Gabriel Jesus had a disappointing night in front of goal as Arsenal dropped another two points against Southampton in the Premier League.
Arsenal shook off early disappointment to salvage a point with two late goals from Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka after Gabriel Martinelli scored in the first half.
The Brazilian will rue missed chances in the game when he failed to convert Martinelli’s cross, which left him with just the goalkeeper to beat.
Despite still leading by five points, Jesus acknowledged the Gunners had dropped six points in the last three games
“Like the last two games, it’s two points dropped. With all respect to our opponents tonight, Southampton, they came to play the game of their lives because of the situation they’re in now, and us too.
“We have to understand that every point can decide the league. But, like we all say, now it’s time to stick together and then we go again.
“This is the Premier League, it’s so difficult to win this competition. We are not here to always give excuses but it’s a tough league – there are some good games and tough games. The last games we played, we faced tough opponents.
“In the last two games, we started so well and then after we couldn’t hold the ball and keep playing [our way]. Tonight was the opposite – we didn’t start well like in other games but at the end we tried our best but dropped two points.”
Gabriel Jesus will return to the Etihad for the first time since leaving Manchester City to join Arsenal last summer. The league leaders will try to restore their eight-point lead at the top of the table.
Having spent five years in Manchester, Gabriel Jesus has called on his teammates to rise to the occasion against the defending champions.
“It’s really difficult to be [trailing by two goals] but we are here playing for a massive club, and for all the supporters at the club,” he added. “We have to manage ourselves to come back and be focused again and strong, because anything can happen from now until the end of the season.
“Even if you don’t drop the points we dropped in the last games, nothing changes – it’s a final. Each game is a final, we have to face them like a final. This is the most important game of the season for us.”
Arsenal have not won any of their past 14 matches against Manchester City in the Premier League, a record that dates back to December 2015.