Aubameyang ends drought as 10-man Arsenal hold on for Southampton draw

Date published: Wednesday 16th December 2020 7:55 - Sam Charlton

Aubameyang Arsenal TEAMtalk

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first goal since early November to rescue a point for Arsenal as they drew 1-1 with Southampton. 

Having failed to score in the five games since Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, Aubameyang finally found the net in the 52nd minute to to cancel out Theo Walcott’s first half opener.

The goal wasn’t enough to spur them onto a first league win since that success at Old Trafford though, and they were forced to settle for a point after a red card to Gabriel.

On a run of four losses and a draw in their last five games, the Gunners were hoping to turn a corner at the Emirates.

But they came up against high-flying Saints, who went into the game with two consecutive wins behind them, and the contrasting form of the two sides was evident from the off.

Che Adams and Ryan Bertrand had early chances for the visitors as they made a fast start. Their pace and intelligent runs in-behind the defensive line caused Arsenal numerous problems.

And they took a deserved leads in the 18th minute through Walcott, who raced onto Che Adams’ through ball and produced a composed chip over Bernd Leno.

Mikel Arteta’s men settled somewhat after falling behind and started to create some opportunities of their own.

Theo Walcott Southampton TEAMtalk

Nicolas Pepe had a shot blocked for a corner shortly before Dani Ceballos sent an effort over the bar.

The hosts then had a penalty appeal turned down in the 37th minute when Ceballos went down under the attention of Jan Bednarek, but neither the referee or VAR took any interest.

Bukayo Saka and Pepe tested Alex McCarthy before the half was out, but they went into the break trailing.

However it took just seven minutes of the second half for Arsenal to draw level through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who finally put an end to his lengthy Premier League goal drought.

After good work from Bukayo Saka to drive inside and find Nketiah, the youngster was able to flick the ball first time into the box to find Aubameyang who tucked the ball into the bottom right corner.

And having been instrumental in the equaliser, Saka almost put his side in front  ten minutes later when his low strike forced McCarthy into a save.

But things soon went wrong again for Arsenal when centre back Gabriel was sent off. Having been booked just minutes earlier, the Brazilian was turned too easily by Walcott in the centre of the pitch and opted to drag him down as he looked to break away, leaving referee Paul Tierney with no option but to give him is marching orders.

That was their third red card in just five league games, and it was one that changed the game. The Saints were able to take control of proceedings and looked the more likely to find a go-ahead goal.

Gabriel Walcott Arsenal Southampton TEAMtalk

Bertrand almost got in the 70th minute when he hooked Oriel Romeu’s dinked pass goalwards, but the ball crashed against the crossbar.

James Ward-Prowse was next to get a shot in after being found by a cut back from Moussa Djenepo, but Rob Holding was able to get in the way.

Djenepo was lively in the closing stages and should have done better when he hit the side netting from close range before asking for a penalty when he was bundled over by Holding.

The Arsenal defender nearly won all three points for his side in stoppage time when he headed Saka’s free kick towards goal, but it came back off the upright with McCarthy stranded.

Despite their numerical advantage Southampton couldn’t find a winner as they missed out on going top, while Arsenal remain 15th but will be thankful to claim a point on another testing night for them.

 

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