Premier League
Arsenal0Southampton0

Arsenal 0-0 Southampton

Fraser Forster saves a shot from Mesut Ozil
Southampton have taken four points off Arsenal this season

Arsenal lost further ground in the Premier League title race as they were held to a goalless draw by Southampton.

The Gunners had numerous chances but were unable to break down a resilient Saints side, who have now gone four games without conceding.

Away keeper Fraser Forster was superb, making a string of impressive saves, including two to deny Mesut Ozil.

Arsenal are now winless in four league games and drop to fourth in the table, five points behind leaders Leicester.

Arsene Wenger's side are also now two points behind both second-placed Manchester City and north London rivals Tottenham, who are third and have a superior goal difference.

Worryingly for the Gunners boss, who opted not to recruit another striker in the recent transfer window, his side have now gone three Premier League games without scoring.

The result is further proof of the resilience Ronald Koeman has instilled in Southampton, who won 1-0 at Manchester United 10 days ago and are seventh in the table after picking up 10 points in their last four matches.

Arsenal make it three games without a goal

Laurent Koscielny

On Boxing Day, Arsenal lost 4-0 at Southampton - their only truly heavy defeat of this league campaign and a result that cost them the chance to go top of the Premier League at Leicester's expense.

The Foxes' victory over Liverpool on Tuesday meant that Arsenal would not have gone top even with a win over Southampton, but this will be just as frustrating a result as the one they suffered at St Mary's.

Credit must go to Koeman's side for their defensive display but that does not excuse the Gunners for their pedestrian start and the chances they missed.

Ozil should have scored twice in the first half but Forster was alert and nimble to block his close-range shots and in the second half a host of players had good opportunities, including Olivier Giroud, who had a shot and header tipped away, and Laurent Koscielny who headed over from six yards out.

Alexis Sanchez was typically lively in his first league start since the end of November, but was also unable to find a way past the Saints keeper as the Gunners made it three games without a goal for the first time since February 2009.

Forster again shows his quality

Arsenal shots on target
Arsenal had 11 shots on target without scoring in his match, a league-high figure this season

It is no coincidence that Southampton's recent resurgence and newfound resilience began with the recovery of Forster from injury.

Prior to the England keeper's return, the Saints had lost eight of 10 games in all competitions, conceding 19 goals, but have since kept three clean sheets in winning three and drawing the other of their four matches.

On the evidence of his stellar performance at the Emirates, the 27-year-old will be challenging Joe Hart for a starting spot in the England team at this summer's Euro 2016.

During the course of the game he made 10 big saves and dominated his area.

In front of him, Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk were also superb, keeping the physical Giroud at bay while Victor Wanyama and Oriol Romeu restricted the space available to Ozil, Sanchez and Joel Campbell, who was later replaced by the equally anonymous Theo Walcott.

The only negative in Southampton's performance was their inability to make the most of their chances to attack, with Sadio Mane particularly wasteful in a performance that stretches his run of games without a goal to 10 in all competitions.

Man of the match - Fraser Forster

Fraser Forster saves
Fraser Forster has kept four clean sheets in his four Premier League appearances for Southampton since his return from injury, saving all 12 shots he has faced

What they said...

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Wenger feels 'guilty' after draw

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "We put the energy level in and created chances. I cannot fault the team on that front. It is not only luck. I don't believe too much in luck. We feel disappointed and guilty. In a game like that when you create chances you want to win. We had the chances to win it. But their keeper kept them in it.

"You have to always think the opponent will play well and despite that still score. We had all kind of chances and it looked like it would come. But sometimes you lose these games."

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Koeman happy with 'lucky' point

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman: "One point away at Arsenal is a good result. To get a good result you need to be lucky and we had that on our side. We had good defending and great goalkeeper. But we needed to create more.

"He is a fantastic goalkeeper. Sometimes you think you can't score because he is massive. Maybe today was his best performance. We are happy he is the keeper of Southampton."

The stats you need to know

  • The Gunners' last three top-flight games have produced a total of just one goal.
  • The north Londoners have now gone four Premier League games without enjoying a win for the first time since April 2014.
  • Southampton have registered four consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since November 2014.

What's next?

Arsenal are away at Bournemouth in the Premier League next Sunday, while Southampton host West Ham the day before.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 5GabrielBooked at 89mins
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 20FlaminiSubstituted forCoquelinat 85'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 16Ramsey
  • 28CampbellSubstituted forWalcottat 62'minutes
  • 11Özil
  • 17Sánchez
  • 12Giroud

Substitutes

  • 3Gibbs
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 13Ospina
  • 14Walcott
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Chambers
  • 34Coquelin

Southampton

  • 44Forster
  • 2Cédric SoaresBooked at 61mins
  • 6José Fonte
  • 17van Dijk
  • 21Bertrand
  • 12Wanyama
  • 14Romeu
  • 16Ward-ProwseSubstituted forJuanmiat 83'minutes
  • 10ManéSubstituted forTargettat 86'minutes
  • 11TadicSubstituted forPellèat 69'minutes
  • 7Long

Substitutes

  • 3Yoshida
  • 4Clasie
  • 15Martina
  • 19Pellè
  • 20Juanmi
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 33Targett
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
60,044

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home22
Away14
Shots on Target
Home11
Away3
Corners
Home13
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 0, Southampton 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 0, Southampton 0.

Attempt blocked. Graziano Pellè (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Booking

Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal).

Matt Targett (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Francis Coquelin (Arsenal).

Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Matt Targett replaces Sadio Mané.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Shane Long.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Francis Coquelin replaces Mathieu Flamini.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Fraser Forster.

Attempt saved. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Petr Cech (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Southampton).

Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).

Cédric Soares (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Juanmi replaces James Ward-Prowse.

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sadio Mané (Southampton).

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Fraser Forster.

Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

Attempt blocked. Victor Wanyama (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Shane Long.

Attempt blocked. Shane Long (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Shane Long (Southampton) with an attempt from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cédric Soares with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jose Fonte (Southampton) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a cross.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Jose Fonte.

Hand ball by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

Attempt blocked. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester24148244261850
2Man City24145546232347
3Tottenham24129344192545
4Arsenal24136537221545
5Man Utd24117631211040
6West Ham24109538281039
7Southampton249783224834
8Liverpool249783034-434
9Stoke249692428-433
10Watford239592726132
11Crystal Palace2494112529-431
12Everton2361164034629
13West Brom247892331-829
14Chelsea237793234-228
15Bournemouth2477102939-1028
16Swansea2468102332-926
17Norwich2465132846-1823
18Newcastle2356122541-1621
19Sunderland2454152847-1919
20Aston Villa2427151840-2213
View full Premier League table

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