Arsenal struggled to assert themselves against Middlesbrough and were lucky to escape with a point as they were held to a 0-0 draw at the Emirates.
The Gunners took control of the game early on but could not break through a stubborn Middlesbrough defence. Mohamed Elneny fizzed a long shot wide, while Mesut Ozil went down in the box after a Theo Walcott cross but was not given a penalty.
Out of nothing, Boro almost went ahead. Lauren Koscielny gave the ball away to Adama Traore but Petr Cech blocked his effort before parrying Alvaro Negredo’s follow-up away also.
Gaston Ramirez’s free kick then hit the bar and, shortly after, Alexis Sanchez had his own effort beaten away by Victor Valdes.
Cech then came to the rescue for the Gunners again as he kept out Ramirez’s header well, with Boro looking the better side before the half-time break.
Arsenal were a whisker away from opening the scoring as Valdes flapped at a cross, Sanchez directed the ball across goal and Laurent Koscielny missed connecting with a header by inches with the goal gaping.
Sanchez curled another free kick just wide and then hammered a powerful shot on goal from outside the box, but Valdes tipped it round the post.
Traore stormed away on the break and Cech came to the fore again to save the Gunners with a strong palm away as Boro continued to look dangerous.
Arsenal made changes, but could not find a way through at the other end as their bid for an eighth win on the bounce fell short.
In truth, they will be happy with a point as Koscielny was forced into a fine tackle on Negredo in the final minute when he was clear through on goal, though there was still time for Mesut Ozil to have a goal ruled out for offside.