Southampton 4 – 0 Arsenal: Like a fixed match as a X’mas present for bookies

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BPL Season 2015/2016: Southampton 4 – 0 Arsenal

Match review & rants by a Malaysian Gooner

There were plenty of signs that indicated that Arsenal wouldn’t win simply based on the other less “scientific” stats but not entirely superstitious. Was it just a “bad day at the office” or did it have anything to do with the bookmakers or match-fixers? I sure hope not. But it’s hard not to suspect that it might have been.

Most big clubs in the league that played last on a Saturday did not win, Arsenal usually don’t win after a great result in the previous match, poor head-to-head history against Southampton, it was Boxing Day, and the Asian betting odds were only -1/4 handicap despite that Arsenal was on form, just beaten Manchester City (2-1), had golden opportunity to top the league for real after league leaders Leicester City lost to Liverpool, and Southampton lost 5 out of their last 6 winless games. If you’re a typical Chinese gambler, these were more than enough red flags for you not to bet on the Gunners for this match.

Yes, football is round, it’s unpredictable, Arsenal were just being Arsenal, and bla-bla-bla. But let’s take a look at the Gunners’ performance. Not accusing anyone of anything, just analysing. Our players were so forcefully shit that I was already having that bad dejavu feeling before we even conceded any goal. Both our centre backs were taking turns to give away possession near their own goal. Mathieu Flamini, the only one that looked like he cared about conceding, weren’t passed to when the players were trapped on the flanks. This happened more than twice in the game and it’s not like these players didn’t see him. Open, unchallenged headers from offensive set pieces were all missed with one that Per Mertesecker didn’t even bother trying to reach the ball when it was coming right in front of him. It’s like most of them were trying to perform badly.

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And then the decisions by referee and linesmen, too, contributed to at least the first two Southampton goals. Le boss Arsene Wenger believed that it was more than that. The first goal’s offside before the shot and there’s an off-the-ball foul before the second. However, take nothing away from Southampton’s great defensive-counter attack performance. What brilliant strike by Martina. Why weren’t anyone there to close him down? Shane Long played the typical difficultly physical and pacy striker than Arsenal usually have problems with, and he’s probably the man of the match. Even if the game was fixed, I’m not sure if Arsenal needed to conceded as much as four goals.

Match-fixing is a controversial subject that many hardcore fans don’t even think about ’cause they love and believe in the league and club so much. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them too, but I don’t love them unconditionally. Like how I would only spend on their merchandise when they play like they deserve such support. I guess I might have bought the jersey too early. Yes, I’ve bought it. Damn you, Christmas-spending urge! The next match will actually be as soon as tomorrow but too bad, I will be on a week-long vacation. So till next year, happy holidays! Come on, you Gunners!

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Southampton vs. Arsenal – 360
Posted by Live Football News on Saturday, 26 December 2015

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