Aubameyang seals win for Arsenal at Bournemouth
Centre forward on target again as Arsenal chase top four spot
25 November, 2018 — By Richard Osley
FA Premier League
AFC BOURNEMOUTH 1 (King 45+1)
ARSENAL 2 (Lerma O.G. 30, Aubameyang 67)
ARSENAL outlasted Bournemouth in a challenging encounter on the south coast, securing three points in their quest to chase down the top four.
They extended an unbeaten run to 16 matches, but did so despite revealing familiar fragility at the back. Even switching to five at the back did not convincingly halt a wave of attacks from the home side in the first half. The Cherries will wonder about a goal marginally ruled out for offside during one of several moments of sloppy defending from Arsenal.
Going forward, the Gunners are a different proposition and will always pose a threat with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the line. It was the Gabon striker who sealed the points in the second half when he gobbled up Saed Kolasinac’s inviting cross halfway through the second half. He remains their best hope of some relief when Spurs come to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The game had hung in the balance for large parts. Arsenal had gone ahead fortuitously when Jefferson Lerma booked a place in the bloopers hall of fame by volleying an attempted interception into his own net from the edge of the box.
But true to the form of the season so far, the Gunners let this goal start slip in the final seconds of the first half. Alex Iwobi was caught overelaborating with drag backs in Bournemouth’s box. He was robbed of the ball and a smart breakaway ended with Josh King swirling a shot beyond Bernd Leno in the Arsenal.
“We spoke in the dressing room at half-time after they scored, the process is in our mentality also,” said manager Unai Emerg afterewards. “When they scored we needed to keep calm, keep our control and get better in small things on the pitch. We knew this was a difficult stadium, a difficult team. They were four points behind us and for them it was an important match so I am very happy for the players and the supporters, who pushed us today.”
AFC BOURNEMOUTH: Begovic, Francis, Daniels, Ake, Cook, S, Lerma, Gosling (Cook, L 73), Fraser, Brooks (Stanislas 73), Wilson, King (Mousset 82)
SUBS NOT USED: Defoe, Boruc, Mings, Surman
ARSENAL: Leno, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Sokratis, Mustafi, Holding, Xhaka, Torreira (Guendouzi 79), Iwobi. Mkhitaryan, Iwobi (Ramsey (82), Aubameyang (Nketiah 90+4)
SUBS NOT USED: Elneny, Cech, Maitland-Niles, Ozil