Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Southampton on Saturday made it 15 games since one of their strikers last scored a goal from open play in the Premier League, a run which goes all the way back to December.
Eddie Nketiah was chosen to lead the line at St Mary’s in the absence of Alexandre Lacazette, who was ruled out with Covid-19, but he fared little better than his team-mate has recently.
The 22-year-old did at least have a shot on goal, which is more than Lacazette managed in the 2-1 reverse against Brighton a week earlier, but he never really threatened to find the net.
It is now more than two months since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left for Barcelona but damningly, having fired seven goals in all competitions in the first half of the campaign, he remains Arsenal’s highest-scoring striker this season.
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Arsenal coped just fine without him initially, winning 10 out of 13 Premier League games and scoring 26 goals between mid-December – when he was exiled from the side – and the end of March.
But with Lacazette and Nketiah unable to provide enough cutting edge up front and Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and the rest of Arsenal’s supporting forwards struggling to deliver consistently in front of goal, results have deteriorated sharply.
Poor finishing proving costly
It is not for a lack of trying.