Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth: Gunners win scrappy encounter to go third
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal moved up to third in the Premier League table with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, in a game that lacked as much quality as it did entertainment.
David Luiz scored the only goal of the afternoon on nine minutes when he met Nicolas Pepe's corner at the near post, but the game will definitely not go down as a classic.
Unai Emery made 10 changes to the side that beat Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday night, with Dani Ceballos the only man to keep his place.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to lead line, joined in attack by Pepe and Bukayo Saka, while captain Granit Xhaka was restored in midfield.
Hector Bellerin and Reiss Nelson were rested and not named in the squad, while Mesut Ozil also missed out for the third consecutive game.
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Arsenal made a positive start, seeing most of the ball and forcing the Cherries back towards their own goal.
Their pressure paid off as Luiz got the opener with just nine minutes played as Luiz scored his first goal for the club since joining from Chelsea in the summer.
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The Brazilian lost his marker at a corner, meeting the ball at the near post to glance his header beyond the reach of Ramsdale and put the home side ahead.
The host's defensive problems nearly reared their ugly head not long after when Dominic Solanke was left unmarked at a free-kick, but he could only nod wide.
Pepe almost doubled the lead down the other end with a curling shot on 19 minutes, but his effort went just the wrong side of the upright as the Gunners continued to dominate.
Despite seeing most of the ball though, Emery's men couldn't created any more clear openings as the half went on, with the quality final pass often lacking.
Bournemouth nearly found that quality just after the break when Callum Wilson weaved his way through the Arsenal defence, rounding Leno before squaring to Josh King for a tap in.
But, Calum Chambers got back just in time to avert a certain goal, poking the ball away to safety on the line.
In fact, the second-half was all the away side as they pressed forward for an equaliser while the Gunners struggled to mount any kind of offence.
Despite this, it turned into a half of very few chances, with the quality once again missing.
Neither side could find a goal, meaning Emery's men ran out winners on a forgetable afternoon in N5.