Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is hopeful Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s drought-ending goal against Southampton will help his side become a more attacking force from now on.
Aubameyang’s 52nd minute goal, his first since November 1st, brought the Gunners level in the 1-1 draw against the Saints.
It brings an end to a frustrating period for the striker, and also to a run of 798 minutes of Premier League football without a goal from open play for Arsenal.
And while Arteta admits attacking has been a “struggle” for his team of late, he is hopeful Aubameyang’s strike is the start of better things to come.
He told Amazon Prime: “Hopefully that’s going to unlock us because in the last few weeks it has been a struggle. We [have been] creating the chances and not scoring them.
“For the confidence of the team and for Aubameyang individually I think it is really important.”
Arsenal have netted just twice during the six game winless run they are currently on.
‘Mountain to climb’ after sending off
Arteta added that the red card shown to Gabriel made it tough for Arsenal to go on and win the game.
Having gone into the break behind, the London club equalised soon after the restart and looked to be gaining control.
However, Gabriel was dismissed after picking up two bookings in just four minutes. That left his side a man down for the final half an hour.
When giving his thoughts on the match, Arteta revealed that moment left his side with too much to do to claim all three points.
“I was disappointed with the way we conceded the first goal. It was the first action that they really created,” he said.
“It was a very intense game because we are both really high-pressing teams. There was a lot of situations in the final third to sustain those attacks. We had some good moments and some good opportunities and we didn’t score.
“In the second half it was about believing that we could do it. We came out really strong, we scored a really good goal but again, we went down to ten men and it was a mountain to climb.”
Gabriel’s sending off was the third red card Arsenal have received in their last five league games.
Nicolas Pepe was given his marching orders against Leeds last month, while Granit Xhaka was sent for an early shower in the defeat to Burnley at the weekend.
The lack of discipline is proving costly for the Gunners, who remain 15th in the table with 14 points.