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Arsenal's Lacazette strikes late to rescue point against Saints

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By Reuters
Arsenal's Lacazette strikes late to rescue point against Saints
Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Southampton - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - November 23, 2019 Southampton's Sofiane Boufal in action with Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos.REUTERS/Dylan Martinez   -   Copyright  DYLAN MARTINEZ(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette’s last-gasp strike rescued a point in a 2-2 draw versus Southampton in the Premier League at the Emirates on Saturday, a result that extended the Gunners’ winless run to six games in all competitions.

The visitors, who had picked up one point from their previous eight league games, twice led with goals from Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse and looked on course for their first league win since mid-September.

But Lacazette, who had also cancelled out Southampton’s early opener, pounced late, although the home fans remained unimpressed and boos echoed round the ground at the end.

The draw left Arsenal in seventh place with 18 points from 13 games, while second-bottom Saints have nine.

Ings opened the scoring with his seventh goal in eight games after Ryan Bertrand rolled a quick free-kick into his path after eight minutes. The goal stood even though Arsenal complained that the ball was still moving when the free-kick was taken.

Lacazette equalised 10 minutes later but Southampton always looked dangerous and were awarded a spot kick when Ings was dragged back by Kieran Tierney.

Although Bernd Leno saved Ward-Prowse’s shot, the midfielder followed up as Saints scented three points.

It was not to be as Lacazette’s final strike salvaged a draw for the home side but that will hardly ease the pressure on manager Unai Emery, who chose not to celebrate the goal.

It was another poor performance by Arsenal, with Spaniard Emery appearing to concede he made a mistake in fielding a three-man defence by bringing on forward Nicolas Pepe for defender Calum Chambers at halftime.

Although the switch injected some life into Arsenal, they were lucky to escape with a point with Ward-Prowse admitting Saints’ were kicking themselves at not holding on for the win.

“We dominated the game and put Arsenal under pressure,” he said. “But we were not clinical enough in the last 20 minutes to put the game to bed. We’re kicking ourselves.

“On a positive note, it’s a building block for us and we have some winnable games coming up.”

(Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Ken Ferris)