Crystal Palace eye move for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Crystal Palace eye move for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Crystal Palace eye move for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Giroud came close to joining Everton in a £40m ($54m) deal last summer but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger convinced the striker to stay put at the Emirates.

The Saints got off to the flawless start as Charlie Austin combined well with Dusan Tadic before calmly slotting past Petr Cech from close range, 1-0.

In fact, most of the visitors' first half opportunities came on the break, most threateningly when Alexis Sanchez controlled a Southampton corner inside his own area and led a sweeping move that was halted by Pierre-Emille Hojbjerg's saving tackle as Alexandre Lacazette prepared to shoot.

Nathan Redmond tested Cech from long range but that foray allowed the Gunners to counter, with Lacazette's outstretched boot just missing contact on a low Ramsey shot which flashed across goal. Southampton were still unsafe against the run of play, however, with Spanish defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu firing in a long-range shot that smacked the crossbar in the 62nd.

Substitute Olivier Giroud rescued a point for the Gunners two minutes before time after Charlie Austin had opened the scoring.

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A win would lift Arsenal back into the top four, for the time being at least.

The 26-year-old missed his first league game of the season last week in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth, having previously started the whole 14 games for Southampton. Austin also hit the post with another effort in the eighth minute with the Arsenal defence in disarray but the linesman flagging for offside.

- Dusan Tadic provided his 26th assist for Southampton in the Premier League - only Matt Le Tissier (64) has more for the club in the competition.

Arsenal have all but given up on the title 15 games in and sit 15 points and in fifth position, after a 3-1 defeat to United. Only West Ham United (35) & Stoke City & Watford (33 each) have shipped more.

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