HAMPTON 1 vs ARSENAL 1
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger last night ruled out a January move to re-sign club great Thierry Henry on loan after seeing his men lose further ground in the race for Champions League places.
The listless Gunners mustered just one shot on target at Southampton three days after hitting seven against Newcastle, and needed an own goal from Guly Do Prado to avoid a humiliating defeat at Southampton.
Saints record signing Gaston Ramirez had put the home side in front after disastrous defending from the visitors, and Wenger admitted his team had not merited a fifth straight Premier League win.
The Frenchman vowed to spend during this month’s transfer window but revealed he would not be pursuing another loan deal for record goalscorer Henry, who returned last winter on a short-term contract.
“At the moment we are not on that case,” he said. “But I will be active [in the transfer market]. We are looking everywhere. We are open-minded. We want to strengthen the squad everywhere. Considering our performance I don’t think we deserved more today. We lacked purpose, penetration and speed – all qualities we have usually but lacked tonight.”
Arsenal thrashed Southampton 6-1 at Emirates Stadium earlier this season but, a lively opening spell aside, failed to create chances and now trail third-place Tottenham by five points, albeit with a game in hand.
Ramirez fired Nigel Adkins’ men ahead after 34 minutes, lashing a low shot past Wojciech Szczesny after the Gunners wasted several chances to clear, although the lead lasted just seven minutes. Arsenal equalised when Do Prado stretched to intercept Theo Walcott’s in-swinging free-kick but diverted the ball into his own net.
Ramirez thought he had netted the winner on 71 minutes when he chested and volleyed past Szczesny, but the strike was disallowed for offside.