CHARLIE AUSTIN continued his love affair of scoring against Arsenal to end Unai Emery’s 22-game unbeaten run at the Gunners.
It also provided the most perfect of starts for new Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl who replaced Mark Hughes at St Mary’s.
And the new gaffer must take maximum credit for the three points – substitutes Shane Long crossed in for fellow replacement Austin to nod past Bernd Leno’s despairing dive.
It was the former QPR man’s fifth goal in his last five games against the north Londoners who will be sick of the sight of the bricklayer-turned-football star.
It was the struggling Saints who took the lead on 20 minutes in what was a positive start.
Stuart Armstrong played it to the left for Matt Targett who won some space in front of Hector Bellerin.
He whipped in a superb cross, which dropped perfectly for Danny Ings to head home.
But just eight minutes later the Gunners were level.
Iwobi sped down the left before pushing it forward for Nacho Monreal who continued his run.
The wing-back made it to the byline before pulling back a cross to the centre of the penalty area for Mkhitaryan, who placed a beautiful header into the back of the net.
But where the Saints might have folder previously, they managed to go into the break in the lead.
Redmond chipped a cross into the centre of the penalty area from the edge of the box.
Ings stepped in-between Lichtsteiner and Koscielny yet again, and looped his header effort over Leno and into the goal.
But when they really needed to keep things tight in the early stages of the second half, Saints did the exact opposite.
Romeu was caught in possession after holding it for too long on the edge of his penalty area in the 53rd minute, and Lacazette nips in to win the ball.
He laid it in to Mkhitaryan whose weak shot from a central position took a lucky deflection off the foot of Vestergaard and rolled its way past McCarthy into the net.
It was a cruel way to concede an equaliser with so much of the game still to play.
But their manager maintained the faith, and made a couple of bold substitutions that won it.
Strikers Shane Long and Austin appeared off the bench, with Hasenhuttl choosing to give Ings a deserved rest after his fine endeavour.
And former QPR-man Austin was the hero as he netted the winner with just five minutes to play.
Long curled a delicious ball into the box, Leno came out flapping, and Austin angled his header home.
Despite a fair amount of pressure to withstand, plus five minutes of injury time, Arsenal couldn’t find their third equaliser and Saints bagged a vital three points.