Substitute Olivier Giroud glanced in a superb late header to salvage a point for an underwhelming Arsenal side at disciplined Southampton.
The Frenchman climbed above Virgil van Dijk to steer home Alexis Sanchez’s cross in the 88th minute to make Arsenal’s possession finally pay.
It had seemed the Gunners’ slow start was going to cost them for a second successive weekend after Charlie Austin clipped home the opener with the away defence in a mess.
The Southampton striker also drilled a shot into Petr Cech’s gloves shortly after and then hit the post.
A sharp save from Aaron Ramsey apart, Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster had little to do as the visitors struggled to carve out clear-cut chances before their late leveller.
Indeed Southampton were left to rue several wasted chances on the counter attack, with Ryan Bertrand missing the best of those in the second half.
A draw moves Arsenal level on points but behind on goal difference to fourth-placed Liverpool, who play in Sunday afternoon’s Merseyside derby. Southampton break into the top half of the table, leapfrogging Huddersfield and Everton into 10th.