Saturday 23 November 2013
James Beattie scored twice as Southampton won for the first time in four Barclays Premier League matches.
The striker scored in each half to make it eight goals in seven matches but Arsenal, who finished the game with 10 men, stayed top because of second-placed Liverpool’s defeat at Fulham.
Dennis Bergkamp gave Arsenal the lead in the 36th minute with a half-volley from the edge of the area to end a move involving Patrick Vieira and Sylvain Wiltord.
Beattie, who scored 23 times in the 2002/03 Barclays Premier League campaign, equalised on the stroke of half-time with a long-range free-kick.
The game turned 10 minutes after the break when Arsenal defender Sol Campbell was sent off for bringing down Barclays Premier League debutant Agustin Delgado in the penalty area.
Beattie converted the spot-kick to give the Saints the lead and Delgado made it 3-1 in the 67th minute with a close-range header.
Arsenal rallied and substitute Robert Pires set up a tense finish when he scored at the second attempt with 10 minutes remaining but Southampton held on to claim all three points.
“To still believe in what we were doing after going a goal down to the champions was absolutely first-class," Southampton manager Gordon Strachan said. "James Beattie could have scored four goals – he was fantastic.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lamented his side's proflgiacy in front of goal.
“We had enough chances to have won it,” he said.
Arsenal could not retain their Barclays Premier League title at the end of the season – finishing five points behind Manchester United in second. Southampton came eighth, which is their highest finish in the Barclays Premier League to date.