Mikel Arteta's side were winless in five games ahead of their clash against a high-flying Southampton that could have gone top of the 2020-21 Premier League table with a win.
However, despite Arteta making a slew of changes from the 1-0 defeat against Burnley at the weekend, Arsenal managed to avoid losing five consecutive league games for the first time in their history.
The suspensions of Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin meant starts for Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Dani Ceballos. Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe also returned to Arsenal's starting XI, the latter doing so after serving his 3-game suspension following his sending off against Leeds United.
Arsenal started the game on the back foot, as Ralph Hasenhuttl's side took control of early proceedings. Former Arsenal player Theo Walcott, after being played through by Che Adams, chipped the ball over an onrushing Bernd Leno to give the visitors the lead.
In response, Arsenal failed to conjure any significant chances to trouble Southampton in the rest of the first half. However, after the interval, the Gunners came out with more impetus and began troubling the Saints backline. The pressure paid off when captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang scored his first goal since early November.
Bukayo Saka picked up the ball on the left flank and went on a mazy run past four Southampton defenders before finding Eddie Nketiah on the edge of the area. The young striker flicked the ball around the defender and into the path of Aybameyang who made no mistake with the finish.
The Gabon international slotted the ball past Alex McCarthy to score only his second league goal from open play since his strike at Fulham on the opening day of the season.
Arsenal continued to pile on the pressure in search of a winner, but two quick yellow cards for Brazilian defender Gabriel put paid to such hopes, and they had to be content with a share of the spoils.
The centre-back, who has been one of Arsenal's standout players this season, could not cope with the pace of Theo Walcott and brought down the Englishman on the halfway-line to receive his second yellow of the night. Following the sending off, the Gunners had to endure over half an hour of Saints pressure.
Arsenal came close to winning the game in the 92nd minute when Rob Holding hit the bar with a header. However, a win was not to be. On that note, here are the Arsenal player ratings from their draw against Southampton.
Bernd Leno: 6/10
Bernd Leno couldn't do much about Southampton's opener, as he was left stranded in a one-on-one situation against Walcott and was beaten by the forward's pace. Nevertheless, the German commanded his box well throughout the game, collecting crosses and dealing with set-pieces.
Rob Holding: 6/10
It was a strong performance from Rob Holding who came up against a formidable strike partnership of Ings and Adams. The centre-back coped with their pace well although he looked exposed at times.
Nevertheless, the Englishman did well to marshall the Arsenal defence after Gabriel's sending off. He could have even won the game for Arsenal late on, but his header in stoppage time came back off the Southampton crossbar.
Gabriel looked uncomfortable all night against the pace of Southampton's attack. He was caught out of position on numerous occasions, and his ball distribution was sloppy too. The Brazilian got sent of for two silly fouls in the space of four minutes that put Arsenal on the back foot for the rest of the game.
Kieran Tierney: 5/10
Kieran Tierney, playing on the left of a back-three, did his best to thwart Southampton's attackers. However, the Scot was partially at fault for Southampton's opener, as he failed to close down Walcott who was played through.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 7/10
Ainsley Maitland-Niles ran tirelessly throughout the game and shackled Stuart Armstrong. His feistiness and versatility came to the fore, as he helped ten-man Arsenal hold on to a point against Southampton.
Mohamed Elneny: 4/10
Mohamed Elneny failed to make an impact in Arsenal's midfield. The Egyptian was easily bypassed in midfield by the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu. Elneny also provided nothing offensively, often electing to pass the ball backwards or sideways.
Dani Ceballos: 5/10
Dani Ceballos tried to orchestrate things from Arsenal's midfield but was left frustrated more often than not. The Spaniard was also a bit of a liability in defence, as he didn't do enough to thwart Southampton's attacks.
Bukayo Saka: 7.5/10
Bukayo Saka was Arsenal's best player on the night. The young Englishman provided Arsenal's attack with the spark it needed throughout the night and was a menace for the Saints.
Saka made a sublime run through the Saints defence from the left wing before finding Nketiah on the edge of the box for Arsenal's equaliser. He also performed his defensive duties with aplomb, even after Arsenal were down to ten men.
Nicolas Pepe: 5.5/10
The returning Nicolas Pepe did well in the first half, putting Ryan Bertrand under pressure with his pace and dribbling abilities; however, his final product was often found wanting. The Ivorian didn't do much in the second half, but he did help Arsenal play out a draw despite having a player sent off.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 6.5/10
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang often cut a frustrated figure in the match. But the Arsenal captain managed to end a long scoring drought in the league. The Gabonese striker took his chance with aplomb after being played through by Nketiah.
Eddie Nketiah: 6/10
Eddie Nketiah led Arsenal's attack against Southampton but could barely get into the game against a strong Saints backline. Nketiah did play through Aubameyang with a smart flick around the corner for the Arsenal captain to level the scores.
Ratings of Arsenal Substitutes
Joe Willock: 6/10
Joe Willock replaced Ceballos in the 67th minute and did his best to alleviate the Saints' pressure on Arsenal's backline by carrying the ball forward from midfield.
David Luiz: 6.5/10
David Luiz came on for Nketiah in the 65th minute after Arsenal were down to ten men following Gabriel's sending off. The Brazilian provided a calm and experienced head in defence, thwarting Southampton's attacks. He also did his part in helping Arsenal run down the clock.
Cedric Soares: 5/10
Cedric Soares replaced Pepe in the 85th minute but wasn't on the field for long enough to make an impact against Southampton.Published 17 Dec 2020, 09:57 IST