Five talking points as Gabriel own goal vs Southampton ends Arsenal’s FA Cup run

Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup at the fourth round stage on Saturday as Southampton edged past them in a 1-0 victory.

Bernd Leno was called into action early on, getting down low to palm away Che Adams' effort on goal.

But the hosts soon had the lead midway through the first half when Arsenal centre-back Gabriel turned Kyle Walker-Peters' cross into his own net.

Arsenal were forced to come out and attack in the second half and almost equalised when Eddie Nketiah's deflected shot was turned away by Fraser Forster.

Southampton were pegged back in the closing stages, defending deep and weathering the storm, but managed to hold on as Arsenal's FA Cup defence came to a premature end.

Here are the talking points from St. Mary's.

1. Unlucky Gabriel

There's something about Southampton that just doesn't work for Gabriel.

Arsenal looked to have things under control against the Saints until the defender unfortunately poked the ball past his own goalkeeper.

The Brazilian was making his first start since being sent off against the Saints in the Premier League fixture between the sides last month.

And his sorry form against them continued just 24 minutes in as his attempt to stop Kyle Walker-Peters' cross inadvertently sent the ball under Bernd Leno and in.

There was little he could do about it as he watched the ball roll into the far corner to give the hosts the lead, but it was another moment he'll be keen to forget.

How's your luck.

2. Saints go marching on

Ralph Hasenhuttl made his intentions clear in the competition by selecting virtually a full-strength line-up.

While Arsenal chose to rest several players, the likes of Danny Ings, James Ward-Prowse and Theo Walcott were all involved for the Saints.

Their win has now booked them a place in the next round against Wolves, and on current form you'd fancy Hasenhuttl's men to overcome that hurdle to reach the quarter-finals.

They're capable of beating anyone on their day – as we've seen already this season – and Southampton may now be quietly confident of stringing together a decent cup run.

Potential finalists? Don't rule it out.

3. Willian's struggles continue

Another game, another lifeless and uninspiring performance from Willian.

The Gunners forward is quickly becoming the fall guy at Arsenal, and it's hard not to see why.

He offered little for his side again, providing no spark or attacking impetus.

His play is often laboured, as if he's waiting a second too long to play a pass, and the difference between him in the No.10 role compared with the energetic Emile Smith Rowe is stark.

He appears to be lacking in confidence, but it's on him to try and get involved and make things happen, and he simply isn't.

Willian rarely looked like troubling Southampton's defence, and the under-performing Brazilian is becoming an expensive headache for Mikel Arteta and the club.

4. Arteta reliant on the cavalry

Less than an hour in and Arteta had seen enough.

After making seven changes to his starting XI, the Gunners' boss needed to call in the cavalry.

Off came Gabriel Martinelli and Mohamed Elneny, on went Thomas Partey and Bukayo Saka.

Soon after Alexandre Lacazette joined the fray as the Gunners went all out in search of an equaliser.

It's becoming a common theme at Arsenal that their second string are not able to do what is necessary, with so much reliance on their handful of key men to pull them out of trouble.

Sadly for Arsenal, on this occasion, they didn't have the answers.

5. Gunners must use Pepe more

At half-time it looked as though Nicolas Pepe was going to have another quiet day at the office.

In fairness to him, he didn't receive much service from his teammates, though when he did he didn't do much with it.

Arteta must have said something at the break, as Pepe was much more involved in the second half, and offered a real threat down the right flank.

He has the ability to take defenders on, and if given more of the ball in the right areas he can be a dangerous outlet.

There are moments where he fails to deliver, which can prove frustrating, but there looks to be a player in there if Arsenal can bring the best out of him.

He just needs more opportunities to show what he can do.

Who will win the FA Cup this season? Have your say below.

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