Arsenal should be thankful for a point from their trip to Southampton after recovering from a dire first-half display to draw 2-2, says Niall Quinn.
The Premier League leaders overturned an early goal by Jose Fonte (21) with second-half strikes from Olivier Giroud (48) and Santi Cazorla (52) but were denied victory by Adam Lallana (54) before Mathieu Flamini was shown a straight red card on 80 minutes.
Manchester City and Chelsea could both move above the Gunners in the table if they can beat Tottenham and West Ham respectively on Wednesday.
Former Arsenal stalwart Quinn admitted that would be a setback but said that his former side - who arrived at St Mary's just 45 minutes before kick-off after their coach got stuck in traffic - could have few complaints.
"It could have been worse for Arsenal because they were very, very poor in the first half and Southampton could have gone 2-0 up quite easily, and that would have been a real problem," he reflected.
"But fair play to Arsenal because they showed what a good team they are; in difficult circumstances they came back to lead the game 2-1.
"At that point you have to give Southampton an awful lot of credit, because other sides might have crumbled against a team at the top of the table that had come back into a game that they don't deserve to be in.
"But Southampton pushed and pushed and they got their rewards - they got the equaliser and Arsenal all in all were the team that looked rocky.
"Sometimes an away point looks better a few weeks after you've played; Arsenal will say it could have been worse."
Midfielder Flamini is likely to miss Arsenal's next three games - including the ones against Liverpool and Manchester United - after receiving a straight red for a two-footed challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin.
Manager Arsene Wenger defended his player, saying: "To me it looked harsh. He got the ball."
But Quinn said Flamini had let both himself and his team down. "It was more than frustration - I think it was stupidity," he said. "Once your feet come off the ground you are in trouble.
"I don't know where Flamini has been for him not to understand that he deserved a red card - it's the way that the rules are now.
"Just leave one foot on the ground and go and make an ordinary tackle. The referee had absolutely no choice.
"I know his manager was trying to be kind to him after the game but the reality is that he's let his side down a little bit because there was still time to bring on a couple of subs and do things to try and get the game back in their favour - but that really killed off their chances."
Following the draw Wenger hinted that he may have to dip into the transfer market before Friday's deadline to bolster a squad already missing Abou Diaby, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere.
The Gunners boss also confirmed that Aaron Ramsey has suffered a fresh setback in his recovery from injury, with reports suggesting that he might be out for 4-6 weeks with a tendon problem.
However, Quinn says he does not expect Arsenal to replicate their summer transfer coup and sign a player of Mesut Ozil's quality - if they sign anyone at all.
"I'm sure as they were making their plans over the last couple of months that they didn't foresee things like that happening - and it's happening very late," he said. "I think Ramsey had a problem in training yesterday as well as he was trying to make his way back.
"Can they do something this quickly and can they make a signing like they did with Mesut Ozil at the start of the season? I'm not certain they can.
"Wenger may find some little gem somewhere over the next 48-72 hours but it's going to be difficult if they don't have the spadework already done."
Tuesday's other Premier League talking points
Quinn on Juan Mata's influence on Manchester United against Cardiff
Before Juan Mata kicked a ball he had the stadium in raptures. They were absolutely thrilled he was there and he did really well and was a big influence on the game. Every time he got it he did things quickly and economically and all the time he was aware of people around him; all the things he did when he played at his best for Chelsea. He turned the venue, before kick-off, into a different stadium tonight, such was the degree of comfort the United fans had in the signing. They showed their appreciation when he came off because he got a hell of a reception and it led to the other players building on it. For me it's an Ozil-Arsenal moment; it changes things completely for Man United. Tonight, for me, was the first night of the season since the manager has taken over where we could really see the Man United way of playing football.
Quinn on Liverpool's stunning 4-0 win over Everton
Everton are a very stingy team in terms of giving goals away and I certainly didn't see a 4-0 - and a penalty miss as well, so it could have been worse for Everton. That's a big telling result in the Merseyside derby with Liverpool going closer to the top three. They are going stronger by the game and are on a terrific run - that's eight unbeaten in all competitions. I think Brendan Rodgers has two of the best forwards in the league playing together and enjoying themselves and the teams around them are beginning to take note. Liverpool are a serious force this season and they are adding to a terrific league. This is a vintage year for the Premier League.
Quinn on the red cards for Loic Remy and Bradley Johnson
There was a tangle and they squared up to each other. Initially, it looked like yellow each when they were pushing each other but then it got serious. When Remy stuck his head in, I'm not saying he head-butted Johnson, but once he stuck his head up to the head of Johnson then there were going to be problems for him. Johnson, at that point, looked as if he had made more of it than there needed to be, but the referee came over and sent him off. He actually struck out with his foot very early on in the confrontation and I think that might have stood against him. There was a very, very disgruntled Newcastle manager afterwards and probably rightly so. It marred what was a great 0-0.
Quinn on Hull's two penalty claims at Crystal Palace
The Shane Long one in particular I thought could easily have been a penalty. My first reaction was that he got himself in front of Danny Gabbidon and the defender didn't back off. There was serious contact and with the player in front, Steve Bruce had every right to claim a penalty. I'm not sure on the Nikica Jelavic incident; I think there was a genuine accidental coming together there and I don't think there was any push. The feet tangled as a result of both players arriving at the same time for the ball. The issue was compounded because Steve Bruce was still haranguing the fourth official when the goal came at the other end. That was a cruel blow. When two incidents happen so quickly and they go against you it makes life very difficult.
Quinn on Fulham's problems as Swansea scored two deflected goals
Swansea got some breaks tonight and it hasn't always been like that lately; it was a break they were crying out for and it will lift them again. They will go shooting up the table and life will be an awful lot better for them. Fulham are letting in an awful lot of goals and not scoring many at the other end. Their confidence is starting to drain and when that happens it is very, very hard to get it back. They really need a result from somewhere soon because it's going to get tougher and tougher for them. Heads go down after a performance like this; that was a real six-pointer tonight - as big a six-pointer as you can get. It hasn't worked out for them at all. They'll have some complaints about deflections, but there's more needed.