Xenia Sports – London
Mikel Arteta has backed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to escape his recent troubles and fire back into top goal-scoring form.
Captain Aubameyang slotted home his first goal in six matches as 10-man Arsenal snatched a 1-1 Premier League draw with Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 31-year-old started the process of atoning for Sunday’s own goal in the wretched 1-0 home loss to Burnley by finishing in style against Saints.
And now Gunners boss Arteta has tipped the Gabon hitman to get back to his best, now the weight of his drought has been lifted.
“Hopefully this unlocks him a little bit, because he’s a player that needs that moment,” said Arteta.
“And hopefully things will change now. Hopefully, it’s going to change everything dramatically and he’s going to start scoring every game.
“Because this is what we need at the moment. We need to score a lot more goals.
“So hopefully it’s going to make him come good.
“I’m sure that’s going to take a lot of pressure off him, and it’s going to release him as well.”
While Arsenal are languishing in 15th place, Southampton are third following their point in north London.
Having raced into the early lead and faced 10 men for the final third of the clash following the dismissal of defender Gabriel, it would have been easy for Saints to head home feeling aggrieved at only securing the draw.
But boss Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted his high-flying team were more than happy with another hard-won point on the road.
“We are still 10 points above Arsenal, this explains everything, so I am very happy,” said Hasenhuttl.
“Who thinks this was two points dropped? I don’t think so.
“We were in the lead but we must not forget where we are coming from and where we are going to.
“Every point is important, we’re still unbeaten and we’ll go again.
“There was no training for this game because we had no time to train.
“We had only meetings speaking about tactics. The guys did a good job.”