Arsenal 2 Southampton 2

Arsenal played terribly and yet could have come out undeserving winners in a late match at Southampton last night. The Premier League leaders dropped 2 points in the title race as they were held by Southampton in an enthralling contest at St Mary’s. On paper Arsenal should have won and bagged all 3 points but they came out onto the field looking a shadow of the team that has played so well all season and were dominated by their lesser opponents. The Saints controlled the 1st half and went ahead deservingly when Jose Fonte headed in Luke Shaw’s cross to give the Saints a deserved lead. Arsene Wenger must not have been a happy man at half time and he must have berated his squad.

Because the Gunners turned things round with two quick goals after half-time, from Olivier Giroud and a pretty to watch goal from Santi Cazorla. That should have released the air around the Saints but in just a few minutes, they equalized! Adam Lallana brought Southampton level when he turned in a Jay Rodriguez pass before Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini was sent off for a rash challenge. And yet 10 men Arsenal almost went ahead again as Ozil hit the bar for Arsenal following a surging run from inside his own half, before Nacho Monreal sliced wastefully wide. But truly the Saints should have won but Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny then pulled off a fine double save in the closing stages to keep out efforts from Shaw and Fonte and deny the home side all three points. Arsene Wenger’s men looked a pale imitation of their usual selves as they opened the door to title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea. Both could overtake Arsenal with victories on Wednesday, when City visit Tottenham and Chelsea host West Ham.

Arsenal were struggling in midfield in the absence of the injured Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, with Mikel Arteta and Flamini finding themselves overrun. With 10 minutes left Arsenal were reduced to 10 men when Flamini was shown a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Schneiderlin. From then on, it was an onslaught from Southampton, with Szczesny having to be at his sharpest to ensure his team clung on to the draw. Arsenal have a 2 point lead at the top but this game is exactly the reason why I think we won’t win the league this season, why I’ve criticized Wenger for not bringing in more top quality talent and why I think he should leave or be replaced as manager. The transfer window is almost over and who has he brought in strengthen the squad? No one! We need one top class striker, an attacking midfield and a solid defenceman! Plus a goalie!

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