Arsenal: Leno, Jenkinson, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang
Subs: Cech, Mustafi, Elneny, Iwobi, Suarez, Ramsey, Lacazette
Arsenal made it three wins in a row, and consolidated their place in the top four, with a 5-1 win over Bournemouth at the Emirates this evening.
Unai Emery rotated again, handing a start to Carl Jenkinson in a back five due to injuries to Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, while Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emery Aubameyang also returned to the starting line-up.
The Gunners scored an early goal against Southampton on Sunday, and it was a similar story again tonight. Koscielny played it out wide to Kolasinac who headed it forward, got it back and played a first time ball to Ozil who was unmarked. The German drove into the box and in his inimitable style clipped the ball into the ground and beyond Boruc to make it 1-0.
The game was being played mostly in the Bournemouth half, but there were warning signs when King headed over in the 15th minute, and the visitors shifted formation to counter the Arsenal domination. It almost paid dividends in the 19th minute when King sent Fraser through on goal. Leno made the save, the rebound fell to Gosling but Koscielny was there to make a crucial block.
We weren’t really creating, but in the 27th minute we went further ahead. Bournemouth gave the ball away cheaply at the back. Mkhitaryan picked it up, played it to Ozil who immediately returned the ball to the Armenian who finished first time to double the lead. 2-0.
The lead was almost immediately cut however. Guendouzi was careless on the edge of our box, caught in possession, and as he claimed a non-existent foul Mousset rolled the ball home to make it 2-1.
King picked up a booking for a dive in our box, while Sokratis went into the book for a crunching foul in midfield. The first half played out with neither side able to fashion a good chance on goal, and the Gunners went into the break with the one goal lead.
An early goal is always welcome, and that’s what we got again. Arsenal took a short free kick in the 46th minute, played it backwards, then worked it down the right, Mkhitaryan took it, played it across the box, it came to Koscielny whose finish crept over the line. Aubameyang made sure but the goal was given to the captain. 3-1.
Torreira shot over when a corner broke to him on the edge of the box, Ozil almost made it 4-1 but was denied by the post, and Auba went through but couldn’t find a finish. Bournemouth brought on Charlie Daniels for Jordan Ibe, Gosling took a shot which deflected off Monreal and crashed back off the bar, before Unai Emery made his first chance bringing on Alex Iwobi for Kolasinac in the 57th minute.
Within a minute the Gunners had scored again. Mkhitaryan picked it up deep in our half, he drove forward then played a perfect pass through to Aubameyang who rounded the keeper and made it 4-1. Super counter-attacking play.
Ozil’s pass to Iwobi at the near post saw the Nigerian flick it just wide of the post, and Arsenal then made another change when Lacazette replaced Mkhitaryan in the 63rd minute. Leno made a good save from a stinging King effort, before Emery made his final substitution when Denis Suarez replaced Aubameyang in the 71st minute.
A foul on Torreira just outside the Bournemouth box helped bring about the fifth. Lacazette took responsibility, curled the free kick over the wall, Boruc got a hand on it but couldn’t keep it out. 5-1.
Koscielny had to defend well, getting a timely toe to a low cross which would have been a tap-in at the back post, and there was a heart in mouth moment when the captain went down injured making a sliding challenge. It looked as if it might be a knee problem, but replays showed he took the opponents studs to the knee so it was a painful one but nothing more serious (hopefully).
In the end, a good performance, a comfortable win and one which improves the goal difference too.
Next up, the derby against the homeless goblins, let’s do them.