The Gunners hosted Bournemouth at the Emirates in mid-week, as they looked to continue their top four challenge. They had the advantage heading into this fixture, as they were in fourth spot at the start of the game-week and Manchester United and Chelsea had tougher fixtures heading their way. A win would have helped them retain the advantage, as they head into the north London derby against Tottenham next up.
Unai Emery’s side really started the game positively, as they scored an early goal through Mesut Ozil, with Kolasinac claiming an assist in the 4th minute of the match. The left wing-back has looked really good in recent times and has helped create some superb goals, with his positive form. However, beyond that point, the Cherries’ boss Eddie Howe changed their tactics and things got a bit more interesting.
The visitors were on the attack and kept pushing for a goal. However, it was Adam Smith’s error that the Gunners capitalized on, to make it 2-0 via a Mkhitaryan goal, with Ozil getting the assist. Just when it seemed that the game was one sided, on the other side Guendouzi made a similar error to give Mousset a goal. The score was 2-1, as the two teams went into the break.
After the restart, the hosts were on the front foot and did not give their opposition an inch. There were goals by Koscielny, Aubameyang and Lacazette, which killed off the game rather easily. Bournemouth were just outplayed on the night and the final score of the game was 5-1, with the Spaniard looking really happy with his team’s performance.
Here are the talking points of the game-
Early Ozil Goal
There were some doubts as to whether Mesut Ozil should be starting the games or not, especially with the north London derby coming up. However, the World Cup winner silenced his critics with an early goal and an assist in this match. He opened the scoring for the team in the 4th minute with a coolly taken finish. Further, he added an assist to his name for the Mkhitaryan goal, which set the tone for the Londoners in the first half.
Adam Smith Error
The error by Adam Smith nearly killed off the game for the away team, as he gave the ball away cheaply to Mkhitaryan. The Armenian international played a one-two with Ozil, who gave him the ball back to put it into the back of the net and make it 2-0. This was the second time that the former Manchester United man had scored in two games and it really gave the home team the advantage at that point.
Just when it seemed that Emery’s side had everything in control, once again an error by a player cost them a goal and gave the opposition the opportunity to get back into the game. This time it was Matteo Guendouzi who cheaply gave away the ball near his own box and the opposition capitalized on it, converting it into a goal. It was Mousset who scored his first Premier League goal and there won’t be too many simpler goals than that. What a GIFT!!
Skipper Leads By Example
Just when the Gunners needed a little inspiratinit was Laurent Koscielny who stepped up and scored for his side. The north London giants wanted to push forward and increase their lead and their skipper helped them kill off the game, by scoring from a set-piece. This was really the need of the day as Arsenal have at times thrown away an advantage, which has cost them some points in the past. Kos ensured that it was not the case on the night.
Mkhitaryan Overshadows Ozil
Though it was one of Ozil’s better days on the pitch, it was one of Mkhitaryan’s best days in an Arsenal shirt. The former Dortmund and Manchester United star proved that he does have the skill and the work-rate to be part of this squad and he can surely make an impact in a game. His efforts helped the team dominate the match through the midfield and if he keeps up this form, he will surely start the game against Spurs at the weekend.
A Striker’s Feast
Both Aubameyang and Lacazette managed to get on the score-sheet in the second half, ensuring that the win over Bournemouth was an emphatic one. The Gabon international scored the 4th goal for his side, followed by the Frenchman, who came on as a substitute.
It was a great game to be an Arsenal striker, as the hosts kept pushing forward till the very end and kept getting goals at free-will.