The odds on Arsenal claiming their first Premier League title are lengthening by the game but manager Mikel Arteta still believes his young side can hold Manchester City at bay.
For the third game in a row the Spaniard went through the full gamut of emotions as his side drew 3-3 at home to bottom club Southampton on Friday having trailed 2-0 inside 15 minutes.
Late goals by captain Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka salvaged a dramatic point that may yet prove vital in Arsenal's quest for a first league title since 2004.
But what went before, as Southampton were gifted three soft goals, suggested Arsenal's lack of experience in the heat of a title run-in will ultimately prove telling.
Arteta admitted to feeling "empty" at the final whistle, yet his side will still go to Manchester City on Wednesday for what could be a pivotal clash, with a five-point lead.
Relentless City have two games in hand, however, and defeat for Arsenal on Wednesday will surely prove terminal.
Despite dropping six points in three games and suggestions Arsenal are buckling under the pressure, Arteta praised the character of his players and said he was relishing the battle with Pep Guardiola's City on Wednesday.
"I cannot wait, these are the games you want to play. When everything is at stake you have to go there to win," Arteta said.
"It is the beauty of this sport, you want to be in these positions. We will have an incredible trip to Manchester and we will prepare really well."
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