Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: Own goal saves point for frustrated Gunners
London: Arsene Wenger`s side laboured to a draw against an energetic Saints display with Guly do Prado`s effort past his own keeper denying the hosts a memorable win.
Southampton held an out of sorts Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at St. Mary`s Stadium to move out of the relegation zone.
Gaston Ramirez gave the Saints the lead just past the half-hour mark after some abject defending from Arsenal, but Guly do Prado gifted the Gunners an equaliser when he turned Theo Walcott`s free kick past his own keeper.
Arsene Wenger named an unchanged team from the demolition of Newcastle last time out, whereas Nigel Adkins made three changes; Steven Davis and Ramirez returned to the side while Artur Boruc made his first start since October.
Boruc made a shaky start to the match and almost handed the Gunners an early lead when he fumbled a routine catch from an Arsenal corner.
The hosts, though, were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Thomas Vermaelen brought down Maya Yoshida inside the area after eight minutes.
Ramirez made the breakthrough for Southampton in the 35th minute when he capitalised on some poor defending from the visitors. Jason Puncheon laid the ball off to the Uruguayan, after mishitting his initial shot, allowing him to sweep past an unsighted Szczesny.
But the Saints were only ahead for seven minutes as Do Prado turned the ball into his own net from a Walcott free kick. The midfielder slid in at the near post but inadvertently put it past a helpless Boruc.
The sides went in level at the break but Southampton had the better of the half and perhaps should have gone in ahead.
Adkins` team started the second half brightly as Do Prado almost made amends from his earlier own-goal with a fine turn and shot to test Szczesny in the 55th minute but the Gunners` shot-stopper did well to turn his effort past the post.
The Poland international was called upon again from the resulting corner, when a Southampton cross struck Sagna on the knee forcing Szczesny into a fine reaction save to keep the visitors level.
It took 70 minutes before Arsenal managed their first shot on target as Walcott found space down the right side but his low shot was easily kept out by Boruc.
The Saints` reply was instant and should have resulted in a goal. Ramirez`s beautifully taken volley was harshly ruled out for a push on an Arsenal defender in the build-up.
Arsenal finished the better side, as Mikel Arteta came close with a long range effort in the 80th minute before Gervinho dragged his shot wide of the near post moments later.
But Puncheon almost claimed all three points for the hosts when he ended his penetrative run with a fierce shot which was well blocked by Szczesny.
The Gunners had their own chance to win the game when Gibbs was played in behind the Saints` defence but the left-back`s low cross was cut out by Yoshida.