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Arsenal line-up didn't boost Bournemouth, insists Howe

Arsenal were without Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but Eddie Howe says the Gunners' line-up did not boost Bournemouth.

14 Jan 2018, 22:19 IST
eddiehowe - Cropped
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe insists Arsenal's line-up was not a source of confidence in Bournemouth's excellent come-from-behind 2-1 victory on Sunday.

The Gunners were already shorn of Mesut Ozil (knee), and Alexis Sanchez was omitted from the matchday squad as he reportedly nears an exit to either Manchester United or Manchester City.

And the visitors' mood worsened at the Vitality Stadium as quickfire goals from Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe – his first for the club – overturned Hector Bellerin's 52nd-minute opener.

Asked if Bournemouth took confidence from Arsenal's starting XI, Howe told a post-match news conference: "No, I don't think so.

"I think it would be disrespectful to the players Arsenal played. Look at their frontline, there's no feeling from us it's a weaker frontline.

"They've got outstanding players, and we knew the only way to win today was by playing well. It doesn't matter who played, we respect all their players."

It was the third time in four Premier League matches that Bournemouth recovered from a losing position to take something from the game, having fought from behind to earn draws with West Ham and Brighton and Hove Albion.

"We had to do it again, do it the hard way," Howe added. "It's never easy against any team in the Premier League from a losing position - let alone the top clubs. 

"I think we've built confidence from doing that the last few weeks."

Ibe's goal ended his duck 18 months after joining from Liverpool, and Howe was delighted for the winger.

"I'm really pleased for him," he said. "He's been knocking on the door lately, he's hit the woodwork, the keepers have been making saves.

"His numbers are good for assists, he needed to add goals and hopefully it's the first of many.

"It's just another thing he'll take confidence from and give him confidence he can make an impact at a high level."

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