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Arsenal 1-1 Southampton: 5 talking points as 10-man Gunners avoid home defeat | Premier League 2020-21

Arsenal and Southampton played out to a draw
Arsenal and Southampton played out to a draw
ANALYST
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 07:24 IST
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Arsenal drew 1-1 with Southampton on Wednesday and avoided falling to their fifth consecutive home defeat.

Before the game, the Saints had only lost once in their last 10 matches and entered the fixture with high-flying confidence.

Former Arsenal man Theo Walcott broke the deadlock to put Southampton in front in the 18th minute. The Saints dominated possession against the home team and deserved to take the lead. Since joining the club in October, Walcott has rediscovered his form and now has four goal contributions this season.

Arsenal delivered a better second-half performance against Southampton, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring for the first time since his penalty in early November. However, Gabriel Magalhaes was shown a red card 10 minutes later, and Arsenal's efforts to get all three points were dealt with a blow.

On that note, here are the five talking points from the draw at the Emirates Stadium.


#5 Arsenal's waning confidence in the Premier League

Theo Walcott helped Southampton take the lead against Arsenal
Theo Walcott helped Southampton take the lead against Arsenal

Of the last six Premier League goals that Arsenal have conceded, five of them came in the first half. Every time they concede, the Gunners have absolutely no way of getting back and winning the game.

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Arsenal's lack of confidence is costing them everywhere on the pitch. Since the first whistle, Southampton looked more comfortable and ready to score. The Gunners were nowhere near their level of readiness or competitiveness.

To prove the point, Arsenal's lacklustre passes were too easily read out by the Southampton players. The home team lost possession at key areas in their own half because Rob Holding and Gabriel were both too casual on and off the ball.

The Gunners also struggled to pass their way out of trouble. At one point in time, every Arsenal player was in his own half, and Holding could only resort to long balls back to Southampton keeper, Alex McCarthy.

Mikel Arteta's side face even tougher opponents in their upcoming matches, and this draw might be a small confidence booster for the players.


#4 Southampton on track to having a great season

Southampton are enjoying a great form
Southampton are enjoying a great form
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Sitting third in the Premier League table before later fixtures are played out, Ralph Hasenhuttl will be relieved to know that his team are going on the right track under his tutelage.

The Saints had the chance to move up to the top of the table rankings but after an equaliser for Aubameyang, they could not find a way through the resilient Arsenal backline.

Last season, the Saints finished 11th in the Premier League. This time around, they could finish in the top half of the table. As we inch closer to the second half of the season, Southampton have won seven out of 13 Premier League fixtures and lost just three.

If Hasenhuttl can motivate his players to maintain their excellent form, there is a chance of them qualifying for European football at the end of the season.

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Published 17 Dec 2020, 07:24 IST
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