From a simple glance at yesterday’s scoreline, you might think that Arsenal failing to beat Southampton at home would be evidence of Arsenal picking the worst time to pull an Arsenal—and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. However, the bulk of the credit for Southampton’s 0-0 result should fall on Saints keeper Fraser Forster’s shoulders, for as many chances the Gunners had to sneak one past him, Forster was more than equal to every one of them.
The video above (which, like always, is best watched on mute) collects some of his best saves from the game, and they’re of all different sorts. He saved shots with impeccable positioning, with lightning-quick dives to palm away balls that otherwise would roll into the corners of his goal, with ranging leaps to slap away curlers targeted for the far post, and most every other kind of save in between. Forster faced 21 shots in total, 11 of which were on target, and kept out every one he had to. Between Forster, Joe Hart, and Jack Butland, England have some strong options to protect their goal come this summer’s Euro tournament.
In spite of Forster’s heroics, Arsenal will remain disappointed in themselves that they couldn’t score. After all, a great shot is great precisely because it eliminates the possibility of a keeper preventing it from going in. However, Arsenal dominating possession, creating a load of chances, but ultimately failing to bang one over the line is not at all a new phenomenon. We’ll have to wait and see whether that other most Arsenal of tendencies, to make a strong push for the league’s top spot only to stumble their way back into their natural position in fourth (where they currently sit), also comes to pass.