The Gunners were woeful in the first half, failing to produce a genuine attempt on goal, while the Saints enjoyed a one-goal which came courtesy of Jose Fonte's 21st-minute header from Luke Shaw's cross.
The half-time break was needed by Arsene Wenger to talk some sense into his players and it worked immediately as Olivier Giroud netted his tenth league goal of the campaign when glancing a low Bacary Sagna cross past Artur Boruc.
Arsenal then hit the front in the 52nd minute when Mesut Ozil found Santi Cazorla on the edge of the area with the Spaniard hitting a lovely effort with the outside of his dangerous left boot for his fifth in five in all competitions.
Ozil had a great chance to put Arsenal ahead but his effort deflected off Fonte and looped over Boruc only to bounce back off the crossbar before the visitors had to withstand the home side for the final ten minutes after Mathieu Flamini was sent off for a poor challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin.
The draw keeps Arsenal on top of the table but has them just two points ahead of City and three in front of Chelsea who meet Tottenham and West Ham United respectively on Wednesday. The point saw Southampton remain in ninth spot, extending their unbeaten run to three games.
2013/14 Barclays Premier League season scores
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