FIVE OF THE BEST: Memorable home matches against Arsenal

By SFC Media time Tue 30 Dec Club

Ahead of Thursday’s game, saintsfc.co.uk takes a look back at five memorable post-war home matches against Arsenal.

Of course, there is one particularly memorable contest between these two teams from 2001 in the last-ever game at The Dell, and that classic game features in our pick of five matches below: 

23rd January 1982 – Division 2 – Southampton 3-1 Arsenal (Armstrong, Puckett 2)


The 1981/82 Southampton FC squad

Saints recovered from going a goal down to make it three games unbeaten with this success at The Dell. David O’Leary had put Arsenal in front after 19 minutes, with Dave Armstrong levelling matters before half-time with a diving header from Dave Puckett’s cross. 

Puckett stole the show in the second 45 by notching both of Saints’ goals on what was only his second league start for the club. The latter strike was a powerful half volley from the edge of the area which sealed the success in style.

Southampton team: Ivan Katalinic, Ivan Golac, Nick Holmes, Steve Williams, Chris Nicholl, Malcolm Waldron, Kevin Keegan, Mick Channon, Dave Puckett, Dave Armstrong, Alan Ball

7th December 1985 – Division 1 – Southampton 3-0 Arsenal (Bond, Armstrong, Moran)


Moran makes it 3-0

Kevin Bond’s only strike of the season set Saints on their way in this game. The defender swept home a left-footed strike past John Lukic with 29 minutes on the clock, with the hosts completing the scoring in the second half.

Dave Armstrong made it 2-0 from the penalty spot on 65 minutes after Danny Wallace had been brought down inside the area, and two minutes later, Saints were three up when Steve Moran cracked the ball home from Wallace’s cross. Although not on the score sheet, Wallace was the lead figure in the success as Saints out-fired the Gunners to a deserved victory.


Southampton team: Peter Shilton, Gerry Forrest, Mark Dennis, Jimmy Case, Mark Wright, Kevin Bond, Nick Holmes, Glenn Cockerill, Steve Moran, Dave Armstrong, Danny Wallace

9th April 1988 – Division 1 – Southampton 4-2 Arsenal (Shearer 3, Blake)


Shearer holds off Nigel Winterburn on his full debut

It was a full debut to remember for young Alan Shearer who celebrated a hat-trick in this demolition of Arsenal. The future England forward notched his first after just five minutes when he characteristically headed in Graham Baker’s cross from six yards out. Kevin Bond’s own goal drew the Gunners level before Shearer grabbed his second on 33 minutes with a stooping header before Mark Blake put Saints 3-1 up at half-time with a drilled strike into the bottom corner. Shearer completed his treble four minutes after the restart with a rebound from his own shot which hit the crossbar, before Paul Davis pulled another back for the visitors late on.

Southampton team: John Burridge, Gerry Forrest, Derek Statham, Jimmy Case, Mark Blake, Kevin Bond, Andy Townsend, Glenn Cockerill, Colin Clarke, Graham Baker, Alan Shearer

19th May 2001 – Premier League – Southampton 3-2 Arsenal (Kachloul 2, Le Tissier)


An image as iconic as they come

It simply had to be. There was no more fitting way to say farewell to The Dell as Matt Le Tissier cracked a last minute winner in Saints’ final match at their former home. 

After falling behind to Ashley Cole’s 27th-minute strike, Saints levelled through Hassan Kachloul just after half-time. Freddie Ljungberg restored Arsenal’s lead until Kachloul struck again to equalise on the hour mark. That looked as though it would be the last goal until Le Tissier’s arrival into the game as a 74th minute substitute. His left foot volley from the edge of the area found the top right corner to seal an unforgettable moment and a 3-2 win which confirmed a tenth place finish in the table.

Southampton team: Paul Jones, Garry Monk (Tahar El Khalej), Wayne Bridge, Hassan Kachloul (Francis Benali), Claus Lundekvam, Dean Richards, Jo Tessem, Kevin Davies (Matt Le Tissier), James Beattie, Chris Marsden, Marian Pahars

23rd November 2002 – Premier League – Southampton 3-2 Arsenal (Beattie 2, Delgado)


The 2002/03 Southampton FC squad

Saints emerged victorious in another five goal game with the Gunners over a year later, with this one equally sweet for James Beattie. Having scored six times in his previous five matches with the team, rumours of an England call began to intensify, so two more goals against the Gunners certainly helped strengthen that case.

Saints fell behind to Dennis Bergkamp’s 36th minute strike, but Beattie struck free-kick to level the scores going in at half-time. Beattie converted a penalty before the hour after Sol Campbell was sent off for his foul on Agustin Delgado inside the area , and Delgado would extend Saints’ lead with a close range finish, before Robert Pires pulled one back for the visitors on 80 minutes.

Southampton team: Antti Niemi, Jason Dodd, Wayne Bridge, Matt Oakley, Claus Lundekvam, Michael Svensson, Fabrice Fernandes (Paul Telfer), Agustin Delgado (Brett Ormerod), James Beattie, Rory Delap, Chris Marsden

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