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EPL: Arsenal drop valuable points at Southampton

Arsenal could only muster a 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s as they missed the chance to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

A Granit Xhaka goal on 11 minutes looked like being the difference between the two sides – in a game where Arsenal controlled proceedings for the most part – but Stuart Armstrong slotted home on 65 minutes to level the scores against the run of play.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side came into the game having taken four points from their last two, but they were well-dominated throughout as the Gunners showed why they are the force to be reckoned with in the title race so far.

Mikel Arteta’s men exploded out of the blocks, as their fast-paced start startled the hosts, and Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard began to get into their groove quickly.

It was down the right that the visitors got their breakthrough, as Bukayo Saka and Ben White linked up nicely. The right-back fizzed in a low cross with great pace and accuracy, which was begging to be thundered home by the onrushing Swiss international Xhaka.

Gabriel Jesus’ goal drought continued as he was thwarted twice by excellent saves from young shot-stopper Gavin Bazunu, and Mohamed Elyounoussi slid in well to stop the Brazilian as he raced through on goal on the hour.

Southampton failed to really threaten Aaron Ramsdale’s goal as Arsenal defended resolutely and confidently, but the visitors were rocked as an incisive counter from the hosts was finished off brilliantly by Armstrong to haul the Saints level.

The Gunners continued to probe as they desperately chased that elusive winner, but the Saints clung on to a huge point for them and their under-fire manager, while Arteta will now be feeling Pep Guardiola’s breath a little stronger than before as the Gunners stumbled to a singular point.

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