Arsenal taught Southampton a harsh lesson about the realities of life in the Premier League by hammering it 6-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Defending champ Manchester City was rescued by midfielder Javi Garcia as his debut goal earned a 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Roberto Mancini’s team trailed to a first half goal from Peter Crouch, but Spanish midfielder Garcia, who joined City from Benfica on transfer deadline day, equalised before the interval.

Ivory Coast international Gervinho led Arsenal’s goal rout with two while Lukas Podolski’s effort, a late Theo Walcott strike and two own goals continued an unbeaten start to the season for Arsene Wenger’s side.

Southampton had to make do with a consolation from Daniel Fox after a terrible blunder from Wojceich Szczesny.

Defeat left the newly promoted Saints rooted to the bottom of the table and the only team in the league without a point after four straight defeats.

Arsenal was quick out of the blocks and Podolski's superb run in the 11th minute gave the host a deserved lead.

Arsenal didn’t have to wait long to extend its lead as Podolski curled home a superb free kick from 30 yards out that left Davis grasping thin air.

Four minutes later, Mikel Arteta’s lofted through ball found the totally unmarked Gervinho, who had plenty of time to pick his spot.

In the 37th a hopeful cross from Podolski struck Nathaniel Clyne and deflected past the helpless Davis.

The visitors picked themselves up and were gifted a goal just before half-time when Jason Puncheon’s hopeful cross was dropped by Szczesny and Fox shot home.

It was no surprise that Arsenal got a fifth goal, with Gervinho eventually tapping home in the 72nd minute after a shot from Aaron Ramsey came back off the post.

Arsenal managed yet another strike on the stroke of full-time as a great run from captain Thomas Vermaelen drew a good save from Davis before substitute Walcott swept the ball home with his left foot.

The results:

Arsenal 6 (Hooiveld 11-og, Podolski 31, Gervinho 35, 71, Clyne 37-og, Walcott 88) bt Southampton 1 (Fox 45); Aston Villa 2 (Lowton 16, Benteke 88) bt Swansea 0.; Fulham 3 (Berbatov 32, 45-pen, Sidwell 89) bt West Brom 0; Stoke 1 (Crouch 15) drew with Manchester City 1 (Garcia 35); Aston Villa 2 (lowton 16, Benteke 88) bt Swansea 0.

More In: Football | Sport