Bournemouth 0 Arsenal 2: Gunners back to winning ways

Our recent form had amplified the significance of today’s game at Dean Court. Despite being seen as a easy tie our recent form had seen us pick up a miserly two points from the last 12 and in the last three games we failed to register a single goal. A good performance today would see us leap frog Man City, leaving us just 5 points behind league leaders Leicester before next week’s highly anticipated clash. Anything but a win would have been a disaster leaving us well adrift of Leicester. There was further context added to game as we saw Benik Afobe playing against us for the first time since leaving us 18 months ago.

 

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Today’s game was hardly event filled and unlike our previous game where we missed numerous good chances; today we were more clinical and we managed to convert 2 of the few good chances we created. The first half saw us keep possession without any real incisiveness in our passing. Our short passing lacked any real purpose and it’s no surprise that our first real chance came when we decided to go more direct. Ramsey picked the ball up in the center circle. He looked up to find no one providing a short passing option so instead he opted to take a more direct route. Ramsey played a nicely weighted ball that looked destined to find Giroud. The big French man slowed down his momentum, instead allowing the ball to go through to the speedier Sanchez who was unable to convert with his left foot.

Ten minutes later it was another direct ball from Ramsey that led to our opening goal. Ramsey picked the ball up 20 yards inside Bournmouth’s half; he decided against playing a pointless short pass to Flamini and instead he played a searching ball to Giroud who was deep inside the Bournemouth penalty area. Our top scorer this season, knocked the ball superbly down to Ozil who arrived to smash the ball in from 6 yards.

 

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Our second goal came moments later, Ramsey latched onto a poor pass from Bournemouth’s Cook and laid it off to Oxlade Chamberlain who finished superbly from an acute angle. It was his first goal in 16 months and his first away goal for the club. Hopefully it now gives him the confidence to push on and score more for the club.

 

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After our second goal, we really didn’t offer much in terms of an offensive threat. We played out the remainder of the first half without looking to add a third, however although Bournemouth were probably the team that pushed harder for a goal, they never really looked like scoring.

In the second half it was clear that we had taken our foot off the gas. The game became very end to end and we never really looked in control of possession. Bournemouth had the lion share of chances in the second half but they were severely lacking in the end product department. When they did ask meaningful questions of our defence, Cech was on hand to answer them defiantly.

 

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The first meaningful chance of the half when attacking fullback Adam Smith managed to work a yard in our penalty area for a shot. Chamberlain and Monreal were bypassed far too easily during Bournemouth’s build up and when Smith received the ball, he faked past Koscielny but could only put his shot wide.

As we got deeper into the second half the game became more and more stretched. Despite this we were unable to create a lot in the form of goal scoring opportunities. Alexis had a shot saved on the 55th minute after cutting in from the left. On the 89th minute Ramsey latched on to another poor Bournemouth clearance but a heavy touch scuppered his chance as he bore down on the Bournemouth goal.

 

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Even though today’s game was largely uneventful Petr Cech did manage to make his mark on proceedings, once again highlighting why top keepers are needed when challenging for honours. With one minute to go, a deep ball into our box was knocked down; Steve Cook had his first time shot saved by the feet of Petr Cech and the big keeper picked himself up quickly to save Harry Arter’s rebound.

 

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Although it wasn’t the most exciting games we still have to be happy that we’ve put an end to our bad run. The three points is more than welcome and a repeat of that next weekend will leave us only 2 points behind Leicester City. Although today’s performance ended in a positive result our performance still left a lot to desire and a change will be needed if we’re to taste Premier League glory this season.

 

 

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