Arsenal had Olivier Giroud to thank after the France striker’s 17th Premier League goal as a substitute snatched a point at Southampton.
Olivier Giroud proved to be Arsenal’s super-sub once again as he rescued a 1-1 draw two minutes from time at Southampton.
Charlie Austin fired an early opener for Mauricio Pellegrino’s hosts – his fifth in three Premier League starts this season – and the striker was unlucky not to have more to show for the palpable sense of panic he and the Southampton attack injected into a shambling Arsenal backline.
Arsene Wenger’s men recovered their poise and some swashbuckling attacking play as they sought an equaliser before half time made for a captivating contest.
But France striker Alexandre Lacazette could not claim the goal his endeavours deserved and it was left to his compatriot Giroud – a man, like Austin, not too well-versed in starting games this term – to avert a sixth Premier League loss of the season.
There was a certain inevitability as the 31-year-old rose to expertly direct Alexis Sanchez’s floated cross beyond Fraser Forster for a seventh goal in all competitions this term.
Giroud now has 17 Premier League substitute goals to his name, the same number as similarly famed game-changers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nwankwo Kanu. Only Jermain Defoe has more.