Arsenal’s hope of lifting the Premier League title for the first time in 12 years suffered a major setback on Tuesday night as they were held to a goalless draw by Southampton.
Sanits’ goalkeeper, Fraser Forster produced a magnificent display to keep the Gunner’s attack at bay and cap a frustrating night for Arsene Wenger’s side at the Emirates Stadium.
Mesut Ozil had three clear chances to break the deadlock in the first half as Arsenal struggled to break down a resolute Southampton defense.
Ozil was unable to find a way past Forster, though, and the England international was on hand again after the break to deny Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez.
Arsenal has now slipped to the fourth position on the table behind Leicester, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur with 45 points from 24 matches.
It has often been said that, in pursuit of winning a first Premier League title since 2004, the north London club should have invested heavily in a proven striker.
Wenger, speaking after the game, dismissed such claims, the 66-year old said: “If you had found a world-class striker, who could have strengthened the team, then you should have told me.
“Believe me, they do not walk in (off) the street and say: ‘I am a world-class striker’.
They are already at a big club and under contract and not available. We have Walcott, Giroud, Ozil, Sanchez and Welbeck, who is coming back.
“Tonight, I don’t think that a miracle man would have come in and scored for us. As a team, we can score goals.
“I don’t like to say it was one of those nights. We are all disappointed because we had enough chances to win the game.
“The most disappointing thing is that some players missed chances that they usually take.
“Our finishing is very poor at the moment. We have played three Premier League games now without scoring a goal.
“Forster had a brilliant game. But you’d expect that. The rate and quality of chances created was high for a Premier League game but the quality of finishing was poor.
“Finishing is a bit cyclical, up and down at the moment. It’s very down for us now.
“We have a difficult programme, especially away from home, but we need to respond.”
Elsewhere, Leicester City striker, Jamie Vardy produced a moment of magic as his brace gave the Foxes a 2-0 victory over Liverpool, with one of his strikes arguably a goal of the season contender.
The result took Claudio Ranieri’s men to the top of the table and three-point clear of title rival Manchester City and Arsenal.
Vardy has now scored eighteen (18) Premier League goals this season.
Manchester City defeated Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light, in what was Pellegrini’s 100th match in charge to keep the Blues three points behind Premier League leaders Leicester, who visit Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
In other results, Manchester United thrashed Stoke 3-0, West Ham defeated Aston Villa 2-0 and Tottenham thumped Norwich 3-0.