Premier League: Bournemouth 1 Arsenal 2
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal came out on top in a frosty showdown against an impressive Bournemouth side at the Vitality Stadium.
And Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proved his worth once more, scoring the decisive goal to leave Arsenal 17 games unbeaten.
The Gunners started exactly as anticipated, with Unai Emery’s side continuing their inability to perform well in the first half.
It was a half of two halves, as the hosts controlled from the off before Arsenal took over the direction of play after the 20-minute mark.
In the opening 15 minutes Arsenal heads dropped momentarily as David Brooks buried the ball in the back of the net – before the goal was ruled offside by the officials.
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However, Arsenal didn’t seem to learn from their mistakes, as they were continuously beaten on the flanks, with Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin anonymous on occasions in defence.
In attack, however, the two proved to be real problems for Bournemouth as Kolasinac’s crossing ability shone as he found his teammates in the box numerous times, including a close chance from Aubameyang midway through the half.
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Arsenal’s best chance of the half however came from Lucas Torreira, whose shot from range clattered against the post – the rebound was unable to be converted by Alex Iwobi.
The Gunners eventually found the back of the net thanks to Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma, who quite magnificently converted a cross from Kolasinac. But Arsenal’s first half nightmares continued as on the stroke of half time their wilted defence was finally unpicked by the hosts and newly returned Josh King equalised with a well-taken shot after being found by Brooks in the box.
Arsenal came to life right on cue in the second half, athough, s they restored their lead through Aubameyang.
The Gabon international added to his tally as he converted Kolasinac’s fantastic cross well before Asmir Begovic could react.
And the visitors almost added a third soon after, as a counter-attack led by Aubameyang saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit the side netting.
The Gunners were comfortable in the second half following Aubameyang’s goal, however they almost got too comfortable five minutes from time as Lerma looked to right his wrongs.
The midfielder lined up a shot from distance, which was tipped onto the post by Bernd Leno in a huge let-off for the visitors.
In the end the Gunners proved their pedigree against a highly impressive Bournemouth side to move to within a point of the Champions League places, however Emery’s team will need to step up next week if they are to challenge in the North London derby.