By 90Min
April 09, 2018

Southampton boss Mark Hughes has praised his team's performance, despite being beaten 3-2 by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Danny Welbeck headed past Southampton's goalkeeper Alex McCarthy in the 81st minute to secure the three points for Arsene Wenger's men in what was a topsy-turvy game, which saw Southampton take the lead in the first half. 

The Saints are fighting against relegation, and pushed Arsenal all of the way during the thrilling Premier League encounter, and Hughes was happy with the character his team showed throughout the game. 

“Apart from the key moments which led to goals, I thought our performance was good,” he told the club's official website.

“Once we were behind, we had to show a lot of character and I was pleased by what I saw. I wanted to see that kind of performance and that was the main thing for me. It was encouraging, that contrast in what we produced at West Ham and what we did today.

“I felt we needed to be solid after conceding too early in the last two games and we were for the most part. We were resolute and when we did break we attacked with good effect, showing a good understanding of what we had worked on during the week.

SHANE! 💚 #saintsfc

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“We broke with good effect behind Longy [Shane Long], creating some good chances and scoring one of them in the first half. I think we were good value at 1-0 even if Arsenal had a lot of possession, it was all in front of us and they didn’t really have much of a look in."

Charlie Austin made a massive impact when he scored to make the score 2-2 within minutes of coming off the bench. He has scored in all of his appearances against Arsenal, and Hughes has explained his decision not to start the English striker. 

“Our approach to the game initially didn’t suit Charlie [Austin] but it was always my intention to bring him off the bench.

"We went for Shane [Long] because he’s the best at stretching the play and working backwards but with Charlie [Austin] you know he will get scoring chances, he comes alive in the box.”

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