Arsenal suffer huge Premier League title race blow following home draw against Southampton3 min read
Arsenal’s grip on the Premier League title got a little weaker as they were held to a 3-3 draw at home to Southampton on Friday.
Some early errors gifted Southampton two goals inside the first 15 minutes, and although Arsenal fought back admirably and soon responded through Gabriel Martinelli’s volley, they were unable to make their dominance pay and were eventually caught out as Duje Caleta-Car headed home a third midway through the second half.
Martin Odegaard scored in the dying embers to reignite the Emirates atmosphere before Bukayo Saka tapped home even later, but Arsenal could not find the much-needed fourth.
The disaster began as Aaron Ramsdale’s shocking pass landed at the feet of Carlos Alcaraz, who gleefully took the gift and bent the ball into the bottom corner to seal a dream start.
The Gunners did respond well but met a resolute Southampton defence, with Armel Bella-Kotchap doing excellently to ensure a weaving run from Martinelli ultimately ended in nothing.
Down the other end, Southampton shockingly doubled their lead 14 minutes in. Some more excellent pressing saw the Saints recover possession in midfield and Alcaraz’s ball through to Theo Walcott was picture perfect, and the former Arsenal man drilled into the bottom corner.
Oleksandr Zinchenko immediately called an emergency team meeting in the middle of the pitch to determine what was going wrong, with the entire squad gathering to try and figure out a way to stop the bleeding.
Evidently it worked as Martinelli thundered home six minutes later following a Saka cross to reignite the Emirates crowd and spark a Southampton emergency huddle.
Arsenal figured themselves out eventually but Southampton weren’t lying down either, with Ramsdale having to palm away a volley from Alcaraz.
Martin Odegaard fired over and Fabio Vieira bent wide as Arsenal threw everything forward in search of an equaliser. Ben White nearly scored from a corner but Alcaraz cleared off the line, preserving Southampton’s lead at the break.
A change in shape from Southampton saw the hosts sit back completely as Arsenal began their barrage. Saka hit the post on the hour mark, although his effort would not have counted as the ball went out of play earlier in the move.
From out of nowhere, Southampton were celebrating once again. Caleta-Car was free at the back post and could hardly miss from inside the six-yard box, restoring the Saints’ two-goal advantage.
Arsenal were denied an immediate response as Gabriel Jesus skied over from a glorious Martinelli cross, summing up his side’s evening up until this point.
Things soon got incredibly scrappy as Arsenal thundered shots in towards Gavin Bazunu’s goal, but the obscene number of bodies in the box meant a route through was nearly impossible every time, but Odegaard did manage to squeeze a gorgeous effort through and set up a dramatic final few minutes.
As the clock ticked over to 90, Saka tapped home from the middle of the penalty area, and Leandro Trossard nearly won it with a fierce strike from range that struck the bar and crashed over.
Reiss Nelson squeezed a shot wide as Arsenal threw everything and the kitchen sink at Southampton, but one point was all they could snatch.