The Vitality Stadium has been witness to quite a few thrilling matches this season and the encounter with Arsenal was nothing short of an epic encounter as both teams battled out for a 3-3 draw. Bournemouth, who held a 3-0 lead until the 70th minute were unable to hold out longer as the Gunners made a late comeback to steal a point in their bid for the title.
Eddie Howe's men were brilliant in the first period of the game as Arsenal barely registered any significant attempt. However, Arsene Wenger's second half substitutions were spot on as both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lucas Perez had hands in the Gunners’ superb comeback.
Here are how the players fared in this breathtaking match:
Artur Boruc (Goalkeeper): 5.5/10
Boruc did not have a lot of saves to make throughout the match. He probably could have done better with the first Arsenal goal when Alexis Sanchez beat him at his near post.
Simon Francis: 6/10
The Cherries’ skipper had a decent game until he lost his head and made a reckless challenge on Aaron Ramsey in the 82nd minute following which he was sent off and put his team's one-goal lead in jeopardy.
Steve Cook: 6.5/10
Cook was solid in the heart of the defence for Bournemouth for much of the game. However, a late Arsenal surge of attacks proved too hard to keep a clean sheet and stop a comeback.
Nathan Ake: 7/10
Ake, along with Cook, continued his good form. He was there to make vital interceptions and defensive headers thus driving his team from defence to attack.
Charlie Daniels: 8/10
Although his team conceded three goals, in attack, Daniels was vital for Bournemouth as he scored a brilliant opening goal and provided the assist for Ryan Fraser's goal.
Harry Arter: 6.5/10
Arter had a decent game as he was all over the pitch for Bournemouth. He slotted in at right-back after Francis was sent off. Arter was probably unlucky not to have a goal to his name when Callum Wilson's hand got in the way.
Dan Gosling: 6.5/10
Gosling was also good playing a deep role in the midfield. He had a golden opportunity to make the scoreline 4-2 in the 81st minute when he missed a fairly easy chance from just inside the box.
Junior Stanislas: 7.5/10
Stanislas was, as usual, at the heart of most moves made by Bournemouth. He provided the assist for Daniels’ goal that gave the Cherries the lead, finding the left-back with a pinpoint long-range pass.
Joshua King: 6/10
King was not as effective as he could have been and had a mediocre game. He was taken off after the hour mark
Ryan Fraser: 8.5/10
Fraser was excellent for Bournemouth as he was a constant threat for the Arsenal defenders. He was instrumental in the build-up to Bournemouth's second goal as he was fouled in the box by Granit Xhaka. Fraser also scored a goal of his own after outmuscling Hector Bellerin. He was taken off as a precautionary measure following an injury to his calf.
Callum Wilson: 6.5/10
Wilson did not get many chances to score but took his penalty brilliantly to double his side's lead in the first half. He was unfortunate to have got in the way of an Arter shot that was ruled as it deflected off his hands despite his best efforts to move out of the way.
Andrew Surman: 6/10
Surman came on for an unimpressive King in the 63rd minute. However, he could not add much with respect to the Bournemouth attack.
Adam Smith: 6/10
Adam Smith replaced the brilliant Fraser for the last half hour. He did not offer much in attack.
Brad Smith: NA
Brad Smith came on for Callum Wilson in stoppage time and had very less time to make any impact.
Petr Cech (Goalkeeper): 6.5/10
Cech kept his side from being more embarrassed with a few important saves, however, could not keep out the three goals.
Hector Bellerin: 5/10
Bellerin had a shocker of a game as he was at fault for, arguably, two goals that his side conceded. For the first one, he committed to the challenge too soon while he was quite easily bullied by Fraser for the third goal.
Shkodran Mustafi: 6/10
Mustafi's return from injury did not go as well as he would have hoped as he found wanting on a few occasions. Although his last ditch tackle on Wilson in the first half might have been pleasing for an Arsenal fan, it was quite a risky one considering it was in the box.
Laurent Koscielny: 6/10
Koscielny had an average game by his standards. He was taken off by Wenger in the 64th minute following cramps in his legs which was probably why he had a relatively poor game too.
Nacho Monreal: 6/10
Monreal was probably the better of the Arsenal defenders as he made a few tackles and won aerial battles. He grew into the game after the hour mark.
Francis Coquelin: 5.5/10
Coquelin, who came into the side in place of Mohamed Elneny, faced a quick end to his game following a hamstring injury in the 28th minute.
Granit Xhaka: 6.5/10
Xhaka had good and bad moments during the game. His bad moment was when he brought down Fraser in the penalty box with an unnecessary shove in the back. However, he might have redeemed his error with a good ball into the box to provide Olivier Giroud with an assist for the equalising goal in the final moments of the match.
Alex Iwobi: 6/10
Iwobi was another Arsenal player who had a relatively quieter game than usual. He only took one shot and after that shied away from attempting anything on goal.
Aaron Ramsey: 6.5/10
Ramsey had a good game and provided the link between defence and attack with his accurate passing. After Coquelin's injury, Ramsey had to slot in the defensive midfield. Despite this, he got forward and had a few attempts on goal.
Alexis Sanchez: 7.5/10
Sanchez is without a doubt the player who Arsenal would struggle to play without. His away form continued as he scored a vital goal to put into motion the epic Arsenal comeback.
Olivier Giroud: 9/10
Even though Giroud scored the winning goal with a header that did not quite match his Scorpion goal in the previous match, this one will hold more value as it earned a valuable point for the Gunners. The Frenchman also got two assists to his name for the first two Arsenal goals.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 7/10
Oxlade-Chamberlain had to come on quite early in the game following Coquelin's injury and did a good job on the right flank for Arsenal, even helping out Bellerin in defence. HIs cross in the second half is what Giroud flicked and ended up being the first goal from Sanchez's header.
Lucas Perez: 7/10
Perez also had a good run, even if it was only around 30 minutes. He scored a brilliant left-footed volley in the 75th minute giving Boruc no chance to save it.
Gabriel Paulista: 6/10
Wenger's decision to bring in the fresh legs of Gabriel in place of Koscielny's weary ones proved to a good move as the Brazilian helped keep things tight at the back and go forward in attack in the dying moments of the game.Published 04 Jan 2017, 10:13 IST