Stuart Armstrong’s first Southampton goal of the campaign salvaged a draw for Saints at home to ArsenalPremier League leaders Arsenal dropped points for only the second time this season as Stuart Armstrong’s second-half equaliser earned Southampton a hard-earned point at St Mary’s.
Armstrong finished off a flowing team move involving Adam Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi to stretch Saints’ unbeaten league run to three matches.
Granit Xhaka had given the Gunners an early lead with his second goal in as many games, sweeping the ball first time into the roof of the net from Ben White’s low delivery.
The effervescent Gabriel Martinelli had a shot deflected wide and Gabriel Jesus was denied by Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu as the visitors threatened to double their advantage before the interval.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team improved in the second half but needed a superb last-ditch challenge from Elyounoussi to deny Jesus, who had broken clear of the Southampton defence.
Martin Odegaard thought he had put Arsenal back ahead not long after Armstrong’s equaliser, but the Norwegian’s effort was disallowed after the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.
The result leaves Mikel Arteta’s team two points clear of second-placed Manchester City, while Saints stay in 15th – three points clear of the relegation zone.
Reaction to Southampton v Arsenal and the rest of Sunday’s Premier League actionVisit our Southampton pageGo straight to all the best Arsenal contentArsenal fizzle out after bright startDraw with Southampton ‘painful’ – ArtetaThe Gunners suffered a 1-0 defeat at St Mary’s last season, but after taking an early lead on the south coast they appeared on course to claim a 10th league victory of the campaign.
Odegaard flashed a shot wide from Xhaka’s pass inside 10 minutes, but the Switzerland international made no mistake from White’s accurate right-wing cross not long afterwards.
Southampton improved as the half wore on but Arsenal, who had won their previous 18 Premier League games after opening the scoring, continued to pose the greater threat in the final third and went close to adding to their lead through Martinelli and Jesus.
Jesus’ failure to get his shot off before Elyounoussi’s goal-saving challenge proved costly, as Southampton rallied to claim a deserved share of the spoils courtesy of Armstrong’s composed finish.
There were few complaints from the visiting players when Odegaard’s powerful finish from Kieran Tierney’s cut-back was chalked off, with replays clearly showing the ball had gone behind before the Scotland full-back could wrap his foot around it.
The stalemate is Arsenal’s first in 28 Premier League matches – since a goalless draw at home to Burnley back in January.
Southampton stage impressive recoverySouthampton belief growing – HasenhuttlOther than Lyanco’s hopeful long-range effort and a flurry of corners towards the end of the half, Southampton failed to trouble Gunners goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale before the interval.
Hasenhuttl’s side struggled to cope with the visitors’ energy and imagination in the early stages in particular, but a switch from a back four to a back five midway through the half helped stem the flow of Arsenal attacks.
It was a much more even contest in the second half – although clear-cut opportunities remained few and far between until Armstrong’s equaliser.
The Scotland midfielder kept his composure to calmly slide the ball past the onrushing Ramsdale after superb play from Elyounoussi to pick out his team-mate on the edge of the penalty area.
A 4-0 defeat at Manchester City earlier this month – Saints’ fourth in a row in the Premier League – had increased the scrutiny on manager Hasenhuttl, but a third successive game without defeat has helped ease that pressure.
Saints have won eight points from losing positions in the league this season – only Crystal Palace have collected more after falling behind.
Player of the match
S ArmstrongStuart Armstrong
with an average of 7.20
SouthamptonSquad number17Player nameS Armstrong
Squad number31Player nameBazunu
Squad number10Player nameAdams
Squad number23Player nameEdozie
Squad number24Player nameElyounoussi
Squad number15Player namePerraud
Squad number22Player nameSalisu
Squad number7Player nameAribo
Squad number4Player nameLyanco
Squad number9Player nameA Armstrong
Squad number6Player nameCaleta-Car
Squad number27Player nameDiallo
Squad number32Player nameWalcott
Squad number8Player nameWard-Prowse
ArsenalSquad number11Player nameGabriel Martinelli
Squad number34Player nameXhaka
Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
Squad number7Player nameSaka
Squad number8Player nameØdegaard
Squad number4Player nameWhite
Squad number12Player nameSaliba
Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
Squad number3Player nameTierney
Squad number5Player namePartey
Squad number18Player nameTomiyasu
Squad number1Player nameRamsdale
Squad number14Player nameNketiah
Squad number21Player nameFábio Vieira
31Bazunu4LyancoBooked at 90mins6Caleta-Car22Salisu15Perraud24Elyounoussi8Ward-Prowse27Diallo17S ArmstrongSubstituted forEdozieat 80’minutes9A ArmstrongSubstituted forWalcottat 73’minutesBooked at 89mins7AriboSubstituted forAdamsat 73’minutesSubstitutes1McCarthy10Adams18Mara19Djenepo23Edozie28Larios López32Walcott50Finnigan61PayneArsenalFormation 4-3-3
1Ramsdale4WhiteSubstituted forTierneyat 72’minutes12Saliba6Gabriel18Tomiyasu8ØdegaardSubstituted forFerreira Vieiraat 83’minutes5Partey34Xhaka7SakaBooked at 29mins9Gabriel Jesus11MartinelliSubstituted forNketiahat 71’minutesSubstitutes3Tierney14Nketiah16Holding17Cédric Soares21Ferreira Vieira23Sambi Lokonga24Nelson27Oliveira Alencar30TurnerLive TextMatch ends, Southampton 1, Arsenal 1.
Second Half ends, Southampton 1, Arsenal 1.
Attempt missed. Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Thomas Partey.
Foul by Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).
Che Adams (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Lyanco (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal).
Lyanco (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ibrahima Diallo (Southampton).
Theo Walcott (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.
Theo Walcott (Southampton) has gone down, but the referee deems it simulation.
Offside, Southampton. Mohammed Salisu tries a through ball, but Romain Perraud is caught offside.
Fábio Vieira (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mohammed Salisu (Southampton).
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by William Saliba.
Substitution, Arsenal. Fábio Vieira replaces Martin Ødegaard.
Offside, Southampton. Romain Perraud tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Lyanco.
Attempt blocked. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Martin Ødegaard.
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