Mikel Arteta Reacts To Arsenal Dropping Points Against Southampton In The Premier League.

 Arsenal missed the chance to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League table, as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Southampton.

The Premier League leaders dropped points for only the second time this season at St Mary’s Stadium.

Arsenal were on course for nine successive wins in all competitions, having started the day one point ahead of champions Man City. The Gunners headed to the south coast off the back of a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Leeds United last weekend, and against PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Granit Xhaka gave the Gunners an early lead on 11 minutes, as he neatly tucked home with his right foot Ben White's cross. It was Xhaka’s second goal in four days following his Europa League winner against PSV had earlier set the in-form Gunners on course for a 10th win from 11 top-flight games.

But Mikel Arteta's men who were actively looking for that second goal to kill off the game, became exposed at the back. 

They were pegged back by an improved saints in the second half through Stuart Armstrong's equaliser in the 65th minute, giving Ralph Hasnehuttl's side a valuable point in their bid to avoid another relegation battle.

The draw sees the North London team remain at the top, but their lead has been cut short to just two points.

Arsenal manager Arteta refused to blame fatigue and instead pointed the finger at a lack of concentration as Arsenal surrendered a one-goal half time advantage to draw with Southampton.

The Spaniard admitted his side failed to cope with Southampton’s direct play.

During a post-match interview with BBC Match of the Day, Arteta said:  "Complaints? No, I have no complaints, this is football and I think we were good in the first half and controlled the game, and created big chances that we didn't put away.

“We had three or four good opportunities and should have scored more.

“We needed two or three goals, but only scored one.

“It’s disappointing. We created enough chances but couldn’t put the ball away.

“It’s a lesson because we wanted to win again. They put us under more pressure through direct play in the second half, and we were struggling.

“I have a feeling that we lost two points, especially with the way we started the game and the chances we had, When you look back at the chances, we should have come out on top.

“But we have to blame ourselves. I think the way we played in the first half and in the second half was very different, especially what we did in ball possession. We should have more courage, more consistency and be more reliable in ball possession and dominate the game better when we have total control of it.

“Today we should have won the game and sustained our level, which we haven’t done in the second half – and that we have to raise the level again.

Arteta noted that the amount of games being played can though be demanding, he expressed the need for a constant reminder to keep improving.

“There are positives – if you can’t win, don’t lose it. Coming to any ground in the Premier League with the amount of games we are playing is very difficult – but we have to demand from ourselves to be better.” he concluded.

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