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."
|Westbrook ejected against Kings after arguing call|
|Djokovic eases past Young on return|
|Sharapova staying grounded after Melbourne win|
|Neville: Mourinho would happily swap Mkhitaryan for Sanchez|
|Raonic suffers surprise loss in Melbourne|
|Sharapova wins on return to Australian Open|
|Pirates send McCutchen to Giants|
|Man United becoming Pogba´s team – Mourinho|
|Saints, Steelers coaching staffs to lead Pro Bowl teams|
|LeBron says we cannot let racism ´conquer us as people´|
|Super Bowl hopeful Belichick cautiously preparing for Jaguars|
|Cardinals veteran Yadier Molina: Three more years before retirement|
|The best finishes in NFL playoff history - Where does Keenum & Diggs´ Minneapolis miracle rank?|
|Can ´talking with everyone´ but hints at Liverpool stay|
|Mourinho ´not unconfident´ Manchester United will sign Sanchez|
|Pogba warns City that United will not give up the chase|
|Assist king Pogba matches De Bruyne, Sane despite injury and suspension|
|Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Valencia, Martial and Lukaku trim gap at the top|
|Shaw feeling on top of his game amid United run|
|Ulster and Ireland wing Bowe to retire|
|Mkhitaryan left out by Manchester United amid Arsenal talk|
|Inter secure Lopez on loan from Benfica|
|Hurst marvels at hat-trick maestro Kane|
|WATCH: Neymar nutmegging for fun in PSG training|
|Best eager to sort out Ireland future|
|Bastareaud and Haskell to learn fate on Wednesday|
|Nantes´ Carlos has red card overturned after being kicked by referee|
|De Villiers leads Proteas´ recovery following imperious Kohli century|
|´Logical´ for Aubameyang to stay at Dortmund, says Stoger|
|Di Resta out of Williams running|
|Stokes ´keen´ for court appearance after affray charge|
|Titans part ways with Mularkey|
|Stupid not to - Giggs seeks Fergie´s advice upon taking Wales job|
|Young hails Wasps´ capture of ´world class´ Sopoaga|
|England all-rounder Stokes charged with affray|
|Nadal expects to get better in Melbourne|
|Suarez feared Chiellini bite would derail Barca transfer|
|Dortmund sign reported Man United target Akanji|
|Short stars again in Hurricanes´ fifth straight win|
|Bangladesh trounce Zimbabwe in tri-nations opener|
|Wales confirm Giggs appointment|
|Barcelona´s Dembele out for up to four weeks|
|Nadal through as five seeds fall in Australian Open first round|
|Williams, Stephens out as American women stumble at Australian Open|
|Wozniacki not getting carried away as seeds tumble|
|Struggling Stoke appoint Lambert|
|Referee suspended until further notice after kicking Nantes´ Carlos|
|Mercedes lead tributes to Gurney|
|Coutinho´s ´deserved´ Barca move, says Figo|
|Toulon stand by Bastareaud after alleged homophobic slur|
|Burgos no match for sensational Nadal|
|Fatigue the issue for goal-shy Chelsea - Conte|
|Wozniacki impresses in first-round triumph|
|West Brom legend Regis dies aged 59|
|Mourinho: I don´t like feuding with managers|
|Venus says she didn´t play bad despite shock Aus Open exit|
|Puel confident of keeping Mahrez at Leicester|
|Valverde: Real Madrid haven´t given up on LaLiga|
|Ibrahimovic nearing end at top level – Mourinho|
|Davis leads Pelicans past Knicks with 48 points|
|US Open runner-up Anderson upset by Edmund|
|Kizzire survives six-hole play-off at Sony Open in Hawaii|
|Venus Williams ousted by Bencic at Aus Open|
|Lakers rookie Ball´s MRI clean, questionable for Monday|
|US Open champion Stephens a first-round casualty in Melbourne|
|Vikings react to ´unbelievable´ win over Saints|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger plans to return next season|
|WATCH: Diggs´ walk-off TD sends Vikings through to NFC championship|
|Vikings edge Saints in stunning fashion|
|Titans OT Conklin tears ACL during loss to Patriots|