Leaders Arsenal held at battling Southampton

Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on October 23, 2022.


Premier League leaders Arsenal dropped points for only the second time this season as Stuart Armstrong’s second-half equaliser earned Southampton a hard-earned point at St Mary’s.

Armstrong finished off a flowing team move involving Adam Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi to stretch Saints’ unbeaten league run to three matches.

Granit Xhaka had given the Gunners an early lead with his second goal in as many games, sweeping the ball first time into the roof of the net from Ben White’s low delivery.

The effervescent Gabriel Martinelli had a shot deflected wide and Gabriel Jesus was denied by Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu as the visitors threatened to double their advantage before the interval.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team improved in the second half but needed a superb last-ditch challenge from Elyounoussi to deny Jesus, who had broken clear of the Southampton defence.

Martin Odegaard thought he had put Arsenal back ahead not long after Armstrong’s equaliser, but the Norwegian’s effort was disallowed after the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.

The result leaves Mikel Arteta’s team two points clear of second-placed Manchester City, while Saints stay in 15th – three points clear of the relegation zone.

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