End in sight for Arsenal boss?

Gunners boss under pressure after another underwhelming display

PRESSURE: Unai Emery

THE LATE equaliser could not mask another poor Arsenal performance.

Alexandre Lacazette lashed home his second goal deep in stoppage time at the end of the match but it was not enough to prevent the boos that cascaded from the stands at the full-time whistle.

The simple fact is that Unai Emery’s side failed to put away a team languishing in the relegation zone without a win since September.

That few in attendance were surprised is a damning indictment of Arsenal’s current state.

Southampton, who were thrashed 9-0 at home to Leicester less than a month ago, fashioned more chances and could harbour claims that with better finishing three points might have been theirs.

Arsenal’s own winless run now stretches to five Premier League matches and they proved to be masters of their own undoing for both Southampton goals.

First, the quick-thinking of Ryan Bertrand and Danny Ings gave Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side a 9th minute lead.

Nathan Redmond won a free-kick deep in Arsenal territory and referee Stuart Atwell indulged Bertrand’s desire to take a quick one. The north Londoners were too late to react as Bertrand rolled the ball into Ings’ path and the Southampton forward beat Bernd Leno with a shot that clipped the near post on its way in.

It was typically lax defending from Emery’s team, who may have been further behind but for poor finishing from their opponents.

Yet the hosts were level within 10 minutes in spite of themselves.

Kieran Tierney, who tarnished an otherwise promising personal performance in conceding the second-half penalty, delivered an inviting cross for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabonese would like to have capped his first match as club captain with a goal but his first-time shot was blocked.

It was no bother as the ball fell kindly for Lacazette, who controlled it, turned, and swiped a shot beyond Alex McCarthy for his first equaliser.

Lacazette, another rare Arsenal highlight, was impressive throughout but Arsenal’s 3-5-2 formation clearly wasn’t working and Emery again made a half-time switch, hooking Calum Chambers for Nicolas Pepe as he switched to 4-3-3.

It seemed to work as Arsenal spurned a series of presentable chances but just as a home goal began to feel possible Tierney felled Ings in the box and Atwell pointed to the spot.

A VAR check later and James Ward-Prowse planted his kick at a savable height for Leno, although the German could only parry the ball into the path of the grateful penalty taker, who made no mistake with the rebound.

Emery introduced Gabriel Martinelli and Joe Willock as Arsenal went in pursuit of an equaliser.

Southampton boosted their own numbers in midfield as they sought to protect their lead but Arsenal were never secure at the back. Indeed, had Willock not cleared an effort off the line it would have been 3-1 to the visitors.

In the end, Lacazette made it 2-2, but the pressure on Emery is unlikely to abate any time soon.

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