With Leicester City losing 1-0 at Anfield, Arsenal had the chance to go top of the Premier League on Boxing Day.

They fluffed it. Losing 4-0 to Southampton, the Gunners stay second in the table, though there will be another chance to go top on Monday evening.

With the title race so close, games like the one on the south coast on Saturday may not be as damaging as everyone predicts. Arsenal still have 36 points from the opening 18 games, and it looks reasonable to predict that 80 points will be enough to win the league.

“I’ve said many times it’s down to consistency, fighting in every single game and finding the resources to produce a top level performance,” Arsène Wenger said after the 4-0 defeat at St. Mary’s Stadium.

Despite such a disappointing result, the Arsenal manager is convinced his players will bounce back on Monday, when they welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates Stadium.

The gauntlet has been thrown down, now it’s up to the players to pick it up. The boss clearly still believes in them, and that belief won’t waver after one bad performance.

As the league is so tight, there’s nothing to suggest Saturday’s disappointment is fatal. Let’s see how the players react on Monday before throwing toys out of prams.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil