Olivier Giroud believes Southampton are one of the best teams Arsenal have faced this season on the evidence of Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw at St Mary’s.

Second-half strikes from the French striker and Santi Cazorla were not enough for the Gunners to claim maximum points, while Mathieu Flamini was sent off late on.

The championship is not finished and we have to keep our heads up. It’s not the end of the world

Olivier Giroud

While Giroud was disappointed not to leave the south coast with a win, he admits it was one of Arsenal's biggest tests of the campaign so far.

“We had some trouble in the first half to play our game, maybe because Southampton closed us down really well,” he said.

“After that we wanted to come back as strongly as we could and we did well but it’s a shame we didn’t manage to win the game.

“Southampton are one of the best teams we have played, they deserved the draw. We have to come back on Sunday now - we have the opportunity to play at home so we have to look forward to that.

“The championship is not finished and we have to keep our heads up. It’s not the end of the world.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 29 Jan 2014