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Arsenal 3-3 Southampton: Leaders fight back but drop more points to struggling Saints

SoccerNews in English Premier League 21 Apr 2023

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Arsenal recovered from two goals down late on to draw 3-3 with bottom side Southampton, though the Premier League leaders ultimately dropped points for a third game running.

After squandering 2-0 leads to draw 2-2 in their past two games, Arsenal found themselves behind by that same scoreline inside 14 minutes in a thrilling contest at Emirates Stadium on Friday.

Carlos Alcaraz took advantage of an Aaron Ramsdale error inside 27 seconds and former Gunner Theo Walcott added a second, before Gabriel Martinelli pulled one back before half-time.

Duje Caleta-Car added a third for Southampton, but Martin Odegaard’s strike was followed up by Bukayo Saka’s 90th-minute leveller, leaving Arsenal five points ahead of Manchester City – who they face on Wednesday – having played two games more.

Alcaraz silenced the home fans when he intercepted Ramsdale’s intended pass for Oleksandr Zinchenko and fired into the far corner early on.

Southampton profited from some more sloppy Arsenal play 13 minutes later as Alcaraz slid in Walcott in behind Gabriel Magalhaes to calmly slot past Ramsdale.

Zinchenko gathered his team-mates in a huddle and Arsenal responded through Martinelli’s emphatic strike after being picked out by Saka’s pull-back.

Alcaraz cleared Ben White’s header off the line to deny Arsenal an equaliser at the end of the first half, with that the midfielder’s final involvement before being substituted.

Arsenal, without Granit Xhaka for the first time this season, looked out of the game when Caleta-Car headed in from a flicked-on corner.

But Mikel Arteta’s men have previous for staging comebacks and gave themselves hopes thanks to Odegaard’s curled effort with 88 minutes played.

Saka converted from close range two minutes later after Reiss Nelson’s initial effort was saved to draw Arsenal level, but the closest they went to a winner was via Leandro Trossard’s long-ranger that hit the bar.

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