Mikel Arteta hopes draw against Saints could revive Arsenal's season

Mikel Arteta admits defeat against Southampton would have been ‘difficult to take’ as Arsenal boss hopes second-half response can be the start of a strong run of form

  • Arsenal came from behind to secure a draw at home against Southampton 
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the equaliser early in the second half 
  • Mikel Arteta said his players’ response could kickstart a reversal of fortunes 

Mikel Arteta hopes Arsenal’s battling 1-1 draw with Southampton can be the catalyst for a reversal of fortunes for the struggling Gunners.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck his first goal in six games as 10-man Arsenal avoided a fifth successive home league loss.

Former Gunner Theo Walcott dinked a fine finish to put high-flying Saints into the lead, but the hosts fought back for a point – despite losing Gabriel to a red card.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Wednesday’s draw could be the start of a return to form

Frustrated boss Arteta lamented a third red card in five matches, castigating his players’ ill discipline – but insisted this small step in the right direction must spark a full-scale recovery for the listing Gunners.

Asked if the manner of the fightback could prove the start of a genuine recovery, Arteta replied: ‘Yeah I agree, yes, because if you lose that game at the end it would have been really difficult to take.

‘The players showed what we expect them to do, so at least the work is there.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal early in the second half secured Arsenal a point

‘I saw all the players that weren’t participating and they were in the stands, shouting and right behind the team.

‘It’s a really strong signal as well and I’m really pleased with that.

‘It’s very difficult to compete in this league when you play for so long with 10 men.

‘It makes it more complicated, but the boys stood up to it, they showed their character and resilience and they never gave up.

‘I was worried because you could start to see players hiding when we conceded the first goal, but they did exactly the opposite.

‘I was really disappointed with two yellow cards, one for Dani (Ceballos) and one for Gabriel.

‘But the second one (for Gabriel)…yeah.’

Walcott revealed he sensed ‘fear’ in the Arsenal ranks after netting against his old club.

Arteta had called for a response from his side after a poor run of form in the Premier League

Arteta admitted however that Walcott did not say anything of that ilk to him when the two had a post-match chat.

‘I was going to say, I just spoke with him and he never mentioned that to me,’ said Arteta.

‘If he said that it’s his feeling. Considering the fact we played 35 minutes with 10 men we have to take the point.

‘We showed some resilience and character to hang in there for so long against a really dangerous team. We came back after conceding the goal and showed how much we wanted it.’

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