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Ramsdale hit out for "extreme meltdown" during Southampton draw as Arsenal's senior players slammed

Chris Byfield

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Ramsdale hit out for "extreme meltdown" during Southampton draw as Arsenal's senior players slammed

Aaron Ramsdale’s appeared to have a “meltdown” in the opening 15 minutes of Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with Southampton, according to a reputable journalist.

It was not a game for the faint hearted. In a tospy-turvy Premier League encounter that had implications on both ends of the table, Arsenal’s title hopes and Southampton’s survival ambitions were dealt a major blow.

Arsenal were staring at a crushing defeat to the league’s bottom side, after Carlos Alcaraz profited on a Ramsdale error in the first minute. Theo Walcott and Duje Caleta-Car then netted either side of Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half goal, to put Southampton minutes away from a first league victory at the Emirates.

However, captain Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka netted in the game’s dying embers to level the proceeding's in dramatic fashion.

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And while Leandro Trossard struck the bar in injury time, Arsenal failed to net an all-important winner.

The third successive draw means Arsenal will take a five-point lead with them into Wednesday's heavyweight affair with Manchester City, who now hold the advantage in the title race.

Ramsdale “meltdown”

After the game the Independent’s Miguel Delaney noted the nervy manner in which Ramsdale started the Southampton encounter.

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Indeed, seconds into the game, the England international gifted the ball to Carlos Alcaraz with a risky pass out, to allow the 20-year-old to rifle in the opener.

On the incident Delaney wrote: “There were so many elements of the opening 15 minutes that could almost represent the most extreme illustration of a meltdown, even going to the manner of it and the nature of the little twists – not to mention some of the key characters.

"Ramsdale has been one of the best-performing figures in Arsenal’s season and his saves against Liverpool could yet prove crucial, but he here immediately picked up from a panicking and flapping performance at West Ham United.

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“That was by failing to pick out an Arsenal shirt. With the first action of the game, Ramsdale somehow just gave the ball to the excellent Carlos Alcaraz.

“He took it with open arms, which was a little like the goalkeeper for the shot. Alcaraz turned inside and fired through Ramsdale’s hands.”

Meanwhile, the football writer noted that other than Martinelli and Saka, Arsenal’s key players have lost form at a crucial time in the season.

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Delaney said: “This was an encapsulation of why they may not win the title.

“There are of course bigger discussions to be had about the wider context of the Premier League, but Arsenal just looked like they didn’t have the experience together as a team to manage the real pressure.

So many of their senior players stopped performing to the level we’ve known all season.

“Thomas Partey couldn’t keep the ball. Jesus couldn’t direct it. Martin Odegaard wasn’t controlling the ball properly – until, finally, he diverted a shot into the corner near the end.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Manchester City, Arsenal, Southampton, Aaron Ramsdale, Premier League

Chris Byfield
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