Gunners Return to Winning Ways as Title Race Twists Another Twist
Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal (Ozil 23′, Oxlade-Chamberlain 24′)
To be honest, I didn’t see Leicester City walking away from the Etihad Stadium with all three points. That sent shock waves in the Premier League world, and for Arsenal fan, it made the game against Bournemouth an all-important fixtures. Before kickoff, Arsene Wenger’s men were eight points behind the league leaders so anything less than three points at the Vitality Stadium would have doused the title challenging flames.
As for the starting lineup, the boss retained Gabriel Paulista in center half ahead of Per Mertesacker but the Ox was favored ahead of Joel Campbell, as Theo Walcott continued from the dugout. The biggest surprise was seeing Mathieu Flamini retain his place ahead of Francis Coquelin and according to the manager, the elder Frenchman was in better form.
With minutes barely gone, Flamini was lucky to remain on the pitch when he execute a very rash challenge but the referee was in lenient mode, brandishing the yellow card for his troubles. It was end to end stuff as the Cherries tried a couple of half chances but Arsenal broke their goalscoring duck when Mesut Ozil responded quickly to blast in a loose ball with his right lace-less boots. Within seconds of the restart, Arsenal launched a swift counter attack with Aaron Ramsey providing the final ball to the Ox and he fired the ball towards the upright and it deflected in. For those that didn’t know, that was his first Premier League away goal in Arsenal colors.
After the two-goal salvo, the game more or less evened up with the Gunners taking their foot off the pedal. Bournemouth had some hunger in them but Arsenal had Petr Cech to thank for a flurry of saves to keep the clean sheet intact. With Tottenham managing to get a win over Watford, next weekend will be pivotal in the destination of the Premier League title, with Arsenal hosting Leicester and Manchester City welcoming Spurs to the Etihad.
Till then, it’s good to return back to winning ways after such a poor run of form.
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