Premier League leaders Arsenal scored two late goals as they fought back to draw a thriller at home to struggling Southampton.

It was a third draw in a row for the Gunners and Manchester City are now five points behind but with two games in hand – and host the Gunners at Etihad Stadium next Wednesday.

Saints led after just 28 seconds, when Carlos Alcaraz capitalised on an Aaron Ramsdale error to score.

Arsenal have now conceded the two fastest goals at home in the Premier League this season, the other being Philip Billing’s strike after 9.11 seconds for Bournemouth.

Theo Walcott doubled the Southampton lead against his former club, before Gabriel Martinelli pulled one back for the league leaders.

Duje Caleta-Car restored the Southampton two-goal advantage and appeared to seal the three points – only for Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka to score in the 88th and 90th minutes to earn a draw.

It follows draws away to Liverpool and West Ham United for Mikel Arteta’s side in their previous two games.

Southampton remain bottom of the table and three points from safety, having now failed to win in seven league games.

Arsenal’s late show after nightmare opening

After being unable to maintain a two-goal lead in their previous two Premier League games, Arsenal found the shoe on the other foot as they went 2-0 down inside 12 minutes in front of a shocked Emirates Stadium.

While Arsenal have been affected badly by absences – Granit Xhaka missed this match through illness, while key defender William Saliba remains out injured – this draw, more than those against Liverpool and West Ham, indicated the pressure may be getting to them in the title race.

Ramsdale had clearly not learned from Manchester United keeper David de Gea’s error the day before.

Like the Spaniard, he attempted a short pass to the edge of his area, but Alcaraz pounced and fired home across the Arsenal keeper.

If Arsenal were stunned then, they were really rattled soon after when Alcaraz’s through ball was picked up by Walcott, who ghosted away from Gabriel and coolly finished, before refusing to celebrate against his old team.

Only then did the Gunners rouse themselves as Oleksandr Zinchenko, on the night he became the first Ukrainian to make 100 Premier League appearances, called an inquest among all 11 Arsenal players in the centre circle.

And it had an impact, as Martinelli volleyed home on 18 minutes, before Arsenal went on to dominate possession and chances as Southampton tried to kill time whenever they could.

But when Caleta-Car escaped his marker at the far post to head home a corner in the 66th minute, it left Arsenal’s title bid in serious trouble.

Captain Odegaard’s fine left-footed strike and Saka finishing on the rebound from a Reiss Nelson shot amid a grandstand finish at least saved a point.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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