Arsenal salvage 3-3 draw against Southampton but lose ground in title race

Arsenal salvage 3-3 draw against Southampton but lose ground in title race

The Premier League title race provided another riveting chapter on Friday night at the Emirates Stadium as Southampton held Arsenal to a pulsating 3-3 draw in North London. Mikel Arteta’s side fell to a 3-1 deficit in the second half after Carlos Alcaraz, Theo Walcott, and Duje Caleta-Car struck for Southampton, but goals from Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka in the final two minutes helped the Gunners rescue a single point.

The Gunners entered this fixture on the back of two demoralising 2-2 draws away to Liverpool and West Ham and needed to turn their form around at home to reaffirm their status as title contenders. However, Arsenal suffered a body blow inside the opening minute of the game as Aaron Ramsdale misplaced a pass while attempting to play out from the back, feeding the ball to Carlos Alcaraz, who found the bottom corner from outside the box to put Southampton ahead after 30 seconds.

Arsenal’s problems compounded soon after as former Gunner Theo Walcott doubled Southampton’s lead, clinically finishing off a swift Saints counter to leave the home side 2-0 down inside 15 minutes.

Gabriel Martinelli breathed some life back into the stadium by pulling one goal back five minutes later, volleying home from Bukayo Saka’s cross to make it 2-1. Both sides had chances to find the back of the net before half-time, with Aaron Ramsdale producing a crucial double save to deny Southampton and Carlos Alcaraz clearing Ben White’s header off the goal-line from a corner.

Arsenal pushed forward in the second half in search of the three points but were stung from a set-piece as Duje Caleta-Car evaded his marker and found the back of his net from a corner to give Southampton a 3-1 lead.

The hosts appeared to be heading towards a deflating defeat with just 20 minutes on the clock to salvage their season. Mikel Arteta brought on Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard, and Reiss Nelson in the search of another miracle at the Emirates, and just as the game seemed to be slipping away, Martin Odegaard bent a fantastic strike into the bottom corner to halve the deficit.

Two minutes later, Bukayo Saka levelled the scores at 3-3 with an opportunistic finish in the box, and the Gunners even had a chance to steal a victory in stoppage time as Leandro Trossard struck the bar from long range.

Arsenal’s bittersweet draw extends their lead to five points to Manchester City in the points table, albeit having played two extra games, and the Gunners will have to beat Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad next Wednesday to stand a chance of keeping their title hopes alive.