Mikel Arteta admitted his Arsenal side dropped their performance levels as Southampton fought back to earn a draw on Sunday.
Granit Xhaka had given the Gunners the lead with a well-taken finish from Ben White’s cross, but Stuart Armstrong brought the Saints level by firing beyond Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal dropped points for just the second game in 11 outings.
Arteta’s side remain at the top of the Premier League table with a two-point lead over Manchester City and the former midfielder said he had no disputes over the final result.
“No complaints. This is football. We were really good in the first half and controlled totally the game, we created loads of big chances that we didn’t put away. In the Premier League, unfortunately, if you don’t do that when you are top of the game you can have some difficulties.
“In the second half we put ourselves in problems with the amount of giveaways that we had, especially with ball possession, and that didn’t allow us to control the game the way we wanted. Their direct play and long throws and set pieces disrupted the game a lot. We tried to react and I still think in the second half the two biggest chances were ours but we didn’t put them away.”
“I think we stopped doing all the simple things right. The distances on the ball positions were too far, we gave too many simple balls away in very dangerous areas without much pressure and that didn’t allow us much continuity like we had in the first half. Then you are more tired because the game becomes more open and there are more transitions and you are fatigued.
“I think again we finished the game on top of them and we tried to go for the second goal, but we didn’t find a way to do it. It was a consequence of one thing after the other and we didn’t stop it quick enough.”
Striker Gabriel Jesus had a few decent openings to score but couldn’t hit the back of the net, and Arteta added it was disappointing the Brazilian couldn’t deliver.
“I’m sure that today he will be disappointed because he had the chances to put them away. Knowing Gabby, he’s disappointed when he scores two goals and could have scored three or four, so he can do that.
“But he’s having the chances and he’s always there. He gives so much to the team and it’s a shame he couldn’t put them away today.”