Arsenal found themselves in a precarious situation against Southampton tonight as they quite clearly struggled to keep up with the Saints counter-attacking. The game proved to be a more than surprising test for the Gunners, who at many times looked vulnerable in defence.
Southampton took advantage of those cracks in defence and managed to bag three goals, taking a commanding 3-1 lead with only a few minutes left of the game. Very fortunately for the Arsenal fans making an early way out of the Emirates, efforts from Martin Odegaard with an 88' goal managed to put butts back in seats. Just merely two minutes later we seen Bukayo Saka sinking home the equaliser before the Emirates once again erupted in the same fashion it did earlier in the season, with the late winner against Bournemouth. Arsenal had multiple opportunities to bag a 4th in the final moments, but wasteful balls from Partey and scrappy balls in the box to no avail resulted in a disappointing draw for both the Gunners and the Saints.
With salvaging a point from what could have been an embarrassing home defeat to relegation candidates Southampton, the Gunners will now need to address the defensive frailties that were exposed during the match if they hope to remain in contention for the title against a City side in ridiculously strong form. Overall, it was however a hard-fought draw for Arsenal, we can't take that away from them - but it was a performance of a team that ultimately highlighted room for improvement.
Ironically, City are the only team who have managed to beat Arsenal at Emirates in the Premier League this season, but the Sky Blues still trail Arsenal by five points despite this. It is the two games in hand which could be the gamechanger for City with what is left of this Premier League campaign. If City win their upcoming match against the Gunners on Wednesday, this would put them in the driving seat to secure another league title. The three points for City would put them two points behind Arsenal with two games in hand, and if they were to capitalise on Fulham and West Ham's recent poor form and pick up all six points up for grabs, this could have the capacity to give City the title, even if Arsenal picked up form.
Arsenal still also have the opportunity to challenge for the title if they can manage to win all their remaining games. The uncertainty surrounding Arsenal's title chances was not lost on the players or the manager, who acknowledged the need to win every game. Forward Gabriel Jesus stated that they "must win" to have a chance of being champions. While Mikel Arteta agreed with this sentiment, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes that Arsenal will need something "miraculous" to win the title now, under the circumstances.
“It is not a final because there are still six games to go” - Mikel Arteta