Danny Ings believes the support of the Southampton fans played a crucial part in Saints ending Arsenal’s 22-match unbeaten run in an enthralling clash at St Mary’s.
Ings scored twice from headers in the first half, but twice the Gunners fought back through goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, only for Charlie Austin – Ings’s replacement off the bench – to win the game five minutes from time.
With Arsenal throwing everything at their hosts in a bid to save a proud record that dates back to August, the home supporters greeted every tackle and clearance with a roar that carried their team to three vital points.
“As you can imagine, the lads are buzzing,” Ings said of the mood in the dressing room.
“It went throughout the club today. Everyone in the stands was exceptional – getting behind us like that really helps.
“When you’ve got a lead and you’re holding on towards the end, and you know you’ve got the crowd behind you, it gives you that little bit of energy to see out the game.
“It’s down to us boys to do it on the pitch, but when you know you’ve got the crowd behind you with every press you do, and every ball you regain they’re cheering you on, it does make a massive difference. Today they were top drawer.”
Ings had missed Saints’ last five games through injury, and was quick to pay tribute to the service he received from Matt Targett and Nathan Redmond for making his return one to remember.
“The first one (from Targett) was just an unbelievable ball,” he added.
“I had to make sure I got across the defender, and thankfully it went straight to my head and I just had to direct it.
“For the second one, I had a little bit more to do, but it was another fantastic cross – from Redders.
“It’s always a relief when a striker sees the ball hit the net. I just want to help the team, having missed the last few games, and I’m happy to be back."