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EPL 2016-17: Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal - 5 talking points

Tina Kaviraj
Top 5 / Top 10
04 Jan 2017, 10:07 IST
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal attempts a bicycle kick during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal at Vitality Stadium on January 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Olivier Giroud makes a valiant attempt at a bicycle kick during Arsenal’s game against Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth was seemingly fortunate to host Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium 48 hours after their previous league game. It was also just about the time when the Gunners usually lose the plot and begin to unravel in their title chase. However, what transpired was slightly removed from the usual narrative that Premier League fans are used to. Eddie Howe’s men started off as the better side as they looked energetic and hungry in comparison to a lethargic Arsenal.

Bournemouth’s eagerness paid off as Charlie Daniels scored a beautiful first goal for his side. The Cherries doubled their lead in the next five minutes after Granit Xhaka’s foul on Ryan Fraser led to a spot-kick for the home side. Despite Wilson’s mediocre attempt, Petr Cech went to his left as the forward’s attempt went straight in for a goal. 

Arsene Wenger’s side came back looking more resolute in the second half but it was Bournemouth who scored yet again after Ryan Fraser beat Cech at his near post as his shot went through the keeper’s legs. With more than half an hour to go, Arsenal finally scored through an Alexis Sanchez attempt. His strike seemed to re-energise the north London side as they pressed for more.

Their second goal came through substitute Lucas Perez and it became the mother of all comebacks when Olivier Giroud’s header drew his team level with their opponents. While Bournemouth’s capitulation may be chalked down to Simon Francis’s dismissal, there’s more to it than meet’s the eye. 

For a better understanding of the game, here are the five major talking points:

#1 Bellerin’s nightmare

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Charlie Daniels of AFC Bournemouth and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal compete for the ball during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal at Vitality Stadium on January 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Hector Bellerin (left) competes for the ball with Charlie Daniels

Hector Bellerin has arguably been one of Arsenal’s best defenders for the past couple of seasons but you wouldn’t say that after watching his display against Bournemouth. The Spanish right-back had a night to forget as two of the goals Arsenal conceded can be traced back to his mistakes. In fact, the 21-year-old might suffer from recurring nightmares after being shown up by Cherries left-back Charlie Daniels. 

Bellerin was so innocuous against Daniels that he failed to mark the defender as he surged forward which was exactly what happened leading up to Bournemouth’s first goal. Junior Stanislas picked out Daniels with a wonderful ball who found himself in acres of space as Bellerin was nowhere to be found. By the time the Spaniard woke up to the threat, Daniels had already cut past him to score with a powerful strike.

Bournemouth’s third goal can also be effectively connected with Bellerin failing to do his job. He just allowed Ryan Fraser to shrug him off as he put up no resistance as a consequence of which the Englishman was through on goal. 

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