Arsenal legend accuses one player of ‘going to sleep’ for Saints goal – ‘he’s not a brilliant defender’

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal legend slams defender

Arsenal legend Lee Dixon has accused one of the club’s current players of “going to sleep” for Southampton’s third goal at the Emirates on Friday.

The Gunners endured a tough night against Southampton as the two Premier League clubs played out a thrilling 3-3 draw.

The Saints took control of the game early on thanks to goals from Carlos Alcaraz and Theo Walcott, but Gabriel Martinelli pulled one back for Arsenal before the interval.

Mikel Arteta’s side struggled to break Southampton down at the start of the second half and the visitors restored their two-goal advantage with 25 minutes remaining.

Armel Bella-Kotchap won the first header following James Ward-Prowse’s corner. Duje Caleta-Car was then in the right place at the back post to head the ball home past Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal ended up earning a point as Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka got on the scoresheet late on. This result leaves the Gunners five points clear of Man City but their nearest rivals have two games in hand.

The Londoners head into Wednesday night’s game against Man City at the Etihad needing a win to boost their title hopes. Gary Neville thinks Arsenal are “wobbling like crazy”.

“The worry is they are conceding goals and Manchester City are experienced and they smell blood. There are all the hallmarks here of a team that are wobbling like crazy going to the line.

“They are looking fatigued, they are making mistakes, they look nervous and basically, they are not doing the things they have done in matches all season.”

Dixon took aim at Oleksandr Zinchenko over his involvement in Southampton’s third goal as the defender lost concentration to gift Caleta-Car a free header at goal.

“Look at Zinchenko for Southampton’s third goal,” Dixon said via Premier League Productions.

“He’s got his man, he’s looking at his man, he’s got his arm in the air and then he just goes to sleep.”

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He added: “He’s not a brilliant defender. He’s brilliantly on the ball and Arsenal use him to their strengths with the ball.

“But without the ball, we saw him play a role in Liverpool’s equaliser at Anfield and again today.

“He’s got to be alive as a defender, whether you sometimes go into midfield or not. It’s your job to keep the ball out of the back of the net.”

Arsenal have now drawn three consecutive games but Dixon feels they are “capable of beating Man City” next week.

“Arsenal have got a tough run coming up but those fixtures were set last summer,” Dixon noted. “You’ve got to play everyone twice.

“They had an easier run earlier in the season and this is the tough bit now. This is how you win a title.

“Man City are obviously favourites now, but Arsenal have still got that game at the Etihad and this team are capable of beating Man City, we know that.

“You would expect City to have a bit too much for them but we’ll see.”

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