A dispirited Arsene Wenger lamented his team’s recent goal drought as Arsenal were held to a 0-0 draw with Southampton on Tuesday and fell further behind Manchester City and Leicester City in the race for the Premier League title.
Arsenal, who created far more chances than their opponents, have now gone four games in the league without a win, and have failed to score in their last three.
“When you have our ambition it is frustrating,” manager Wenger told reporters.
“What is the most disappointing is that some players missed some chances that usually they take and our finishing is very bad at the moment.”
It was a game that Arsenal, who had nearly 70 percent of possession and 11 shots on target to just three from Southampton, should have won.
Midfielder Mesut Ozil squandered two close-range opportunities in the first half, while replacement Theo Walcott was held out by a spectacular double-save from Southampton’s goalkeeper Fraser Forster after the break.
Arsenal are now five points adrift of league leaders Leicester and two behind second-placed Manchester City, who both won on Tuesday. They also trail north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who leapfrogged Arsenal into third spot on goal difference.
“It is a dream to think we will catch the others if we do not win games,” Wenger said.
Before the match, Wenger was hoping to avenge a calamitous 4-0 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day — their heaviest league defeat of the season so far — with the return of midfielder Alexis Sanchez offering additional attacking flair.
As it turned out, Arsenal’s impotence in front of goal drew questions as to why Wenger had not looked to bolster his striking options in the January transfer window.
“They do not walk down the street and say: ‘Here, I am a world class striker, can you take me? They are all in big clubs and under contract,” said the Frenchman.
But his opposing manager, Southampton’s Ronald Koeman was full of praise for Arsenal and believes their attacking prowess will keep them in the hunt come the end of the season.
“Not one team in the one-and-a-half years I have managed Southampton create what Arsenal created in opportunities today,” said Koeman.
“In my opinion offensively they are with Manchester City as the best team in the Premier League. Of course they can win.”