Arsenal rescued a point against Southampton at home on Friday as its Premier League title hopes likely got a lot fainter.
The Gunners scored two late goals to tie last-place Southampton 3-3 and go up 5 points on Manchester City at the top of the table. But it’s the third straight draw for Arsenal as it has lost 5 points to Manchester City over its previous two games as City has two games in hand over Arsenal.
The game started dreadfully for Arsenal as Aaron Ramsdale inexplicably gave the ball away while trying to play out of the back in the first minute. Carlos Alcaraz picked off the pass and scored to give Southampton a 1-0 lead.
The Saints never trailed in this game and went up 2-0 after Theo Walcott — a longtime Arsenal player — scored in the 14th minute. Arsenal got one back in the 20th minute with Gabriel Martinelli’s goal and Southampton went back up by two goals off a corner that was headed in by Duje Caleta-Car in the 66th minute.
It took a bit for the Arsenal comeback to begin, but when it did it was frenetic and fast. Martin Odegaard scored a phenomenal goal in the 88th minute and then Bukayo Saka tied the game two minutes later in the 90th minute.
Eight minutes of stoppage time followed as Arsenal pressed forward for a fourth goal. But another goal never happened, even though Leandro Trossard hit the crossbar.
Arsenal found itself 8 points ahead of Manchester City after beating Leeds 4-1 on April 1. But ties against Liverpool and West Ham — after taking early leads in each of those games — and City wins over Southampton and Leicester City have closed the gap to 5 points even though City has now played two fewer games than Arsenal.
The third consecutive tie means that Arsenal’s chances of winning the title are likely toast if they don’t win at Manchester City on Wednesday. And that’s going to be an exceptionally tall task after City beat them 3-1 at home in February and haven’t lost a game in any competition since a 1-0 loss to Tottenham on Feb. 5.
A win for City would cut the Gunners lead to 2 points with just five games remaining to City’s seven games left. Manchester City doesn’t play this weekend because of an FA Cup semifinal with Sheffield United.
At the other end of the table, the point is certainly better than nothing for Southampton’s chances of staying in the Premier League next season but, like Arsenal, the Saints will be ruing what happened Friday. Southampton could have jumped ahead of Leicester City and a point back of 17th with the victory. Instead, the Saints are still in last place on 24 points with six games to go and are 3 points back of Everton for 17th with a worse goal difference.