EPL 2016/17: Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth - 5 Talking Points
Arsenal dodge a testy game against the Cherries.
Arsenal played host to a Bournemouth side, who were deprived of Jack Wilshere’s services in midfield as a result of him being an Arsenal loanee. During the first half, Bournemouth benefited from what looked like a soft penalty awarded by the referee. The goal made the score 1-1, with Arsenal scoring their goal through Sanchez in the 12th minute.
Theo Walcott made the pivotal difference as he headed Monreal’s inviting cross into goal in the 53rd minute. Arsenal found a third in the closing stages after Alexis Sanchez finished off a fast, sumptuous attack which flowed with incredible ease past the Bournemouth defence.
The win keeps Arsenal hot in the pursuit of league leaders Chelsea, and are now on 28 points from 13 games. Here are 5 talking points from the game:
#1 Arsenal’s changed lineup performs up to expectations at home
Mohammad Elneny and Granit Xhaka were handed starts in defensive midfield roles by Arsene Wenger in an attempt to outmuscle the Bournemouth central midfield paring of Dan Gosling and Harry Arter. They performed quite efficiently as they shielded the back four and tracking their runners without fail on nearly every occasion.
Gibbs was replaced by regular starter Nacho Monreal, who came back from injury last weekend. Monreal could have given Bournemouth a way back into the game with a handball that went unpunished by the referee. For the rest of the game, he was his usual self and provided a stable presence on Arsenal’s left.
Mathieu Debuchy, who started the game in place of Hector Bellerin, couldn’t capitalise on his opportunity and had to hobble off the field in the 16th minute with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Brazilian Gabriel Paulista, who then filled in for him at right-back.