Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday, October 23.
Arsenal entered this contest on the back of five wins in as many games, keeping clean sheets in four of those games. While their defensive performances were not much of a concern, questions were raised about their goalscoring consistency.
Mikel Arteta maintained he would continue to play his best players and would expect them to push for wins. He fielded a full-strength lineup for this game as Gabriel Martinelli made his way back into the XI.
Arsenal made a strong start to the game as they controlled proceedings in the early exchanges. They kept the majority of the possession in the first half as they looked to continue their winning run. Granit Xhaka gave the Gunners the lead after 11 minutes, smashing in a cross from Ben White to make it 1-0.
Southampton reorganized their defense following the concession of the goal and sat back in a narrower shape. This prevented Arsenal from running through them and allowed the Saints to regain composure. The Gunners continued to press forward through Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka. However, neither could convert their chances.
The teams went into the break with Arsenal leading 1-0.
Arsenal made a slow start to the second half as tired legs became prominent, allowing Southampton longer spells with the ball. This allowed them to get into a rhythm and create momentum towards scoring the equalizer. Stuart Armstrong did just that, converting to make it 1-1 after 65 minutes following an assist by Mohamed Elyounoussi. He made a smart run at a consistent pace to get behind the Gunners’ defense unmarked. Mohamed Elyounoussi did well to find him with a pass as he carried the ball into the box and calmly slotted it past Aaron Ramsdale.
Arteta made a couple of changes following the goal in a bid to change his side’s approach given the situation. Things seemed to have fallen perfectly in place as Martin Odegaard put the ball in the net after 80 minutes. However, Kieran Tierney ran the ball out of play before squaring it and the goal was chalked off instantly.
Neither side managed to create another opportunity as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.