Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal: Cherries Come From Behind to Edge Out Disappointing Gunners

​Bournemouth came from a goal down to secure an impressive victory against an underwhelming Arsenal side at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal, without Alexis Sanchez ahead of his seemingly imminent exit, went in front through Hector Bellerin early in the second-half.

But they were pegged back, first by Callum Wilson’s equaliser and then the winning goal moments later through Jordan Ibe.

AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal - Premier League

The game, unsurprisingly given the nature of the two sides, began as an open, attack-minded contest. 

It was Arsenal that came closest in the early exchanges: first as Ainsley Maitland-Niles, twisting and weaving through the Bournemouth defence, cut inside and struck the bar, and moments later as Alex Iwobi tested the reflexes of Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth had a noticeable threat of their own, and appeared dangerous on the counter-attack, although the game grew increasingly scrappy and disjointed as the half progressed.

There was no discernible pattern, only a smattering of opportunities and a feeling that neither side had truly settled.

Arsenal did, however, seem to begin to assert themselves on the hosts after the half-hour mark. Danny Welbeck was denied by Begovic having been played clear before Shkodran Mustafi guided a header from a corner just wide.

AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal - Premier League

But it could have been Bournemouth who went into the break ahead when Ryan Fraser was picked out in space on the left of the box, only to see his goal-bound strike blocked by the desperately stretching Mustafi.

A minute earlier, huge appeals for a penalty were turned down after the ball appeared to strike Iwobi on the arm in the box.

After a relatively insipid first 45 minutes, it did not take long for Arsenal to significantly improve things at the beginning of the second-half. With 52 minutes played, Bellerin was played through by an expertly placed Iwobi through ball and saw his effort seemingly saved by Begovic, only for the ball to roll tantalisingly across the line to put the visitors in front.

Bournemouth, at first, struggled to initiate any sort of response to falling behind, but they were level with 70 minutes played when Wilson met a superb Fraser cross to poke past the onrushing Petr Cech.

It was an equaliser that came with little warning, although Arsenal had not done enough to consolidate their narrow lead. 

And only four minutes later, Bournemouth were in front, Ibe latching onto a loose ball in the box and firing low and hard past Cech.

AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal - Premier League

There was a sense of predictability to Arsenal’s capitulation, and they appeared bereft of ideas in their search for a leveller. The Gunners lay siege to Bournemouth’s goal, committing men forward, but were unable to repeat their last minute dramatics of last season and succumbed to another disappointing defeat.

It left them five points behind both Liverpool and Spurs, occupying fourth and fifth place respectively, while Bournemouth climbed to 13th.




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