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Premier League Match Report & Player Ratings | Arsenal battle back to earn 3-3 draw against Southampton

Late strikes from Martin Ødegaard and Bukayo Saka rescued a point for Mikel Arteta’s Gunners on a night when only three points would suffice at the Emirates

Pre-Match Social Media Commentary

Premier League leaders Arsenal have it all to do next week after another disappointing result of late that saw the Gunners drop two points against bottom outfit Southampton during a 3-3 draw at the Emirates on a night when the pacesetters needed to move past a pair of draws against Liverpool and West Ham that featured two-goal lead’s surrendered.

Many expected Mikel Arteta’s outfit to respond accordingly in front of home support against a side that has not won in the red half of north London in the Premier League era and then some, but Rúben Sellés’ side had other ideas during their trip to the capital.

Saints took a shock 1-0 lead inside 30 seconds after Aaron Ramsdale’s ball out of the back was played right to Carlos Alcaraz for the young Argentine forward to dispatch home low into the far post to stun the Emirates into silence.

Once-loved Theo Walcott cropped up thirteen minutes later to become the villain to give Saints a 2-0 advantage on a night when the Gunners needed a response after a disappointing draw against Werst Ham, with Mikel Arteta’s men looking sixes and sevens in the middle and defensive third’s of the pitch.

Arsenal would roar back six minutes later to cut the deficit in half through Gabriel Martinelli after Bukayo Saka was released down the right channel by Martin Ødegaard for the England international skinned Romain Perraud before playing a ball across the face of goal for Gabriel Martinelli to slam home past Gavin Bazunu. It was the youngster’s fifteenth goal of the season in the league, equalling Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino’s single-season Premier League goal record for a Brazilian.

The Gunners nearly found an equalizer in the fourth minute of added time through Ben White’s near-post flick-on after Saka’s corner, but goalscorer Carlos Alcaraz did well to clear off the goal line to deny Arteta’s troops what arguably would have been a justified equalizer after the league leaders began to impose themselves on proceedings more effectively.

The second half offered the same script as the first; Arsenal dominance with Saints looking to spring on the counter, but the south coast outfit restored their two-goal advantage in the 67th minute when German international Armel Bella-Kotchap rose highest in the box from a James Ward-Prowse corner to nod on to the back boast for an unmarked Duje Ćaleta-Car to head home from close range.

Gabriel Jesus nearly helped the Gunners battle back once again from a close-range volley just one minute later but the Brazilian international could only hit his effort over the ball after having to stretch to the maximum to get on the end of Martinelli’s ball into the area.

Arteta would throw caution to the wind and bring on additional attacking options to give the Gunners any chance of clawing their way back, with Martin Ødegaard finally offering the club a lifeline two minutes from stoppage time when the Norwegian captain ripped a low bending drive into the far post to once again narrow the deficit to a single goal.

And just as they have in times before, through a player who is the undeniable star of the club, Saka pounced in stoppage time to level matters at 3-3 after Bazunu could only parry away Reiss Nelson’s low effort before the England starlet slotted home from close range as the Emirates exploded into delirium into what might just be possible still.

Moments later it would be Leandro Trossard to come close when his effort from just outside of the box rattled the bar, but Arsenal were now real believers that they could battle back from the depths to secure a monumental result at home.

In the end, a dramatic win was not on the cards for Arsenal on a night where Mikel Arteta’s young side may well have lost any edge they had in the title race in the run-up to next week’s meeting with Pep Guairdiola’s Manchester City in a match that is now likely destined to decide the title winner.

Key Stats & Performers

Arsenal Player Ratings

  • GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 5
  • RB: Ben White – 7
  • RCB: Rob Holding – 6.5
  • LCB: Gabriel Magalhães – 6
  • LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5.5
  • RCM: Thomas Partey – 5.5
  • LCM: Fábio Vieira – 6
  • CAM: Martin Ødegaard – 8
  • RW: Bukayo Saka – 9
  • LW: Gabriel Martinelli – 8.5
  • CF: Gabriel Jesus – 7
  • Sub: Leandro Trossard – 6.5
  • Sub: Eddie Nketiah – 6.5
  • Sub: Reiss Nelson – 6.5

Southampton Player Ratings

  • GK: Gavin Bazunu – 6
  • RB: Kyle Walker-Peters – 6
  • RCB: Jan Bednarek – 6.5
  • LCB: Armel Bella-Kotchap – 7
  • LB: Romain Perraud – 7
  • RM: Theo Walcott – 7
  • RCM: James Ward-Prowse – 7
  • LCM: Roméo Lavia – 7.5
  • LM: Mohamed Elyounoussi – 7
  • RF: Carlos Alcaraz – 8.5
  • LF: Adam Armstrong – 6
  • Sub: Duje Ćaleta-Car – 7
  • Sub: Lyanco – 6.5
  • Sub: Kamaldeen Sulemana – 6
  • Sub: Paul Onuachu – 6
  • Sub: Ibrahima Diallo – N/A

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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