Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glance
At the final whistle the heavens opened and it poured down. It felt appropriate. This was the one when the Saints rained on Arsenal’s parade.
It ended in a draw but was celebrated like a victory for Southampton. But who could blame them? Certainly nobody could fault their manager Ralph Hasenhuttl who appears to go into every game right now with a noose around his neck and the threat of the sack but has surely again slipped that knot.
It is three games unbeaten for him, collecting five precious points. “I saw a team fighting for this club,” Hasenhuttl said (with the implication they were also fighting for him) and it certainly looked like that. “Today this was a very important statement against a team top of the league,” he added.
There was thunder. There was lightning and there was plenty of elemental action on the pitch – with Lyanco, on his first start, and Eddie Nketiah clashing – and off it as Arsenal’s frustration at their own carelessness, and the perceived failure of referee Robert Jones, grew.
Set-piece coach Nicolas Jover was booked for his persistent protests and Mikel Arteta cut an exasperated figure. The manager charged out of his technical area and his stiff-backed, stony-faced demeanour at the end told its own story as did his clipped responses.
“I think we stopped doing the simple things right,” Arteta lamented, adding of the result: “No complaints. This is football… in the Premier League unfortunately if you don’t [take chances] when you are on top you can have some difficulties. In the second half we put ourselves in problems with the amount of giveaways that we had.”
Southampton sensed that with, interestingly, Hasenhuttl identifying a sloppy piece of play by William Saliba as the trigger for his team to push on – which they did as the crowd responded and they were eventually cheered off. It was a long way from the shouts of “taxi for Ralph” after Arsenal scored.
In the gloom it was not all gloomy for Arsenal, though. Yes, they drew, yes Gabriel Jesus missed chances – it is five games without a goal for the striker – and yes, they were sloppy but it was a point that extended their lead at the top of the table. And top is not where they expected to be after 11 games.
At the same time it was only the second time they have dropped points this season, and their first draw since January 22, but they really should have been out of sight before Southampton mounted a stirring second-half comeback. If they are to be title contenders then this was unquestionably a missed opportunity. And they knew it.
What a contrast to the first-half and the indictment of Arsenal has to be that they behaved like it was too easy. They were utterly dominant.
Southampton were pinned back and looked there for the taking with Hasenhuttl admitting his formation did not work as he switched to a back-five after starting with Lyanco at right-back in the absence of the injure Kyle Walker-Peters who will undergo a scan this week on his damaged hamstring.
Before that, Arsenal scored and it was with a goal very similar to the one Granit Xhaka claimed in the Europa League win over PSV Eindhoven in midweek. This time Ben White combined with Bukayo Saka down the right with Xhaka cleverly holding his run. White pulled the back and the midfielder half-volleyed powerfully high into the net.
At this point it looked like Southampton would be overwhelmed. Goalkeeper Gavin Bazuna had already denied Xhaka, Martin Odegaard had scuffed wastefully wide from the edge of the penalty area with the goal beckoning and Jesus struck the side-netting, unsuccessfully demanded a spot-kick and then was thwarted by Bazuna with a fine save from Odegaard’s scooped pass.
If Arsenal were profligate the biggest miss came while Southampton were in the ascendancy in the second-half with the involvement of the home side’s wing-back Mohamed Elyounoussi proving vital as he helped decide the outcome and claim the man-of-the-match prize.
And so it looked like Arsenal would seal their win when Jesus broke through the middle and seemed certain to run clear and score only for Elyounoussi to sprint back and concede a corner when he could have conceded a penalty with a less well-timed challenge.
“I’m sure he will be disappointed because he had the chances to put them away,” Arteta later said of the Brazilian who had delayed his shot.
It was a game-saver from Elyounoussi and then there was the game-changer. Arsenal had dropped off. No question. They were not playing with the same tempo and so they paid the price as Southampton poured forward and Elyounoussi capped a defining few minutes by slipping a shrewd pass which was met by Stuart Armstrong who had darted in behind and rolled the back across Aaron Ramsdale to draw level.
“At the end, you had the feeling we had them a little bit on the ropes,” Hasenhuttl said and it was not an idle boast. Arsenal had the ball in the net again, with Odegaard finishing, but it had gone out of play before substitute Kieran Tierney cut it back to him.
But they did not go close again. Instead it was Southampton pressing and while they failed to create any real opportunities – apart from a half-chance for Jo Aribo – they deserved the acclaim in the driving rain as they walked off through the storm and left Arsenal to reflect on their own complacency.
Mikel Arteta, speaking to BBC Match of the Day
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.
On Granit Xhaka
Really efficient, really consistent and really impressive. It’s the way he wants to continue to do it.
Arsenal extend their lead at the top- but miss the opportunity to make it four points between themselves and Manchester City.
The points are deservedly shared at St Mary’s- and what a week for the hosts following their mid-week win at Bournemouth.
It seemed certain to be another comfortable win for Arsenal after a blistering opening 15 minutes from the visitors which saw them take the lead through Xhaka.
However, they missed chances to improve their lead and lost concentration in the second half.
They are still two points clear at the top. but their drop in performance level in the second half, will concern Arteta and Arsenal fans.
Southampton goalkeeper comes off his line and heads a long ball clear, taking out Nketiah in the process.
It’s one last chance for Arsenal to take a long throw in.
This is real end to end stuff now!
Southampton go up the other end but are unable to create an opening.
Arsenal are throwing bodies forward, roared on by Arteta on the touchline.
There will be five minutes of added on time here.
A second booking of the afternoon for simulation, this time for Walcott.
The first on Saka was a bit of a joke, but few complaints on that.
Southampton are still doing all the running late on, with Arsenal looking more than a touch leggy.
However, the offside flag keeps the hosts at bay again.
Will we have late twist in the tale here at St Mary’s?
Edozie’s youthful exuberance off the bench has really given Southampton a real lift after that initial momentum swing following the equaliser began to fade.
Edozie does extremely well to shrug off pressure and send the ball out wide to Walcott.
He wants the ball back to his feet in the box- and was stood in space but Walcott lofts and the hosts lose possession.
There is a chance for Southampton to nick it here.
Meanwhile, Arteta replaces Odegaard with Viera.
Into the final 10 minutes now and Sam Edozie replaces Southampton goalscorer Stuart Armstrong.
Odegaard plays through Nketiah, but his low effort is deflected behind by Lyanco.
Replays show that was definitely the correct call.
Arsenal have a ball in the back of net, but it is disallowed.
Tierney cuts it back to Odegaard but the ball had gone out before the passed it back to his team-mate.
Arsenal fans are now appealing for a penalty for a challenge on Tierney by Elyounoussi.
Yet again, the call is ignored.
Ralph Hasenhuttl blinks first and makes the first substitutions.
Adams and Walcott are on in place of A Armstrong and Aribo.
Surely Theo Walcott couldn’t cheekily snatch a winner against his old club?
Southampton are really in the ascendancy now.
Aribo’s shot is blocked, making Ramsdale’s job far easier.
But the hosts are causing Arsenal’s real problems, Perraud cut it back from Aribo inside the box from the byline.
They are finding all sorts of space behind Arsenal now.
Stuart Armstrong pegs back the visitors!
Arsenal starting to look weary and Southampton have capitalised as Stuart Armstrong slots the ball past Ramsdale.
Elyounoussi shows so much composure after receiving the ball on the edge of the box, before feeding in Armstrong with a sublime pass. Armstrong delivers a neat finish to Ramsdale’s left inside the penalty area.
The league leaders have let this slip and they need to wake up if they want to make it nine wins on the bounce.
A chance for Arsenal!
After being involved in a possible equaliser for Southampton at the other end; Elyounoussi tracks back to deliver a vital challenge on Jesus, who was through on goal.
However, the Brazilian forward was unable to get a proper connection on it due to the pressure on him, and Elyounoussi made sure of denying him with a sliding block as the last man.
Stuart Armstrong is able to get a pocket of space in behind Arsenal on the wing and his cross is delivered into a dangerous area.
He was very close to making contact, but the visitors were able to clear their lines well.
However, they need to careful there.
Since the start of the second-half, Southampton have had quite a few chances to get the ball into the box from throw-ins and corners.
But the visitors have barely given them a sniff.
Jesus puts his body on the line for the most recent chance, taking a knock to the head when attempting to clear.
He clashed head with Salisu- but both look fine to continue play.
Caleta-Car had a strong hold on Jesus- just as he did in the first-half in the box. But the referee Robert Jones ignores the calls for a foul. This was quite clearly a foul, he wouldn’t le the Brazilian go.
Arsenal should feel aggrieved- the forward can feel hard done by this afternoon.
Goal-scorer Xhaka has stayed dwon after taking a tumble under a challenge. It appears to be his shoulder that is slightly troubling him, but he continues for the visitors.
Armstrong had a brilliant opportunity to run at the visitors defence after a sloppy pass from Saliba gave the Southampton forward a chance to take Gabriel one-on-one.
But it was poor touch which saw him lose the ball before he could trouble the Brazilian. Southampton need to make more of those chances if they are get back into this game.
Long throw-ins were a huge feature in Southampton’s play in the first half and it looks to be continuing in the second half.
Lyanco is on duty from the right, with Salisu taking them on the left it would appear.
However, Arsenal look too strong when the ball comes into their box whether from a throw-in or a set-piece.
The second half is underway!
Arsenal are all in black, with Southampton in their white and red home strips.
Find it strange that there’s even a question over whether Ben White will be in the England squad. Has there been a better right-back, of any nationality, in the Premier League this season?
Not that Southampton particularly look like scoring before the break, but the one-goal difference is just giving the home side that little bit of additional impetus. Chances for Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard have come and gone and the Brazilian in particular could really do with a goal as could his team.
Two minutes of additional time will be played at the end of this first half.
That was excellent footwork from Aribo, who gathers Elyounoussi’s overhit cross and slips the ball through the legs of White to find Perraud.
Perraud feeds Stuart Armstrong, whose shot is blocked.
A chance for Arsenal!
A cheekily chipped pass by Oedgaard inside the box sets up a volley for Jesus, but the Brazilian volleys at Bazunu.
That was a crucial save from the Southampton keeper to deny Jesus just before the break.
Martinelli has started this game well for Arsenal. A speedy run from the Brazilian who breezes past defenders on a slight diagonal jaunt to the edge of the box that ends with effort deflected behind .
Saka’s corner is cleared easily by Southampton as they try and break with White left as the last man, but Arsenal are quicly back onto the attack.
Arsenal need to settle slightly here until half-time at St Mary’s. They’ve become a bit ragged and panicky, partly because they keep giving Ward-Prowse way too many opportunities to whip in corners.
By far Southampton’s strongest spell of the game here 10 minutes before the interval as they force corner after corner, but time and time again it’s an Arsenal head that is first to the ball.
Signs that Arsenal may be just getting a little nervy as Saliba slices a clearance awkwardly into touch to invite more quick pressure.
Rare sight repeated for Xhaka!
From our football reporter Sam Dean
Granit Xhaka has scored the same goal in two consecutive games. Right-footed half-volley, from the full-back’s low cross. The patterns of play are so well established in this team now.
‘That was absolutely 𝐆𝐋𝐎𝐑𝐈𝐎𝐔𝐒!’
Granit Xhaka can’t stop scoring 🔥 pic.twitter.com/n76EgT8oBJ
Saka goes hurtling forward once more, falling after a slight shove from Salisu as Caleta-Car leaves a leg dangling.
The 21-year-old clearly wants a foul but ends up being booked for simulation.
That looks an awful decision from referee Robert Jones, it has to be said.
Partey wins the ball for Arsenal in the midfield and Odegaard’s find quick pass releases Jesus, who clearly twists past Lyanco and Caleta-Car before lashing into the side netting.
Sadly no changes to speak as yet from Southampton, but this formation tweak from Hasenhuttl has certainly helped them recover from a dismal start.
They are steadily finding their way into the game and seeing plenty more of the ball now.
From our football reporter, Sam Dean, live from St Mary’s
His thoughts on Arsenal’s opening goal
Xhaka’s goal was almost identical to the one he scored in midweek, against PSV. A half-volley with his right foot, attacking a low cross from the overlapping right-back. These are the patterns of play that Arteta has drilled into his team. Choreographed football.
And with that goal and the obviousness of Xhaka being the spare man, Hasenhuttl switches to back five out of possession.
However, Arsenel are getting into the box at will.
Gabriel Jesus insists to the referee he was pulled down inside the box but his protests are waved away quickly.
Arsenal break through!
A wonderful cross from Ben White falls to the feet of Xhaka inside the box who volleys home with his right foot.
The man is on fire. There is no end to what this man cannot do and props to Ben White too. The play down both flanks has been the undoing of Saints who simply have not started.
Losing possession easily, Arsenal’s pressure is paying dividends. But the ball from the unorthodox right-back is simply perfect. The Swiss midfielder’s finish on his right foot no less though was brilliant.
Martinelli down in a heap after an awkward fall but he’s quickly back up.
Arsenal slice their way forward again and Odegaard has a great chance to pull the trigger after Salisu’s slip, but the captain scuffs a disappointing effort wide of the far post.
You sense, an Arsenal goal is beginning to feel like an inevitability here.
The hosts finally get bodies forward for the first times, but Lyanco choosed to go for goal from some distance but it’s an easy save for Ramsdale.
It’s clear both sides are showing attacking mindsets early on.
Saka has started well and puts a delightful ball into the box, that’s curling towards the far past, but sadly none of this team-mates are able to get on the end of it.
An early warning sign for the hosts, as Arsenal are straight on the offensive, clearly looking to exploit their opponents weaknesses on that right-hand side.
Martinelli feeds Jesus after an excellent switch of play with the striker then forcing a decent low save from the Southampton goalkeeper.
The offside flag quickly goes up, so it wouldn’t have counted.
The visitors start fast and they are buoyed by the usual away support. A quiet St Mary’s is being lifted by the travelling Arsenal fans.
The visitors get us underway and the ball is rolling on the south coast!
Robert Jones officiates this afternoon.
Southampton: Bazunu, Lyanco, Caleta-Car, Salisu, Perraud, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Aribo, S Armstong, A Armstrong
Substitutes: McCarthy, Adams, Mara, Djenepo, Edozie, Larios, Walcott, Finnigan, Payne
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus
Substitutes: Turner, Cedric, Holding, Tierney, Lokonga, Vieira, Nelson, Marquinhos, Nketiah
Speaking to Sky Sports
We know what we are facing today, top of the table, we need to have a good result and the result on Wednesday helps.
We need to show a lot of passion at home, a lot of running. The way of defending must be committed against a very good side that has good quality. When we have a good team performance, we have a chance.
Not much different, they was strong at the time but we managed to have a clean sheet and a 1-0 win.
Mikel Arteta’s side are the only side to have scored in every Premier League game so far, while no side has kept fewer clean sheets in the league this season than Southampton.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus co-lead Arsenal with eight goal involvements each in the Premier League.
Saka is in fine form, as each of his eight goal involvements this season have come in his last seven appearances.
Speaking to Sky Sports
We just focus on consistency, playing our highest level, improving as a team and results are a consequence of that. There’s a consistency collectively to maintain our form.
The table, we are in a different position in the table. I think the environment, energy in the team, the last results have been positive. It’s something we have to show on the pitch against a team who made it difficult for us last season, we have to prove we are the better team today.
We have to, that’s the schedule we have and mentally that’s how we prepare our players. We need to go every three days, we know that will happen before the World Cup and after the World Cup, they need to be ready to do that.
A beautiful day on the south coast
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s has made three changes to the side that beat south rivals Bournemouth in mid-week.
Lyanco, Ibrahima Diallo, and Stuart Armstong all come in as Kyle Walker-Peters is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is ineligible to face his parent club and Che Adams drops to the bench.
Southampton starting XI: Bazunu, Lyanco, Caleta-Car, Salisu, Perraud, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Aribo, S Armstong, A Armstrong
Substitutes: McCarthy, Adams, Mara, Djenepo, Edozie, Larios, Walcott, Finnigan, Payne
Bukayo Saka suffered a knock during the 1-0 Europa League victory over PSV Eindhoven but starts at St Mary’s, meaning Arsenal remain unchanged from the side that defeated Leeds at Elland Road last weekend.
Arsenal starting XI: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus
Substitutes: Turner, Cedric, Holding, Tierney, Lokonga, Vieira, Nelson, Marquinhos, Nketiah
We’re at St Mary’s to see if leaders Arsenal can extend their lead at the top of Premier League table back to four points as they take on lowly Southampton.
A confident Mikel Arteta’s side are searching for what would be a ninth consecutive win across all competitions, though they will have bad memories of their 1-0 defeat on this ground back in April as their top-four challenge derailed in ugly fashion.
Southampton will look to deal an early blow to Arsenal’s title hopes after claiming their first victory in six at Bournemouth in midweek, though manager Ralph Hasenhuttl remains under pressure with the his side hovering just two points above the relegation zone.
By Martin Bedford
Jurgen Klopp once hailed his Liverpool side as “mentality monsters” and now it seems Arsenal have their own version in Bukayo Saka after manager Mikel Arteta praised the improvement in his player’s mindset.
Saka, 21, endured a difficult time after having his penalty saved as England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy in a shoot-out. Since then the product of Arsenal’s hailed Hale End academy has recovered in a manner many would never have predicted, ending last season as the club’s top goalscorer.
This season he has developed into one of the key components of an Arsenal team who top the Premier League – one point clear of Manchester City, Erling Haaland and all – having won nine of their 10 games. Saka has started all of those matches, providing four goals and four assists.
Asked how Saka had become more ruthless, Arteta pointed to his temple: “Here,” he said. “Robustness is in your mind. The gym is very important but what happens in your brain is more important.
“How much you want it, how tough you want to be with yourself, how pushy you want to be with yourself and what you do to get to that level.”
Arteta was forced to defend his decision to play Saka in Thursday night’s Europa League win over PSV Eindhoven and again explained that he was not putting his player at risk by asking him to play every three days.
“We have so much data right now and we know what the players have done, what they can do, how they respond when they play every three days, when you play three, four, five consecutive matches, where the risk can be,” he said. “But still nobody has a crystal clear ball.
Obviously we want to protect our players as well, which means they need to have the robustness to play those matches when it is necessary, because it’s going to be necessary and after the World Cup it’s going to be absolutely crazy the amount of games we’re going to have.”
Arteta also revealed he had spoken to several national managers ahead of the World Cup.
“It is great for both managers to have an update on where the players are not only physically but mentally, issues that they have had, things that we insist from them and what helps a player, what brings them down,” he said.
Meanwhile, defender Gabriel Magalhaes has signed a new, long-term deal at Arsenal.
Ahead of kick-off at 2pm, we’ll be bringing you team news, live updates, and latest reaction after the match too.
We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism.
We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.
Thank you for your support.
Visit our adblocking instructions page.