Report: Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal (inc. goals)

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Result: Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 25th November 2018
Venue: Vitality Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang

Subs: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Ramsey, Ozil, Guendouzi, Nketiah


A second half poacher’s strike from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped Arsenal overcome Bournemouth 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium as Unai Emery’s side extended their unbeaten run to 17 games.

The Gunners, who were much better after the break, were made to work hard for their win after Josh King’s strike in first half stoppage time had cancelled out Jefferson Lerma’s spectacular own goal.

The result doesn’t affect Arsenal’s league place, we stay in fifth, but we have closed the gap on Chelsea to a point before we face Sp*rs at the Emirates next weekend.

First half

Bournemouth were by far the brighter side in the opening stages, hustling our midfielders and looking to play quick passes inside the channels of our three-man defence. Both Wilson and King seemed to enjoy life against Mustafi and Sokratis, neither of whom looked particularly convincing alongside the more level-headed Holding.

Our German was on his arse in the box playing David Brooks onside when the Welshman slotted home on eight minutes. An offside flag came as a relief but if VAR had been an option, it would have been a goal.

Torreira, a bright spark in the hazy sunshine, almost punished the home side immediately. Taking matters into his own hands, he drove through the midfield and unleashed a shot from outside the box that clattered off the post. Iwobi’s effort on the rebound flew high and wide.

That aside, we really struggled to play our game in the opening 20 minutes with Leno often resorting to long balls aimed at Aubameyang. The Gabon international looked very isolated with Iwobi and Mkhitaryan offering little support.

Mustafi and Sokratis both earned the attention of the referee Craig Pawson who ticked off the German for cleaning out Ryan Fraser. The Greek earned a booking for wrestling King on the edge of the Arsenal box and was lucky that Leno could push away Fraser’s free-kick as it arrowed towards the top corner.

Less than impressed by the way the game was being handled, the travelling Gooners directed their ire at the officials. “This ref is shit,” could be heard on repeat as Torreira picked up the ball on 30 minutes and picked out Kolasinac racing down the left.

The full-back pulled the ball back hoping to pick out a teammate but before any could get to the ball, Colombian Jefferson Lerma crashed the ball home on the volley. It was a real shame for him that it was past his own keeper, a lovely finish. (1-0)

After the goal, we started to exert our dominance. Iwobi took advantage of space in front of him to try his luck from the edge of the box. His considered, curling effort was tipped around the post by Begovic.

Not long after, a Bellerin cross was cleared as men in spearmint lined up to convert and Mkhitaryan, who for the most part had a shocking half, fluffed two efforts; one over the bar and another straight at the keeper.

For the first time this season it looked as though we might carry a lead into half-time, but then we got caught on the break as we pushed for a second goal and King, fed by Brooks, found the top corner with a cracking finish. (1-1) 

What was it Rob Holding was saying this week about us being much better against opposition counter-attacks? Hmm.

Second half

Arsenal were noticeably more aggressive after the break. We seemed to press a little higher up the pitch and allowed the home side far less time on the ball to pick out passes.

Torreira, after some trademarked midfield pickpocketing, had a shot deflected over and Mkhitaryan, after stealing the ball from Lerma near the Bournemouth box, found Aubameyang who squandered a decent chance by shooting over.

Within two minutes our record signing made amends, finishing off a lovely team goal that started with a free-kick after Lerma had hauled down Mustafi and earned a booking. Quick, short passing worked the ball from Torreira to Kolasinac via Xhaka and Iwobi before Auba, at the back post, slid in to restore the lead. It was his eighth goal of the Premier League season and Kola’s second assist of the match. (2-1)

We might have had a third soon after. Aubameyang stole the ball on the halfway line, bound forward and slipped in Mkhitaryan who never looked like he was going to score and promptly scuffed the ball out for a goal kick.

As Bournemouth tried to bounce back, we looked to capitalise on the break. Kolasinac did brilliantly down the left to create a chance for himself but could only find the side netting with a drilled effort. And Mkhitaryan, once again, made a hash of a shot that flew over. Somehow the Armenian was left on while Torreira and Iwobi were replaced by Guendouzi and Ozil Ramsey.

There were nervy moments at the other end as well. Stanislas, on as a sub, had a chance to level but his toe-poked effort from five yards didn’t have enough pace to trouble Leno.

More scary was a Lerma effort that crashed off the post from long range and a cross that Leno grabbed from the head of Wilson following a decisive Sokratis deflection. Another deflection from the Greek, this time diverting a last minute corner goalwards, forced the German to push the ball off his goal line.

Just to add to the drama, in the fifth of four minutes of stoppage time, Mustafi conceded a free-kick on the edge of the Arsenal box with a ridiculous foul on Wilson. Stanislas lined up the ball knowing his kick would be the last of the game. He couldn’t find the target. The travelling support breathed a huge sigh of relief.

A decent win. Not a pretty one. But important nonetheless.

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Pedant
Pedant

Great to win again. Well done Auba, class act.

Caught in two minds
Caught in two minds

And that was an Ozil pass from Iwobi!

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Good 3 points, an ugly win, but who cares.
Disappointed with Mikhi though. He falls asleep in defensive duities and squanders in front of their goals.

Chamakhyungpark
Chamakhyungpark

If only they had more than one goal, he might manage to hit one of them

GunneRon

Glad we’re back to winning ways. Iwobi again with the decisive penetrating pass to set up the assist for the winner. The guy has been immense for us this season. Hope he carries that form into the big game next week and help us thrash the Spuds.

Maniac

Very important win today. Yesterday’s results mean that we’re now just 1 point off Chelsea and 6 ahead of United. We got exactly what we needed!

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

Winning ugly over Xmas. The spuds will rip us apart if we don’t improve defensively though.

Chrispy
Chrispy

Thought that before the Liverpool game and in the end we should have won it. Bring on the scum.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Agreed. I think Bournemouth are better than people are giving them credit for. To go there and get a win is no laughing matter.

Jack
Jack

Phew!! Kept me on the edge of my seat until the last second. Honestly, it was 86th minute, Xhaka trying to pick out a pass from his own penalty box, just hoof it!!!

Glen Helders left foot
Glen Helders left foot

Terrible clearance the lead to them hitting the post, then getting caught on the edge of the box a minute later, he really is a cabbage sometimes

leroy
leroy

scrappy, but we’ll take it. 2 real tests coming up.

myrtle
myrtle

That was a real test. A huge 3 points.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

No, two easy games coming COYG! 🙂

lari03
lari03

Very fast blogs, 3 points much appreciated.

ricky rick
ricky rick

Mkhitaryan wow. He’s getting worse.
Mustafi, I expect it now. We’ll keep surviving despite him. That freekick at the end, peak Mustafi.

leroy
leroy

henrik was very disappointing. I’m worried about him.

lari03
lari03

Honestly I don’t understand how he could play like he did.

Hantal
Hantal

Mkhitaryan’s confidence is on the floor at the moment, I think Unais trying to play him into form but it’s not working

N10
N10

But why is my question? He’s getting minutes, he’s playing for fucking Arsenal, he’s getting paid higher than almost anyone else on the team. I don’t understand the emotional fragility.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Mikhi has been playing bad for two years including his Man U time. He once warned us fans not to expect Mikhi from Dortmund. He must have very strong mental strength, I guess.

Martin
Martin

He certainly wasn’t bad last season when he first joined us. Scored goals and assists and linked up well with Aub. This year his finishing is terrible

N10
N10

Yeah his first game for us was like holy shit, THIS guy…. Baffling.

Maniac

I feel that the criticism Mkhitaryan gets is quite harsh. Yes, he tries a lot of things that don’t quite come off and we lose the ball as a result, but he does also contribute a lot of good things. Even today I thought he was good at picking the ball up in midfield, turning and running at their defense.

At the moment it just feels like he isn’t really clicking with his teammates – he expects them to be in different areas than those they’re actually in and therefore his passes are off, but once he develops more confidence and understanding of those around him I’m sure he’ll be a very useful asset to have in the team.

Tennessee
Tennessee

You look just like that guy who plays for Arsenal.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Mikhi and Granit worked hard in the international break, they both had two really tough games for their countries, Torreira was subbed because he also was feeling the effects of the interlull. I didn’t think they were at their best, but Mikhi did a lot of good work, it was just his shooting and final decision making that was not quite right. He’s good player and he’ll come right, when a player is struggling a bit they need our support more than ever.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Maybe it’s just because my expectations for him are now incredibly low but I didn’t think Mkhi was even that bad today, at least compared to his last couple of performances…

Benriz
Benriz

I thought Mikhi was a bit better today too. Clearly still poor, but better. Needs a confidence boost badly! I even thought Mustafi was having a decent game until the second to last action of the game! He just can’t help himself eh!? Big three points, obviously improvement needed but some good signs(?) Am I being too optimistic?

kas
kas

Who got the WORST out of that swap deal with Man U. Both clubs probably

jon

I think Mkhitaryan’s play reflected a possible tactical change from Unal: Arsenal’s build up has been too slow this season and it seems that Iwobi and Mkhitaryan were allowed to take more risks. The inforced back line is designed to absorb the ball losses that will enevitably follow.

It worked well. Bournemouth is a very good team. Arsenal lost this fixture last year and won now. A tactical victory for Emery and a great moral boost for the players.

Bobby
Bobby

Nice win, and I’m happy, but how average did Mhyki look today. Imagine if we had a bad ass right winger. I’d put that high on the Xmas shopping list.

VAgooner
VAgooner

The way space kept opening up on that side, this game was crying out for someone with the skill set of, oh, I don’t know, Reiss Nelson?

N10
N10

Today really highlighted that need.

Flummoxed
Flummoxed

Play Ramsey on the right and see
if it works for a game.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Fuck no.

Just…no.

Auba Ma Ying
Auba Ma Ying

All set up for a very interesting NLD! If we beat them, we go above them on GD and into the top 4. Emry has to treat this like a final. COYG

Benriz
Benriz

Ah man, if we beat them it’s gonna be so sweet! Exciting/nervous times!

Ach
Ach

Pretty sure ozil didn’t play.

Gunnerlocutor
Gunnerlocutor

He and Rambo do look alike though, you must admit… I think Blogs is just keeping us on our toes.

VAgooner
VAgooner

You are correct, he was quite invisible today, even if he made it into the match report.

Martin
Martin

Pity he didn’t as we might have won a great deal easier.

Old Bloke.
Old Bloke.

Rode our luck first half but deserved the win with our second half performance. Why replace Torreira with Guendouzi when your protecting a one goal lead?

Timsh
Timsh

Maybe to rest him for next week after he played twice for Uruguay.
Thought his passing was off in the first half.
Would like to see the stats on this.
Defensively very solid as akways.

Ilari
Ilari

Torreira 59/65 passes today, first half 34/40, second 25/25. (Stats Zone app)

Benriz
Benriz

We’re certainly gonna need his aggression and energy in the upcoming schedule. Had a few passes cut out but he was impressive again.

Harish Hirani
Harish Hirani

I was going to say ‘Mustafi has played pretty well today’ and then the silly cunt concedes a foul like that in the last minute.

lari03
lari03

Had my heart in my mouth until the kick was taken.

Gunnerlocutor
Gunnerlocutor

What happened to the Mkhitaryan who terrorized the Bundesliga a couple years ago??

Hantal
Hantal

In an interview just after he arrived at Arsenal he told us not to expect that mkhi anymore. Pretty ridiculous

Legrande
Legrande

Aparently he missed the flight out of Germany. I think Miki has confidence issues, the collective performance of the entire team might be what he needs to find form again.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Old age caught up with him.

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Hopefully Mkhi just warming up the seat for Nelson to take over next season.Kola great going forward but his defending still scares me.Mustafi was solid all game and the last minute foul was crucial imo(think otherwise the guy scores there).Not gonna rant anymore,away wins are never easy but we must up our games considerably for next week.
Onwards and upwards. #COYG

Stephen
Stephen

Big 3 points.

Mustafi was the one player I was sure we would sell in the summer. Proven terrible and cost us points last year. Causes a shaky foundation for the whole team. But here he is, hacking down players on the edge of our box with ten seconds left.

Mhiki and Kolasinac brutal. Iwobi disappointing.

A major plus is stealing three points away like that though. We should be able to rest more on Friday and play a strong team against Spuds. Laca and Ozil can start. Take Mhiki out of the lineup for that one.

Don't boo Paul Davis
Don't boo Paul Davis

Iwobi was just about our best player. Kola shite first half but pretty good second.

Stephen
Stephen

Disagree. Iwobi impresses people with physical effort and attempted skill but he rarely gets anywhere. He gets pushed out wide or dispossessed very easy.

Knightly
Knightly

The two goals Arsenal scored was due to his incisive play.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Hope people are cottoning on to mhki. Great ability but makes shocking errors with the ball. Hes a strange player. The way we compete and hussle now makes me alotmore forgiving.

Chrispy
Chrispy

3 lovely away points. Don’t care how we got them. Coyg

Amusa
Amusa

Can we please play the usual formation and Özil against Spuds?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Don’t listen to him Unai just do your thing! 🙂

Goatee_of_Pires
Goatee_of_Pires

Mkhtariyan worked hard today but his end product is worse than a Chinese bulb. Must have ruined a dozen attacking moves for us.

Granit(e) Hard!
Granit(e) Hard!

How can you be so disrespectful to a Chinese bulb mate?.. Seriously?.. he was shocking, really. How many easy chances, one on one with the keeper did he not even hit the target?…personally lost count at 3. Unbelievable.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I don’t remember 3 one on ones, I remember him shooting too much rather than passing.

Evang. Simon
Evang. Simon

Breathing restore to normal

Up North
Up North

Still a lot to do for Emery despite a hard earned 3 points today. To get counterattacked on your own corner leading 1-0 in the 46th minute should earn every outfield player a spanking with a leather belt.
Mikhtx2 since he gave a shit in tracking back.
When trying to keep the ball at the corner flag in second half, you don’t put your weakest player in charge of that. Mustafi doing his standard brainfart is more or less normal. This team lacks proper leadership om the pitch , a Tony Adams type who could control his players according to the situation.

Spectator
Spectator

Sorry but this ‘lacking leadership’ stuff is getting tedious. Does any other top club have a Tony Adams style ‘leader’ in their team nowadays? Who ‘takes the game by the scruff of the neck’, another lazy outdated cliché? Its the British obsession with leadership, as If one player should do it all. Oh, and so the Arsenal of Tony Adams never ever conceded goals, let alone silly ones? Grow up, football has evolved.

N10
N10

Great post Spectator. This should be the subject of a full post by Blogs.

Spectator
Spectator

Yes I’m sure Blogs or Tim Stillman could say a lot more on the subject. Thanks.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Sick of this leadership bullshit, we have leaders and we’re grinding out results, why would we need a drunk with a big gob?

Thierry bergkamp
Thierry bergkamp

That was nail biting stuff!
I’m loving Holding’s confidence and how calm he is, how good is Torreira? Bring it on next week.

Benriz
Benriz

Holding absolutely massive today. Such compose, many discipline. Wow. Can’t remember who he absolutely flattened about midway through the second half but I cheered it almost as loud as a goal! Love him!

afan
afan

just how pathetic is Mkhitaryan, he is no way arsenal quality, I don’t even think he could get into a championship team, and I think it would be worth a punt on starting nketiah instead of auba, auba is not doing enough for me, he is to much like Walcott, ( one goal out of 50 attempts), nice to get a win (even if we was lucky, again), but if we can get rid of Mkhitaryan and ozil, and get some quality players into the team, then I think that we could be quite effective

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

We need Ozil because he is a valuable marketing asset.His impact off the pitch is huge.Plus been decent this season.Mkhi we can surely upgrade that position,agreed.But nketiah over Auba? sure lads a prospect but you are comparing one of the top 10 striker in the world with someone who has two carabao goals to his name.

Bit of perspective always helps.😬

afan
afan

I agree about ozil marketing bit, but auba top ten, nah, no way, dropping auba might shake him up a bit

Martin
Martin

Get rid of our most creative player? Ozil has creates 22 god chances this season ad really wished he had played today

afan
afan

iwobi is far more effective than ozil any day

Irrational Gunner

PEA is now tied with Aguero for the most goals in the league this year.

Goonsquad
Goonsquad

He’s still better than Sanchez

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

With all due respect afan you are a complete John Terry

afan
afan

once again iwowbi was our man of the match, holding done well, Mkhitaryan was pathetic, I don’t know why em didn,t take him off, team was reasonable, but, again, very lucky, the next two games are going to be very interesting indeed.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Kola playing as a left sided attacker was frightening and interesting at the same time. Emery knows?? 🙂

Rich
Rich

If Mustafi doesn’t make the foul and Bournemouth score? He gets crucified, if he makes the foul? He gets crucified….
Once you’re labelled you’re labelled….
Bellerin was very good today, as was Torreira, Iwobi was much better second half, and I was surprised he went off instead of Mkhitaryan.
Rambo is clearly being fazed out with us hoping to get some money back in January, this looks pretty clear… but if anyone is looking for an inconsistent German No10? I’m not sure they’ll need to offer that much in terms of a transfer fee.

We were lucky again today

Bob
Bob

Don’t really understand your criticism that the formation change wasn’t effective. Kolasinac doesn’t get those assists if we aren’t playing a back 3.

Ilina Colburn
Ilina Colburn

Wasn’t it Rambo that came on?

arseblog
Admin

Yes, fixed now. Reprimand to author dispensed 😉

American Gooner
American Gooner

Wooof, Mkhi. If that performance wasn’t reason enough to play Ramsey (out of position I know) or recall Nelson from the loan.

Can we all also come to the consensus that Kolasinac is a burly winger and has no business defending? Watching him waddle back into a semblance of position made my skin crawl and I caught Holding give him a number of “For fuck sakes” looks during the broadcast this morning.

Ah Mustafi, while the match wasn’t early on the east coast, he always has a way to wake you up, whether you want it or not. Like some nob dropping hot coffee on your crotch or getting a static shock when you shuffle to the bathroom for your morning business.

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

No please don’t play ramsey

VAgooner
VAgooner

I had three observations today:

1. A back three suits Kolasinac much more than a back four. Even though he still looks a little rusty at times, I thought this was his best performance for a while. And since he still wasn’t exactly “great”, I’m encouraged that he could take it to the next level. Not sure sanctioning an entire formation change (which requires leaving out our highest-paid player) in order to accommodate one middling one is worth it, though.

2. Mikhytarian was terrible today. Sure, he had some flashes where he ran with the ball for a bit, but he picked it up in space with nobody within touching distance, so I would hope he’d run with it for a while. At this point, I’d even start AMN out there knowing it’s not his natural position, just because I think he’d both be more effective due to his skill set and would help Bellerin a little more on the other end. I’m sure plenty won’t agree though.

3. Less an observation than a bit of ridiculousness, but when Lerma hit the post late in the second half my first though was “damn, that was his second best shot today.” Anyone else have that reaction?

American Gooner
American Gooner

Lerma for a cheap January signing? We need a versatile backup squad player. =P.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Shit, if he can come off the bench and score goals like that one, sign him up.

Irrational Gunner

How consequential was Lerma to our win today? One of the most exquisite own goals ever seen. Then a pull back on one of our cb’s “busting” forward, (deserved yellow) leads to a free kick where Bournemouth finally wakes up with the ball in their net! Outstanding!

Puzz
Puzz

I don’t get why Ozil didn’t start. Isn’t this formation more suited to him? Some of his best games were in the 3-4-3 at the end of 16/17 when him and Sanchez would carve defences up from the inside right/left role.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Watched the match on the edge of my seat. The last kick of the match brought prayers to lips. Thank God Stanislas ballooned the ball over the ball. Our defence don’t make things easy at all.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Another thought I had, but how long can this “we aren’t utilizing Aubameyang to his full potential” conversation keep on when he’s tied at the top of the scoring chart with the man leading the line for the most free-scoring team in the league, all while mainly playing from the left? I’d say we’re getting a very good return on his positioning, especially considering how he dovetails with Lacazette to great effect. But maybe it’s just me…

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Crumbs we definitely need a centre back, left back and right winger – hope AFC dip into the January sales to get one or more of these sorted!!! Nice to see the boys win despite some scary moments!!

VAgooner
VAgooner

We have a proper right winger, he just happens to be playing (and tearing it up) in Germany right now.

N10
N10

I think the 343 today worked a charm. Really. Got us on the front foot.

Showed how much we need better service to Auba though, i.e. needed Monreal with Iwobi and a top-class forward on the right. Who that might be I don’t know. Could Rambo not have come on earlier for Mikhi? To be more specific Iwobi was decent, but Kola needed to be better; Bellerin played pretty well I think, not a brilliant game but very solid. I just saw Mikhi not really there. Xhaka didn’t make big mistakes and held the ball well for us.

Overall sloppy though. Some brilliant moments, but we’re figuring it out. Someone could make a film called 2018: The Rebuild and I’d quite enjoy it in a perverse way, seeing these growing pains, and just seeing us fight hard to get better. Today wasn’t fun to watch but many of our games this season haven’t been, at least in the first half.

And that’s OK!

santori
santori

Interesting back 3 experiment again.

In part thanks to return of Cback asset Sokratis (and potentially Koscielny)

BUT also I feel maybe in view of certain forthcoming matches.

It certainly (at this point) did not make us anymore water tight defensively. That’s not even to blame Mustafi at end of game (which some will try) bc we could not hold the ball for some inexplicable reason last 5 minutes and play to the corner or pass to oblivion.

Certainly had the German not put in the tackle, and with the number of Cherries in the box plus the man on the ball about to pull trigger, it could have been even worse so its a moot point if he was being ‘rash’ and I would not rush as some would to quick judgement or hindsight.

BUT the other Cbacks also made mistakes, Holding several poor passes one of which led to a dangerous situation Mustafi had to clear. Sokratis and his Greco Roman wrestling on edge of penalty box and then later turned too easily out by corner flag leading again to dangerous situation.

BUT overall the 3 at the back released the offensive potential of our fullbacks better in particular the attacking monster that is Kolasinac with a number of good runs including the assist.

Bellerin also to some extent was able to foray forward but perhaps with not as much support from Mhkitaryan as Kolasinac had from Iwobi as the game wore on.

The other reason I feel Unai is experimenting with the formation is to accommodate and play to the strengths of Auba should we b without recourse to Laca.

The Gabonese still needs to find a way to better receive the ball and hold it up for us but the 3-4-3 certainly plays toward the counter.

Overall, felt we needed to control the game better last 5 or 10 minutes. Where vintage teams would have Henry or Pires take it to a corner and hold or us pass the ball around and wear the clock down, we seem somewhat incapable in current set up.

Rather than take it to the corner, Auba attempted a reverse pass to Mhkitaryan (good idea) but miss the mark by a mile. Mhkitaryan himself unable to hold the ball or play out for another corner last minute or so which led to the counter and their free kick. Also Leno hoofing up field in closing stages of the game rather than letting the team control and play out the game.

This is something we need to work at more to see out tight margins.

VAgooner
VAgooner

Auba isn’t really expected to play like Giroud did? That seems to be what you expect of him, based on this post, even though that’s clearly not why he’s in the team…

santori
santori

And still a game of two halves for us as evident.

Giddygun
Giddygun

Iwobi, quick pass to Kolasinac, Kolasinac to …..Boooom! Arsenal scores!!!. Twice!