Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hopes a draw with Southampton will prove the beginning of his side’s recovery after they ended a three-match losing run within the Premier League despite taking place to 10 men.
Theo Walcott scored for the in-form Saints on his return to his former club with a pleasant dink over onrushing goalkeeper Bernd Leno in the opening.
Ut Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished smartly after the break to level as Arsenal ended a run of 797 minutes within the Premier League without a goal from open play.
However, the Gunners’ ill-discipline continue again as Gabriel was sent off after being booked twice in four minutes.
Southampton looking for a win that might have moved them briefly top of the league but Substitute Nathan Redmond struck the crossbar.
Southampton couldn’t make their pressure pay and almost conceded at the opposite end late on when Rob Holding’s header also rattled the woodwork.
The draw lifts Southampton above Leicester City into third, while Arteta’s side remain 15th in what’s Arsenal’s worst start to a top-flight campaign since the 1974-75 season.
“We showed some resilience and character to hold in there for therefore long against a very dangerous team,” said Arteta.
“We came back after conceding the goal and showed what proportion we wanted it.”
Asked if the way of the fightback could start a recovery, Arteta added: “I agree, yes, because if you lose that game at the top it might are really difficult to require .”
Indiscipline costs Arsenal another time
Arteta has said his side cannot hide and “have to require the bullets” amid their worst start to a season for 46 years – what he didn’t want was another red card.
The hosts were beginning to build some momentum after Aubameyang combined with Eddie Nketiah to end coolly following smart footwork from Bukayo Saka.
However, within 10 minutes they were right down to 10 men, as Gabriel picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Walcott – Arsenal’s seventh sending-off within the Premier League since Arteta took charge in December last year.
It was also a 3rd red card in five matches for Arsenal and Arteta said afterwards he wanted to vary Gabriel after his first booking, but didn’t have the time.
The Gunners haven’t won within the competition since beating Manchester United at Old Trafford six weeks ago.
But, having named Arsenal’s youngest starting XI within the league since September 2012, Arteta will are encouraged by the resilience shown by his team following Gabriel’s dismissal.
This was the Spaniard’s 50th fixture responsible of the north London club, and he has won more games in cup matches (14) than within the Premier League (13).
His side’s finish to 2020 doesn’t lull with games against Everton and Chelsea within the league, and Manchester City within the EFL Cup, within the next 10 days, before a visit to Brighton.
Walcott returns to haunt old club
Walcott scored 108 goals in 397 appearances within the 12 years he spent at Arsenal after joining from Southampton in 2006, with only Robin van Persie and Olivier Giroud having netted quite his 38 top-flight goals at Emirates Stadium.
The 31-year-old is back at his boyhood club on loan this term and flourishing during a Southampton side brimming confidently after a stagnant career at Everton
The visitors dominated possession early in north London and Walcott’s deft finish after 18 minutes came as they continued to stretch the Arsenal backline.
Walcott said, “We were fantastic, did everything we wanted to try to within the game.” They just wanted to consider their strength, they all know how good they are as a unit – they have such a lot trust and are so honest with one another.
Walcott’s goal came from Che Adams’ smart pass and therefore the Southampton forward was a couple for the Arsenal backline throughout.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said afterwards he was proud of some extent but there must be a tinge of frustration his side couldn’t take all three.
‘We shot ourselves within the foot’
Arsenal visit Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday (17:30 GMT), while Southampton host Manchester City earlier that day (15:00).