Premier League leaders Arsenal score two late goals in a dramatic 3-3 draw with Southamption


Arsenal salvaged a point at home against Southampton on Friday as hopes of the Premier League title were likely to grow much dimmer.

The Gunners scored two late goals to level bottom Southampton 3-3 and move up 5 points over Manchester City at the top of the table. But it is the third consecutive draw for Arsenal as they have lost 5 points against Manchester City in the last two games as City have two games against Arsenal.

The game started terribly for Arsenal when Aaron Ramsdale inexplicably gave the ball away when trying to play from behind in the first minute. Carlos Alcaraz took the pass and scored to give Southampton a 1-0 lead.

The Saints never fell behind in that game, taking a 2-0 lead after Theo Walcott – a longtime Arsenal player – scored in the 14th minute. Arsenal recovered one in the 20th minute with a goal from Gabriel Martinelli and Southampton went back two goals after a corner headed in by Duje Caleta-Car in the 66th minute.

It took a bit for Arsenal’s comeback to begin, but then it was frenetic and fast. Martin Odegaard scored a phenomenal goal in the 88th minute and Bukayo Saka equalized two minutes later in the 90th.

Eight minutes of added time followed as Arsenal pushed for a fourth goal. But there was no further goal, although Leandro Trossard only hit the crossbar.

Arsenal were 8 points clear of Manchester City after beating Leeds 4-1 on April 1. But draws against Liverpool and West Ham – having taken an early lead in each of those games – and City wins over Southampton and Leicester City have closed the gap to 5 points, despite City now having two games fewer than Arsenal.

The third straight draw means Arsenal’s chances of lifting the title are likely high if they don’t win at Manchester City on Wednesday. And that will be an exceptionally tall task after City beat them 3-1 at home in February and have not lost a game in a competition since losing 1-0 to Tottenham on February 5.

A win for City would reduce the Gunners’ lead to 2 points with just five games remaining to City’s seven games remaining. Manchester City are not playing Sheffield United this weekend due to an FA Cup semi-final.

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 regret what happened on Friday. Southampton could have jumped to 17th by winning ahead of Leicester City and a point behind. Instead, the Saints are still bottom with 24 points with six games to go and are 3 points behind Everton in 17th with a worse goal difference.

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