‘Merciless’ Saints down Gunners

Ralph Hasenhuttl suggested Southampton had been rewarded for their hard work and persistence with a 3-2 win over Arsenal at St Mary's.

The home side twice led through headers from Danny Ings, but they were twice pegged back by Henrikh Mkhitaryan goals – the second just after half-time taking a wicked deflection to beat Alex McCarthy.

Ings had headed Matt Targett's cross home after 20 minutes only for Mkhitaryan to match it eight minutes later.

Southampton went back in front just before the break, Ings looping a fine header home from Nathan Redmond's cross.

It looked to be more frustration for them when Arsenal found a fortunate second equaliser but subs Shane Long and Charlie Austin combined with five minutes remaining to set up a massive Saints success.

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno flopped at Long's cross, allowing Austin head into an unguarded net at the back post.

It gave Hasenhuttl his first victory in the Premier League at the second attempt and hoisted Southampton out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

He paid tribute to hard work done on the training ground.

"It's amazing what the team can do in a week. It was very intensive, we had time to work on the basics and built the fundamentals for our game," said the Saints boss.

"I'm very proud of how focused and uncompromising they were, and when they had the chances, how merciless they were.

"It was a fantastic atmosphere and a special feeling here to win the match."

Southampton are 7/5 to win a crucial battle with fellow strugglers Huddersfield next Saturday. The home side are 11/5 while the draw is 2/1.

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Romeu eager for Saints role

Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu is hoping to become a regular starter for Southampton once again, with Ralph Hasenhuttl having taken charge of the Saints.

The 27-year-old former Barcelona and Chelsea schemer had fallen out of favour under Mark Hughes, but was recalled to the starting line-up last weekend, as Southampton lost out 1-0 at Cardiff City.

And Romeu is determined to try and impress former RB Leipzig chief Hasenhuttl and play his part in trying to steer the Saints away from the Premier League relegation zone.

He told Sky Sports: "To see yourself out of the squad, out of the team, week in and week out – no-one wants to go through that.

"I felt I was doing my job every day to be (in the team), Mark Hughes probably had other thoughts, other things in mind and you need to accept that as a professional.

"There's nothing else you can do, except wait until the chance comes. That's what I did and last week I could be out there and help the team play. I felt so happy and enjoyed being back."

Southampton are back in action on Sunday when they play host to an Arsenal side who are unbeaten in their last 22 games in all competitions.

Last season this fixture ended in a 1-1 draw, with an early opener from Charlie Austin cancelled out late on by Olivier Giroud.

Southampton can be backed at 29/10 to secure another draw on Sunday, with the Gunners 19/20 to win the game and 12/5 to keep a clean sheet.

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Hasenhuttl expects results to come

New boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes the results will come for Southampton after his first game in charge ended with a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff.

The Austrian was installed as the successor to Mark Hughes earlier in the week and, having watched the midweek 3-1 defeat against Tottenham, he was in the dugout for the first time at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.

Bluebirds forward Callum Paterson pounced on a huge error by Jannik Vestergaard to score the only goal of the game in the 74th-minute.

It leaves the Saints with just one win in 16 matches this season and in 19th place, three points adrift of Burnley in the final position of safety.

And, while Hasenhuttl was disappointed with the defensive errors from his players, he did see some positive aspects of their play which he hopes can lead to some much-needed wins.

The former RB Leipzig coach said: "At this level you cannot give the ball away twice in that manner.

"It is very hard to accept that we didn't get a point, but with these mistakes we don't deserve it.

"After half-time was the best period of the game for us. We had a lot of pressure and we were good with the ball, but we played too much from deep and inside instead of penetrating them.

"We need more forward runs in the coming months and less mistakes in the defence."

Hasenhuttl added: "It will be perfect if we get some results for the self-confidence. We didn't here, but we have to keep working and they will come."

Southampton, who are 9/4 to be relegated, face Arsenal at St Mary's next Sunday and are 14/5 to pick up three points. The Gunners are priced at 10/11 and the draw is 13/5.

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Hasenhuettl hints at exits

New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl has indicated that he will allow several players to leave St Mary's in January.

The former Red Bull Leipzig coach replaced Mark Hughes in the Saints hot-seat earlier this week and watched his new team lose 3-1 against Tottenham at Wembley on Wednesday.

Southampton have only won one of their first 15 games of the season and have accrued just nine points. They are 5/2 to be relegated this term and 17/10 to beat Cardiff City on Saturday.

"I think the squad is very big," said the Austrian. "So we have a lot of positions where we have too many players and maybe one or the other is leaving us and we bring something new.

"I have spoken with the chairman about that and they do everything to help my wishes.

"We have a very good youth academy in this club and it is a goal for us to bring them forward again. In the past there were a lot coming … out of the youth academy and that's the goal for the future. We want these guys to perform, to develop."

Southampton's next home game is against Arsenal, 10/11 to finish in the top four this season, on 16th December, and they are also scheduled to play Huddersfield Town, West Ham United and Manchester City before the end of the year.

Hasenhuttl eyes quickfire rise

New Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says his primary target is to try and help move the Saints out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The 51-year-old former Austria international has signed a two-and-half-year deal with the top-flight strugglers, who have won just one of the 15 Premier League games they have played so far this season.

And Hasenhuttl, who made his name with RB Leipzig, is relishing the challenge ahead of both himself and his players.

He told reporters: "The first target is to get out of relegation zone. The near future has to be to move as quickly as we can out of the zone.

"I'm not frightened about it, but the problem is we have a lot of games and my football is all about training sessions, working on habits. If you have the chance to do so it's ok, but if you don't it's not so easy.

"It's a bit back to the roots for me. Last year I had a fantastic Champions League team, we were on a very high technical level.

"The step is not the easiest one, but I never want it easy in my life. I always challenge myself and I'm looking forward, not afraid of anything."

Having taken on a watching brief as Southampton were beaten 3-1 by Spurs at Wembley on Wednesday evening, Hasenhuttl will take charge of his first game on Saturday when the Saints head to South Wales to take on Cardiff City.

The visitors can be backed at 11/5 to secure a draw at the Cardiff City Stadium, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 11/2, while Southampton are 11/8 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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It’s high time for Leipzig to buckle!

Football betting fans can’t help but keep their eyes peeled on the exciting action happening at the top!

The past two football games have been nightmarish for RB Leipzig. Draws against Schalke and Ingolstadt have made their grasp on second the loosest they’ve ever been. Hoffenheim, Borussia Dortmund, and Hertha Berlin fans will demand nothing but the best football from their players!

There’s no better time to bet online than in this game week’s Bundesliga matches!

WEEK 32 SATURDAY:

Koln vs Werder Bremen

The weekend starts with an early game in Cologne, where the Billy Goats welcome Werder Bremen. Koln’s recent blunders have booted them off the Europa League spots, with Bremen more than happy to replace them. It will be a test for the surging visitors on whether they can keep a hold on sixth.

Bayern Munich vs Darmstadt 98

Darmstadt’s late attempt to escape the drop resulted in impressive wins against Schalke, Hamburg and Freiburg. However, can they actually defeat the league leaders at the Allianz Arena? Bayern’s dominant display in Wolfsburg suggests otherwise.

Borussia Dortmund vs Hoffenheim

This match is the first of the two must-watch games this weekend; the winner will be knocking at Leipzig’s door.

Both clubs won two and drew one of their last three games, and only a single point separates the other. Thomas Tuchel definitely has talent on his side of the pitch, but Julian Nagelsmann also has enough weapons at his disposal. Disregarding the fact that Hoffenheim struggle to win away from home, this match is sure to be a cracker. Punters will be intrigued by the rewards promised by Borussia Dortmund -1.25 @ 2.07.

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Augsburg

Borussia-Park is definitely exasperated with their team’s performances at home. Monchengladbach have been alternating between wins and defeats since December, with their latest home fixture a loss to Borussia Dortmund.

Fortunately for them, Augsburg haven’t won an away game since February. They aren’t likely to win at Borussia-Park, either.

Ingolstadt vs Bayer Leverkusen

A win for Ingolstadt would put a lot of pressure on Mainz, Wolfsburg, and Hamburg. Their penchant for creating chances and set piece play will flourish against Leverkusen, so Maik Walpurgis needs his lads to be in their best condition. Tayfun Korkut’s lads haven’t won since April, making this the perfect chance for Ingolstadt to strike. Punters interested in the game will be looking at Ingolstadt -0.25 @ 2.20.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg are dangerously close to slipping down to seventeenth if they don’t stop Eintracht Frankfurt from winning. The hosts suffered a narrow defeat to Hoffenheim last time out and will be out for blood. Wolfsburg will be looking relegation in the eye unless Mario Gomez works his magic.

WEEK 32 SUNDAY:

Hertha Berlin vs RB Leipzig

Almost all of Germany will keep an eye on this match.

Eyebrows were once again raised after Leipzig dropped points in consecutive matches against Schalke and Ingolstadt. If it weren’t for this concerning development, no one would doubt Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side emerging victorious against Berlin.

Hertha Berlin aren’t in their best condition, but they might have a crack at victory if they play the Red Bulls right. Given how close this game is going to be, it won’t be a bad idea for punters to consider Hertha Berlin +0.50 @ 1.77.

Hamburger SV vs Mainz 05

Hamburg are barely holding on to safety after a string of defeats dragged them back to sixteenth place. However, they have a chance of stepping back to safety by beating Mainz, another inconsistent side.

Freiburg vs Schalke 04

Freiburg’s frantic chase for European football continues after Darmstadt held them back to the tone of 3-0. Schalke will be a tough test for them as the Miners recently got seven points out of a possible 12. However, Freiburg won their last two home games and won’t budge an inch against Schalke.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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