Arsenal striker Thierry Henry rescued a point for his side after they were reduced to 10-men at Middlesbrough.
Arsenal captain Henry rarely got a look-in before his goal
The game had been dominated by defences but sparked into life when Philippe Senderos was red-carded for hauling down Yakubu, who scored from the spot.
Boro threatened to increase their lead before Henry finished off a counter-attack with a shot across goal after 77 minutes.
Arsenal pressed for a late winner but Boro held firm to earn a deserved draw.
There had been little to suggest a win for either side at the start when both struggled for rhythm as well as range when it came to passing and crossing.
Boro striker Yakubu ran through the heart of the Arsenal defence and he had a brief sight of goal before some smart defending from Justin Hoyte robbed him of the ball.
There was a non-nonsense style about Boro and epitomised by the industrious Lee Cattermole as they stopped the visitors producing their trademark fluid football.
Tomas Rosicky sent a shot just wide but there was a lack of goal threat and entertainment as the first half came to an end.
Cattermole was forced off injured during half-time while the game threatened to open up after the break.
A mistake by Kolo Toure let in Mark Viduka but he shot wide from 20 yards as he failed to capitalise.
Senderos (left) was sent-off for bringing down Yakubu in the second half
Arsenal showed more attacking purpose only to lack the cutting edge in the final third to break down the organised and disciplined defence of their rivals.
The game then turned in Boro's favour when Yakubu burst through on goal but was brought down by Senderos, who was immediately ordered off by referee Mike Riley.
Gunners keeper Jens Lehmann was booked for his protests and then sent the wrong way when Yakubu side-footed in from 12 yards.
Viduka had a well-struck shot saved by Lehmann as Boro pressed for a second before they were caught out by a swift Gunners move.
Henry clinically finished to equalised and this was the signal for a late rally by the visitors, although they had to settle for a point.
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate:
"In the first half we didn't have enough belief. I felt we had a bit more to give and did that in the second half.
"The boys are disappointed but I'm not going to criticise as they have given everything again.
"I'm glad we are disappointed with a point against Arsenal."
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
"We needed all the mental resources and strength of the team to come back.
"They showed again with our backs to the wall we can respond and that's very promising for the rest of the season.
"I put that down to our quality and togetherness. I think we would have won the game if it had been 11 against 11."
Middlesbrough: Jones, Xavier, Woodgate, Pogatetz, Taylor, Cattermole (Morrison 46), Boateng, Arca, Downing, Viduka (Christie 90), Yakubu.
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Davies, Euell.
Booked: Viduka, Arca.
Goals: Yakubu 63 pen.
Arsenal: Lehmann, Hoyte (Denilson 80), Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Flamini, Fabregas, Silva, Rosicky, Adebayor (Aliadiere 86), Henry.
Subs Not Used: Djourou, Almunia, Walcott.
Sent Off: Senderos (62).
Goals: Henry 77.
Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).