Arsene Wenger lamented what he perceived to be time-wasting tactics from Southampton after Arsenal left it late to secure a 1-1 draw at St Mary's.
The hosts hit the front early through Charlie Austin and Arsenal's afternoon looked set to end in frustration before Olivier Giroud performed a familiar salvage act, coming off the bench to head an 88th-minute equaliser.
But it was what unfolded between the goals that pricked Wenger's attention.
He said to BT Sport: "Happy [with the result]? No because we wanted to win, but when you cannot win at least don't lose it.
"In the second half we played in their half. The wasting of time became a real problem and the referees have not found an answer yet.
"In the first half the referee could have given a penalty and in the second half we could not take advantage of a counter-attack in the last minute."
Asked whether there was a solution to persistent time-wasting, Wenger said: "The answer is the authority of the referees.
"First of all I think it's in the hands of the players to respect the game and to play and then for the referees to act early."
3 - Charlie Austin has scored in all three of his Premier League appearances against Arsenal. Gunning. pic.twitter.com/QR2G95GACS— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 10, 2017
Having seen Arsenal give up a two-goal deficit early in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend, Wenger's best-laid plans were again undermined by a sluggish start on the south coast.
"We played with good sprit but unfortunately in the last two games we have dropped points for a bad start," he said.
"Of course you are concerned. You don't want to make too much of a problem of it because it takes belief and confidence away from the players
"You could see last week, the players wanted to start strong and overall, it took us a while to get into the game."
Giroud now has 17 Premier League goals as a substitute – a joint divisional record alongside ex-United hero Ole Gunner Solskjaer's in terms of a tally for a single club – and Wenger paid tribute to the 31-year-old France international's mental strength.
"I will start him [too] of course, because we play every three days," he added.
"He is mentally extremely strong and you have to be grateful that a player, whenever he is needed, comes on and delivers.
"It is a great achievement what he has done."
|I would love to coach PSG – Mancini|
|Merson: Mkhitaryan will be a sensation at Arsenal|
|Wins over substance for Varane and Real Madrid|
|Arsenal´s Giroud the answer for Chelsea, says Parlour|
|Wenger: Sanchez exit won´t hurt like Van Persie|
|Zidane hopes late Leganes win is turning point for Real Madrid|
|De Gea happy to delay Man Utd contract talks|
|Leganes 0 Real Madrid 1: Asensio´s late goal lifts pressure on Zidane in Copa quarter-final|
|Toulalan follows Gourvennec out of Bordeaux|
|Dortmund´s Durm suffers torn ankle ligaments|
|Chelsea send Nathan to Belenenses on loan|
|Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson|
|Gravel for breakfast but no worms on Dyche´s menu|
|Dybala is no Messi - Laudrup thinks comparisons are unfair|
|Dortmund leave Aubameyang out amid Arsenal links|
|Koulibaly would stay at Napoli ´forever´|
|Neymar´s PSG contract has no release clause, lawyer claims|
|Robben relaxed over Bayern contract talks as other clubs circle|
|Henderson returns to Liverpool training|
|Football´s biggest release clauses - Pique joins Messi, Ronaldo and LaLiga´s big boys|
|No offers for Evans yet, says West Brom boss Pardew|
|Stafylidis seals Stoke switch|
|Worry about your own team - Dortmund slam Wenger´s Aubameyang pursuit|
|Praet denies agreeing deal to join Juventus|
|No BBC for Real Madrid´s Leganes clash|
|Stoke close to Stafylidis signing|
|Brisbane Roar 3 Perth Glory 2: Holman settles five-goal thriller|
|Gourvennec leaves Bordeaux after seventh defeat in eight games|
|Pique agrees new long-term Barcelona contract|
|Wenger rules out Ozil sale as talks continue over Wilshere deal|
|Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal close, says Wenger|
|Meunier blasts ´disgraceful´ PSG fans after Neymar boos|
|Pique demands better at Camp Nou after Espanyol ´insults´|
|Schweinsteiger re-signs with Chicago Fire for 2018|
|Juve trying everything to sign Can, says Marotta|
|Rooney convinced me to join Everton – Walcott|
|Simeone: Sevilla deserved their win|
|Conte calls for VAR improvements|
|Neymar not angered by PSG whistles - Silva|
|FA Cup Review: Wigan dump Bournemouth out, nine-man Chelsea scrape through|
|Valverde rues Barca profligacy in Espanyol defeat|
|Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1 (aet, 5-3 pens): Hazard and Caballero seal Blues progression|
|No generosity from Neymar as Cavani waits to make PSG history|
|Neymar sets Ligue 1 landmark with staggering individual display|
|Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0: Melendo ends unbeaten run|
|Paris Saint-Germain 8 Dijon 0: Neymar hits four as Cavani levels Ibrahimovic record|
|Atletico fan in ´serious condition´ after being stabbed before Sevilla game|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Sevilla 2: Montella´s men stage dramatic first-leg comeback|
|Lukaku will score 30 goals for Man Utd this season, predicts Yorke|
|Liverpool loan Grujic to Cardiff|
|Mbappe: More to come from Neymar & Cavani partnership|
|Messi the greatest ever despite no World Cup win, insists Di Maria|
|Villa determined to earn place in Spain´s World Cup squad|
|Walcott swaps Arsenal for Everton|
|You even learn from Guardiola at home - Otamendi lauds Pep impact|
|Otamendi pens Man City deal to 2022|
|Neymar leads tributes to retiring Ronaldinho|
|Ronaldo must focus on playing - Zidane sidesteps exit talk|
|Zidane still an idol for James despite ´sad´ Madrid exit|
|Stoger will stay at Dortmund if ´everything fits´|
|Bordeaux´s Malcom facing disciplinary action over social media video|
|Ronaldinho retires – The greatest Brazilians to play for Barcelona|
|Athletic reward Williams with contract until 2025|
|Jones taking unlikely inspiration from City in United´s title pursuit|
|Moyes unaware of Chelsea interest in Carroll|
|Verdi wants Bologna stay amid Napoli links|
|Ronaldinho retires – A shining light of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Ronaldinho retires – a World Cup and Ballon d´Or among Brazil great´s prizes|
|World Cup glory and Bernabeu magic - Ronaldinho´s best moments for Barca and Brazil|
|Ligue 1 Review: Balotelli at the double as Payet shines and Malcom toils|
|Pato still dreaming of World Cup selection|
|FA Cup Review: Iheanacho makes VAR history, kit confusion reigns|