Ronald Koeman praises 'magic' Fraser Forster after Southampton draw

Saints boss Ronald Koeman was full of praise for his goalkeeper Fraser Forster

Ronald Koeman believes Southampton were lucky to take a point against Arsenal but paid tribute to goalkeeper Fraser Forster after his man-of-the-match performance.

The Saints stopper has kept four consecutive clean sheets since returning to the side in January, and made key saves either side of half-time to earn Southampton a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

The result extends Southampton's unbeaten run to four games and moves Koeman's side up a place to seventh in the Premier League table, but the Saints boss admitted his side were fortunate.

Fraser Forster denies Mesut Ozil in the first half with a point-blank save
Image: Fraser Forster denies Mesut Ozil in the first half with a point-blank save

"Not one team in one-and-a-half years of managing Southampton have created what Arsenal created today," Koeman said. "You need to be lucky first and you need to have a goalkeeper who is saving everything.

"That's maybe what I need to explain what happened today because normally it's more difficult to create those kind of chances against us. We didn't play well and we [fought] unbelievably. We showed unbelievable spirit today.

"You need a goalkeeper who is magic and Fraser was magic tonight. It's always difficult because he was nine months out and maybe we had to force it a little bit because [Maarten] Stekelenburg was injured.

Southampon's Fraser Forster praised his side's performance at the Emirates

"If he was not injured, maybe we would wait one or two weeks more, but sometimes it happens. We know, normally, if you are nine months out you need minutes, but from the start he has been what he was.

Also See:

"That's unbelievable and it's a credit to the medical staff and Fraser himself. He did everything and he worked so hard to come back.

"He is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and maybe one of the best in Europe."

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (L) leaps in an effort on goal as Southampton's Fraser Forster (R) defends
Image: Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (L) leaps in an effort on goal as Southampton's Fraser Forster (R) defends

January signing Charlie Austin was left out of the squad after picking up a knock in the week, but Koeman played down concerns over the striker's fitness.

"It's not a serious injury and normally he will be available for the weekend," he added. "He had a knock and he didn't have a really good session yesterday.

"Then it's in my opinion too risky. I prefer to wait one week more because then you can be sure."

Live Ford Saturday Night Football

Around Sky