Arsenal travelled to The Vitality Stadium, in search of 3 crucial points looking to knock off the slight form drop in recent games. They came into this game after 4 win-less games in the PL and 8 points short of toppers Leicester City who beat Manchester City 3-1 on Saturday. On the other hand, Bournemouth headed into the fixture with 3 wins in their last 4 games (All comps.). A crucial game for both the clubs, Arsenal looking to rediscover their form and Bournemouth looking to push themselves as far from the last 3 as possible.
A positive start to the game by the Gunners, with the first shot coming by Aaron Ramsey only to be blocked. Some exciting build up on the flanks and things were looking good for the North London club. A reckless challenge by Mathieu Flamini had him booked for a yellow in the 9th minute. Bournemouth too wasn’t shy and took their chances, 2 shots on target blocked twice in less than 30 seconds. Arsenal, building the pressure and the goal was imminent. Mesut Ozil, upon his return scored a thunderous volley in the 23rd minute, assisted by Olivier Giroud, Arsenal now 1 up. It didn’t take long for them to double their lead. It was now ‘The Ox’ who made it 2-0. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s shot went in off the post and Arsenal now leading by two goals to nil. Bournemouth too had their chances and only to be denied by some wonderful goalkeeping by Cech in the first half. A dangerous shot by Matt Ritchie was again seen off by Cech in the 39th minute. A good first half for Arsenal, leading 2-0 thanks to Ozil and ‘The Ox’.
Mesut Ozil of Arsenal evades Adam Smith of Bournemouth during the Barclays Premier League match between A.F.C. Bournemouth and Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Bournemouth, England. February 07, 2016| Credit: Michael Regan Image source: http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/mesut-oezil-of-arsenal-evades-adam-smith-of-bournemouth-during-the-picture-id508910880
The second half started on a bit more positive note for the Cherries, with both Ritchie and Smith shooting close but over the bar. Some good play by Arsenal in the 55th minute, both Sanchez and Giroud coming close. Double substitution for The Cherries in the 66th minute and 2 minutes later the same for the away side. Ramsey too coming close in the 71st minute, cutting in and shooting wide. Nothing special in the second half, a few more chances for either side but none of them converted into goals. Some fantastic saves by Petr Cech in the end saw through Arsenal in a well fought victory which ended 2-0 in their favour.
An important win for Arsenal who are now tied with rivals Tottenham at 48 points 5 points adrift of Leicester at 53. Aaron Ramsey was awarded the man of the match, although he wasn’t there amongst the goals but his contribution in the midfield was superb. He was involved in the build up to both the goals. Next Arsenal face high flying Leicester City and this may very well decide which direction the title may head. Bournemouth face 11th placed Stoke next week.