everton.
The only negative for Arsenal at St. Mary's Stadium was right wing back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain limping off injured in the 36th minute. Key center back Laurent Koscielny had already failed a late fitness test.