Struggling Southampton hold leaders Arsenal

Struggling Southampton hold leaders Arsenal

Following their 1-1 Premier League tie with Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday, Mikel Arteta, the manager of the north London team, lamented his players’ inability to capitalize on their early domination.

Granit Xhaka’s goal was all that Arsenal had to show for being the superior team in the first half, but they had to hold on for a draw in the end after letting Southampton back into the game.

After 27 games in which they had either won or lost, it was astonishingly Arsenal’s first tie in the Premier League since January. Nevertheless, after 11 games, they now lead second-place Manchester City by two points.

“We had three or four good opportunities and should have scored more. We needed two or three goals, but only scored one,” Arteta told BBC Match of the Day. “It’s disappointing. We created enough chances but couldn’t put the ball away.”

Arsenal’s inability to kill off the contest will be a frustration as that has been a hallmark of their recent form. They had won their previous 18 Premier League matches in which they scored first.

“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,” Arteta said.

Xhaka’s goal was his second this week after he also netted in the 1-0 Europa League win over PSV Eindhoven on Thursday, and his manager believes his form has been key for them this season.

“He’s really efficient, really consistent and really impressive,” Arteta said.

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