Arsenal 0 Southampton 0

A commanding attacking performance from Arsene Wenger’s men was not enough to see them overcome a tough Southampton as Arsenal’s title credentials continue to undergo a stern examination. The draw means that the Saints have now taken four points from their two Premier League games against the Gunners this season

Arsenal’s dominated their visitors both sides of the interval, but were left to rue missed opportunities and a fine goalkeeping display from Southampton’s Fraser Forster.

Mesut Ozil, on good form for Arsenal, found himself thwarted on more than one occasion from Forster in the first half, including in the 12th minute, when the German international controlled a long pass before striking a volleyed shot that the goalkeeper blocked well.

As the game wore on, and with Southampton’s back-line continuing to absorb the incessant pressure, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud had chances to open the scoring. By the end of the match, Forster’s saves numbered close to double figures.

It is now four matches without a win in the Premier League as Arsenal look to end this barren spell heading into the weekend’s trip to Bournemouth.

“It’s maximum frustrating,” said Wenger. “You rate the quality of the chances you create and the quality of the finishing.

“The quality of the chances we created today, considering it’s a Premier League game, was high. The quality of the finishing was poor. That differential explains the 0-0.”

Arsenal began the second half brightly, and nearly took the lead two minutes in when midfielder Aaron Ramsey seized upon a loose ball. Arsenal burst forward, leaving Southampton struggling to clear their lines. The ball fell to Giroud, whose shot was superbly saved by Forster.

However, Arsenal needed to be alert at the other end also. On 54 minutes, a wayward pass from full-back Hector Bellerin was intercepted by Sadio Mane. The Southampton striker ran forty yards with the ball, but his tame shot was easily saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech.

With a third of the match remaining, Wenger chose to bring on Theo Walcott in favour of Joel Campbell as they looked to convert their dominance into that elusive goal.

Walcott nearly made an instant impact when, on 65 minutes, he picked out Sanchez with an accurate cross. The Chilean’s headed effort was saved by Forster.

A few minutes later, Forster was called into a series of saves, first from Walcott, and then Sanchez, as Arsenal’s forward line exposed their opponents time and time again.

“Not one team in one and a half years managing Southampton created as many chances as Arsenal tonight,” said Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.

“You need to be lucky first and you need to have a goalkeeper who’s saving everything.”

The attacks were furious, and it seemed that it Arsenal wouldn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough

Laurent Koscielny then was to be denied with twenty minutes remaining when his header from close range drifted over the crossbar as Forster stood beaten. Shortly after, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse cleared a goalbound shot from Sanchez off the line.

In the end, the sides were left to share the points as the game finished even. The Arsenal boss was left reflecting on the five-point margin to the Premier League’s top club Leicester City.

Wenger added: “Leicester won again and now I’m sure everyone will take them very seriously, especially in the media, so they will be under pressure. But we have to focus on our own performance.

It’s a dream to think you can catch the others if you cannot win your games.”