Arsenal defender Rob Holding believes that Southampton's opening goal against the Gunners was the turning point in the fixture, which allowed the Saints to dig deep and end the Gunners' 19 game unbeaten run in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup. Jordy Clasie's goal in the first half forced Arsenal to open up, allowing the Saints to go 2-0 up in the same period and eventually win the fixture.
Arsene Wenger had made a bevy of changes to the line-up that saw ten new names from the one which started against Bournemouth last weekend. Mohamed Elneny was the only survivor from the Premier league fixture but even he had to be subbed off in favour of Granit Xhaka before the first half as he was struggling with a stomach bug. The Egyptian was unwell before the game but is expected to be contention for their game against West Ham in the weekend.
The youngster started in all of Arsenal's league cup fixtures thus far but is unlikely to be part of the Gunners squad for the Premier League games coming up over the course of the this season. The former Bolton man is confident that they had the talent on the pitch to beat Southampton but the first goal killed them off and allowed the Saints to sit deep and press for a second.
"They had something to hold on to then. Away from home, they're going to sit back. And to be fair, Southampton defended well. They had something to hold on to, which helped them," Holding told Arsenal's official website.
"You look at the players we had out tonight, there were some big players and you think with the strength of the squad, a second string team can get all the way – but it wasn't to be. It was a chance to get some silverware at the end of the season, so I'm disappointed to be out of the competition," he added. "There's not much more I can say really. We've just got to learn from it and it'll only help us in the coming years," he added.