Arsenal draw another blank as Premier League title challenge continues to falter
Arsenal drew 0-0 with Southampton at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
The result means that the Gunners have lost further ground in the Premier League title race.
Arsenal drop to fourth place in the table, five points behind leaders Leicester City who beat Liverpool 2-0 at the King Power Stadium tonight.
Manchester City move two points ahead of the Gunners following their 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Whilst Tottenham Hotspur move into third place after their 3-0 win against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Tonight was the third game in a row that Arsenal have failed to score.
A below par Gunners were unable to find a way past Saints keeper Fraser Forster, who produced a fine performance to deny the Gunners.
It was a frustrating night for Arsenal against a well organised Southampton side.
The mood of the home crowd wasn’t helped by an erratic refereeing performance by Lee Mason.
Arsene Wenger confronted the official after the match.
Wenger said: “It’s always the same with you.”
But Saints boss Roald Koeman then saw the exchange and confronted Wenger before replying: “It’s always the same with you.”
Koeman added: “You had 10 chances to score and couldn’t take any of them so why have a go at them?”
Southampton started the better of the two teams, with Petr Cech forced to turn a free-kick from James Ward-Prowse around the post for a corner.
Arsenal almost took the lead, when Alexis Sanchez through ball from the halfway line found Mesut Ozil,. He brought the ball down and shot in one movement, but his shot was blocked by Forster.
The Saints keeper then denied Ozil again, after Olivier Giroud’s knockdown, saving from a close-range.
At he other end Southampton were also creating chances, with Oriol Romeu’s effort grazing the roof of the net and Sadio Mane putting the ball wide of the post with only Cech to beat.
Arsenal pressed Southampton back at the start of the second half.
Forster made an excellent save turning Giroud’s volley behind for a corner.
Sanchez and Ozil combined to set up another chance but there was nobody in the penalty area to turn the ball into the net.
At the other end, Mane should have done much better when Hector Bellerin’s error presented him with a run at goal, but he shot weakly straight at Cech.
Substitute Theo Walcott sent over a cross that found the head of Sanchez, but Forster was again on hand to save at his near post.
Walcott then had a golden chance to open the scoring, but was denied by a double save from Forster.
The Saints keeper then turned away yet another Sanchez header that was creeping towards the far post.
Sanchez then had another attempt cleared off the line by Ward-Prowse and Laurent Koscielny headed over the cross-bar from six yards out.
Whilst Forster came to his side’s rescue again by turning Giroud’s header over the bar.
Despite six minutes of added time, Arsenal were unable to find the breakthrough
Arsenal: Cech 6; Bellerin 6, Gabriel 6, Koscielny 7, Monreal 6; Ramsey 5, Flamini 5 (Coquelin 85); Campbell 6 (Walcott 62), Ozil 6, Sanchez 6; Giroud 5.