Southampton interrupt Arsenal momentum, draw at 1-1
By Nick Szczepanik ,AFPSOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom -- Shot-shy Arsenal needed an own goal to rescue a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Tuesday after record signing Gaston Ramirez had given Southampton the lead at St. Mary's.
January 3, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Victors by seven goals to three against Newcastle United at the weekend, Arsenal managed only one shot on target in 90 minutes at Southampton.
But for Guly do Prado deflecting a free-kick by the disappointing Theo Walcott into his own net before halftime, Southampton would have got the win they deserved for a more committed performance.
Following four successive wins, Arsenal were a poor shadow of the team that had won their previous four matches, while Southampton moved out of the bottom three of the Premier League with their third successive draw.
Saints brought back Artur Boruc in goal and dropped Kelvin Davis after the 3-3 draw at Stoke City but the Polish goalkeeper had an inauspicious start, allowing Jack Wilshere's corner kick to slip through his hands then fumbling what should have been another easy catch.
With the goalkeeper in such uncertain form, Arsenal should have tested him with some early shots, but they failed to do so even though they dominated the early possession.
The hosts were struggling to deal with Wilshere and Santi Cazorla in midfield, but they battled their way back into the match with some determined tackling and were soon forcing the Arsenal defenders to kick anywhere.
Arsenal were lucky when referee Lee Probert gave a free-kick against Ramirez when he won the ball from Wilshere and set off for goal when it looked as though the England midfield player had run into the Uruguayan rather than vice-versa.
Ramirez then unsuccessfully claimed a penalty when he threw himself over Thomas Vermaelen's challenge, but after 35 minutes he was celebrating, even if it was a messy goal.
First, Lukas Podolski gave possession away to Morgan Schneiderlin, who had a chance to shoot but tried to set up Rickie Lambert instead.