Arsenal's Premier League Title Hopes Suffers Another Blow After A Dramatic 3-3 Home Draw Against Bottom-Club Southampton.

Arsenal yet again continues to stutter in the race for the Premier League title after coming from behind to score two late goals and earn a battling 3-3 draw against bottom club Southampton.

After just 28 seconds into the encounter at the Emirates stadium, Southampton took the lead when keeper Aaron Ramsdale gifted the ball to Carlos Alcaraz to instinctively finish.

As if the Saints’ early lead was not shocking enough, Theo Walcott doubled the visitors advantage in the 14th minute against the club for whom he made 397 appearances for.

Gabriel Martinelli dragged the Gunners back into the match after 20 minutes when he slammed home Bukayo Saka’s cross, having beat former Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker-Peters leading to the goal.

The Premier League had chances of equalising in stoppage time as Ben White's header was cleared off the line, with the pulsating first-half ending a 1-2 scoreline.

In the second half, it was the visitors who popped up with the crucial ‘next goal’ as they seek a first win in seven league games in their desperate battle to extend their 10-year stay in the top flight.

The appeared to be heading for a priceless victory after Southampton won a corner and James Ward-Prowse’s typically brilliant delivery found the head of Jan Bednarek's replacement Duje Caleta-Car who restored the Saints two goal lead (1-3) in the 66th minute.

Arteta threw on Trossard, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson in an attempt to set up a grandstand finish.

With the game drawing to its end, many Arsenal fans were heading for the exits after Gabriel Jesus had missed a couple of decent chances, but it was the Gunners captain Martin Odegaard who eventually pulled a goal from nowhere with a curling shot past Gavin Bazunu in the 88th minute to give the hosts some hope.

Two minutes later Bukayo Saka who missed a penalty in the last game against West Ham, pounced on a loose ball in the box to bring Arsenal level 3-3 but barely celebrated as he raced back into position for the restart. 

Both sides had their chances to get a dramatic winner in nine minutes of second half stoppage time, but neither could land the final blow with Leandro Trossard hit the crossbar in injury time.

It's now a trio of draws for Arsenal who have now picked up just three points from their last three games after recording consecutive draws against Southampton, West Ham and Liverpool respectively.

The result sees the league leaders lead at the top of the table for the past eight months, been slashed from eight points to five as Pep Guardiola and Manchester City chase down the frontrunners. 

Although Man City now boast of two games in hand and are clear favourites for the title.

Arsenal next face Man City at the Etihad stadium next Wednesday in a blockbuster clash billed as the title decider.

Southampton meanwhile, remain bottom with 24 points, three below the safety zone with six games to go, having played a game more than those above them.

Despite the setback, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remained defiant. "It hasn't changed," he said.

"Obviously the task is even bigger but now we have to do the simple things better and cut out mistakes. We made it very difficult again for ourselves but the way we reacted I love my players more than ever."

“It is incredible, we were on the way back, and we conceded again with a sloppy goal but in the end, we should have won the game. We created enough chances and opportunities but it didn’t happen and we are disappointed. We have to go to Man City and win.”

Striker Gabriel Jesus offered a similar message after the game;

"Now is the difficult moment. It is time now to stick together until the end," said the Brazilian. 

"We still have a lot of things to do this season. Nothing is over.

"We are still five points clear. They City have two games in hand. If we want to be champions we have to go there and win the game, that's all."

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