AFC Bournemouth vs Arsenal: 3 things we observed from an Arsenal perspective | Premier League 2018-19
Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches in all competitions via a hard-fought win over a determined Bournemouth side.
The Gunners took the lead through a spectacular own goal by Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma, but The Cherries fought back and equalised with a sweeping counter attack move on the stroke of half-time, which was finished off by Josh King.
However, The Gunners took the lead again in the second half through a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang strike in the 67th minute of the game, making the Gabonese the joint top scorer in the Premier League alongside Sergio 'Kun' Aguero.
Lets take a look at some things we noticed from the game.
#1 Alex Iwobi is an able replacement for Mesut Ozil
The Nigerian international has been one of the shinning light of the Arsenal squad this season since Unai Emery took over as manager.
He looked lively throughout the game with his mazy runs, and not being afraid to take on players. When the team sheet for Arsenal was released and Mesut Ozil was not in the starting line-up, few must have wondered where The Gunners' creative spark would come from, owing to the fact that the German is arguably the most creative player in the squad.
Such fears must have been entertained going into the game especially against an inform Bournemouth side who look to be compact and organised when playing the big teams in the Premier League at the Vitality Stadium.
It must be said that Mesut Ozil was not missed in the game, as Iwobi continued to be a constant menace to the Bournemouth defence.
Infact, he recorded a pre-assist in the game. His defence splitting pass, (a pass that Mesut Ozil would have been proud of) similar to the German's pass that led to Arsenal's first goal against Leicester City, found Sead Kolasinac who sent in a perfect ball to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to prod home the winning goal of the game.
He was also a perfect replacement for Ozil against Bournemouth as Unai Emery explained in his post match conference why the German was omitted from the starting eleven.
As quoted on Goal, Emery said:
"We thought about how we can be better in the match today, with a very demanding match physically with their intensity against us and we decided.
"But every player is important. Also today we tried with three centre-backs. It’s another opportunity to improve and find our best performance.
He was replaced later on in the game with wide applause from the traveling fans. The Nigerian offers drive from midfield to attack, and even on the wings, which Ozil does not offer on a consistent basis.