Arsenal lost more ground in the race for the Premier League title after they were held to a goalless draw by Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
- Arsenal 0 Southampton 0
- Busy night for both keepers
- Ozil denied certain goal by Forster
- Forster makes 11 saves
- Gunners drop five points off summit
The Gunners were trailing league leaders Leicester by just two points going into the midweek games as they looked to arrest a run of three matches without a win.
However, they were left frustrated by a superb goalkeeping display from Fraser Forster, who made no less than 11 saves on the night to deny the home team all three points.
Arsene Wenger’s side dropped five points off the pace at the top of the standings after the Foxes beat Liverpool 2-0, while Tottenham also moved above their city neighbours with their 3-0 victory at Norwich.
Both goalkeepers were kept busy throughout the match, and Forster was required to make the first save on 12 minutes when he denied Mesut Ozil from inside the area after the midfielder had been played through by Alexis Sanchez.
Moments later Gunners keeper Petr Cech was called into action as he kept out a shot on the left from Sadio Mane following Shane Long’s flick-on.
The hosts thought they had scored on 21 minutes when Olivier Giroud flicked on a cross from Hector Bellerin towards Ozil, who looked certain to bag the opener, but Forster got a vital touch to deflect the ball wide of the far post.
Dusan Tadic then tested Cech with a shot from distance on the half-hour mark, in what was the final chance of the first half.
Arsenal threatened again early in the second half through Giroud, but he was unable to beat Forster from inside the area, while Mane forced another save out of Cech with a strike from distance on 54 minutes.
The north Londoners piled on the pressure as the second half wore on, but they could not find a way past Forster, who was soon into the action as he kept out headers from Giroud and Sanchez before twice denying Theo Walcott in quick succession.
Giroud gave Forster more work to do with a header on 80 minutes following another Ozil delivery, while the Saints gloveman was on hand to prevent Sanchez from scoring a close-range winner five minutes from time to preserve an impressive clean sheet.