Southampton frustrate Arsenal

Theo Walcott was unable to inspire Arsenal to victory on his return to Southampton on New Year's Day as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Last Updated: 01/01/13 at 22:19 Post Comment

Theo Walcott: Endured a difficult evening on his return to Southampton

Theo Walcott: Endured a difficult evening on his return to Southampton

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The England international made his first appearance at St Mary's since leaving in 2006 but he, and fellow former Saint Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, had to make do with a point.

Southampton, now out of the relegation zone, took a deserved lead in the first half through Gaston Ramirez and matched their visitors for most of the contest.

But Arsene Wenger's frustrated Arsenal, who dropped points in the race for the UEFA Champions League, levelled before half-time when Brazilian forward Guly turned Walcott's free-kick into his own goal.

Much of the build-up to Tuesday's game surrounded graduates of Southampton's fabled Academy.

Both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain started at the place they once called home, while speculation was rife that Luke Shaw, the latest star off the production line, could soon follow them to Emirates Stadium.

Clear-cut opportunities were in short supply in the first half and the opening goal came in the 34th minute thanks to shambolic defending rather than any moment of genius.

Arsenal failed on a number of occasions to clear the ball and, after seeing a shot blocked, Jason Puncheon pulled back for Ramirez to fire home just inside the 18-yard box.

The lead lasted just seven minutes, though, as Puncheon gave away a free-kick wide on the left.

Walcott swung it in and Guly directed past his own goalkeeper at the near post to send the 3,141 visiting fans into raptures.

Arsenal thought they had a second before the break as Walcott found a way past Artur Boruc, only for it to be chalked off for offside.

The home side responded well when the teams re-emerged for the second half, with a Rickie Lambert header across the six yard box just evading his team-mates.

Both managers made changes in a bid to find a winner, with Mikel Arteta coming close with a fierce 25-yard strike.

Wojciech Szczesny parried a late Puncheon strike and Maya Yoshida cleared a later cross as the match ended level, propelling Saints out of the drop zone.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter: Tiny minority to blame for FIFA crisis

Sepp Blatter has told FIFA's annual congress he had no way of monitoring "a tiny minority" of officials accused of corruption.

Sepp Blatter lies low as David Cameron joins opposition to FIFA president's re-election

Sepp Blatter held an emergency meeting in Zurich on Thursday morning as David Cameron joined those calling for his head.

CONCACAF have 'provisionally dismissed' president Jeffrey Webb

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has been 'provisionally dismissed' by the governing body for football in North and Central America.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company