Arsenal were unable to provide Arsene Wenger with a vital three points on his 67th birthday as they were held on home turf by a gutsy Middlesbrough team.
A win would have seen The Gunners climb to the top of The Premier League table, with Manchester City playing on Sunday, and The Frenchman will be ruing a missed opportunity to heap pressure on their title rivals.
However, Middlesbrough will be delighted to claim a hard-earned point and can feel slightly disappointed that an inspired Petr Cech and the woodwork denied them a second Premier League victory of the campaign.
A missed opportunity
Arsenal have been in impeccable form since they suffered a shock 4-3 defeat at the hands of Liverpool on the opening day of the season and prior to this contest The Gunners were unbeaten in their last eleven fixtures, winning nine of them.
They came into the game on the back of an impressive 6-0 victory over Ludogrets in mid-week and looked certainties to see off a struggling Middlesbrough side and, in the process, climb to the summit of The Premier League.
However, a routine three points turned into a somewhat fortunate draw. Arsene Wenger’s side, despite dominating possession for long spells, looked increasingly fragile defensively and they had Petr Cech and the post to thank for with regards to claiming a clean sheet.
This was a big opportunity for Arsenal to claim a place at the top of The Premier League table and, as a result, start to pile the pressure on their title rivals. However, they came up short and Wenger will have been left incredibly frustrated at his team’s inability to see off so called lesser opposition. A point certainly does not signify that Arsenal’s title challenge has come off the rails, but they have wasted an opportunity to lay down a significant marker for the remainder of the campaign.