Bournemouth Walloped

Online Ed: Arsenal defeat Eddie Howe’s team 5-1

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Aubameyang slots home number 4

Granted, there was drama at both ends of the pitch, but ultimately, the sheer number of chances created by Arsenal at home to Bournemouth justified the four goal margin between the teams. The truth is that both teams should probably have scored more, but Unai Emery’s team was plainly superior over the 90 minutes.

There was rotation with several players coming in to the starting eleven. Monreal, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Guendouzi, Ozil and Aubameyang began the game as Unai Emery rotated ahead of the match against Spurs next weekend.

As ever, Eddie Howe’s team came and played open expansive football. It meant we saw two attacking sides who were questionable at the back. What unfolded merely confirmed that there are teams who are even worse off in this department than Arsenal.

Mesut Ozil was involved in the two opening goals, nicely chipping the keeper for the first, and skillfully teeing up Mkhitaryan for the second. The latter had a very decent match, providing two assists in addition to his goal and to an extent belied the idea that he and Ozil cannot be in the same eleven and both operate effectively. Mkhitaryan’s goal had shades of the type Arsenal concede periodically, with a Bournemouth player trying a Xhaka style Hollywood pass across his own defenders and it being cut out. It was like taking candy from a kid.

On that note, Arsenal being Arsenal a clean sheet was a big ask, and Guendouzi was robbed of the ball on the edge of his own area making it easy for Bournemouth to score. They had already enjoyed another very decent opportunity when Arsenal were one up, but Leno, after hesitating to play the sweeper keeper role to the full, pulled off a good one-handed save to make up for his failure to deal with the danger initially.

Still, with the game so open, the goals flowed after the interval. Koscielny got one in off the post early in the second half, Ozil might have had a second, but hit the post. Bournemouth hit the bar themselves through Ryan Gosling. Mkhitaryan provided a strong run out of defence before playing a perfect through ball for Aubameyang to round the keeper and break his own recent scoring duck. Alexandre Lacazette came on from the bench and scored a very nice free kick over the wall.

Happy days, and good for the goal difference, although on this night, few favours from elsewhere, as both Manchester United and Chelsea won. The advantage of the latter though, is that they beat Spurs, bringing them, and third place, within four points of Arsenal ahead of the derby on Saturday lunchtime.

Iwobi and Suarez were the other subs, and Suarez, in these conditions, had the opportunity to show us a little more of his talents than we have seen so far. I don’t think we’ll be signing him at the end of the current season though. He’ll probably end up being loaned out to another Spanish club for the 2019.20 campaign. I was especially impressed with the tenacity of Lucas Torreria last night. It should be no surprise by now, but is worthy of mention. There is a team spirit at the club which doesn’t feel like anything we saw last season, and some of this may be down to Emery’s refusal to put any players on a pedestal, and do special favours. So Ozil has to play by the same rules as everyone else, and earn his spot. The nature of the Tottenham match suggests he will be back on the bench, as surely Mkhitaryan and Iwobi are ahead of him in the pecking order, and one imagines both Lacazette and Aubameyang will start. Aaron Ramsey could also come into the team.

There have been valid questions over whether or not this season has actually seen progress from last. The table leaves us in no doubt. Arsenal are fourth with 56 points from 28 matches. At the same stage last season they sat in sixth position with 45 points. Their goal tally was 51 for 39 against. This season it’s 60 to 38. So no significant improvement at the back (and injuries will be the mitigation there), but better results due to the improvement going forward. I’ve been banging on about the team reaching the 76 point target which I believe will secure fourth place, so there are now 10 games left for the Gunners to attain 20 points. They must take nine of those from the home games v Newcastle, Palace and Brighton. And then require 11 from the other seven games (six of which are away) – three wins and two draws would do. It’s achievable, certainly, assuming the team can improve between now and May. But there is reason for hope.

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11
comments

  1. itsRonagain2

    Mar 1, 2019, 14:20 #113328

    regarding that derby on the week end (rubbish kick off time), as long as Arsenal trounce them, i confess to not being too bothered what they do for the rest of the Season. Be good if they could win the Europa Cup though. The 4th place trophy chase has never interested me. I put far more legitimacy and credence to a team that gets the CL via the EL than ever i do for finishing a rubbish 3rd or 4th. To me , them not the runners up should be in the so called 'top' euro competition.

  2. itsRonagain2

    Mar 1, 2019, 12:55 #113327

    Hi Lads - i saw that game on my mates illegal transmission box( i must get one of them!). Frankly, Bourmenouths players or most of them were a disgrace. They simply never turned up. A non league team would have ran through the gaps in the appalling defence of theirs. It wont look good for EH there the way its going. Get some cash on them to go down next Season.So easy for Arsenal. There is great spirit n the squad no doubt as Bard has mentioned but that game just hows how p--s poor a good many of the teams are in the PL.

  3. The Man From UNCLE

    Feb 28, 2019, 18:17 #113326

    Cornish; the Special One let the game pass him by, much like Le Fraud, footballing dinosaurs both. Come on boys let's put that shower in their place Saturday.

  4. John F

    Feb 28, 2019, 17:05 #113325

    I thought the team spirit was noticeable the way the players congratulated each other after the goals.I am the same as Paulo about Saturday as I think the Spuds are going to be even more up for this due to some of them getting upset about the Arsenal celebration s at the bowl after we beat them.I would say the Utd home game is the one that could also be called season defining. Socratis,Kolasinac,Torriera,Lacazette and even Xhaka are just the type of characters we will need for Saturday as they have a bit of fight in them which will definitely be needed.

  5. CORNISH GOONER

    Feb 28, 2019, 16:50 #113324

    Unlike others, I am feeling very "glass half empty' at the moment - mainly because over the last few seasons we have been superb in the "flattering to deceive" department. But, as Kevin says, the stats are definitely moving in the right direction. However, I fear a backlash from the Totts on Saturday & Chelsea & Man U did us no favours last night. In particular, despite all those alleged injuries the Mancs still have a worryingly deep squad of players to choose from. It is going to take us years to achieve parity. Not a fan of the new management applicant but, seriously, how on earth did the Special One manage to go from hero to zero in such a short space of time?

  6. Nos89

    Feb 28, 2019, 15:29 #113323

    The end of season fixture is similar to the sequence of teams we played in the premier league during the 22 match unbeaten run. It is not unfeasible to expect Arsenal to remain undefeated for the remainder of the campaign, although the amount of draws will play a part in where we finish in comparison to spurs who have yet to draw a league match. I'd go with Ozil to start at Wembley as he appears to be in form and healthy.

  7. Paulo75

    Feb 28, 2019, 14:15 #113322

    Hopefully a case of building momentum for the run in. As already stated its also good to see our neighbours having a bit of a wobble. Away matches against teams who press high up aren't our strong point unfortunately so I must say I'm not getting overly confident for Saturday. I'd be tempted to play Ozil just behind Lacazette to try and open them up on the big pitch up but dont see Emery going for that from the start.

  8. markymark

    Feb 28, 2019, 10:29 #113321

    I sat near to a group of Spuds supporters on the train back . Real Del Boy types and not in a good way. Bleeding shifty. Anyway point of my ramble is they ain’t happy and also very nervous . I think Arsenal could work on the crowd at Wembley. Last night was a cracker of a match . The link play between Mesut and Mitti wonderful to see.

  9. Bard

    Feb 28, 2019, 09:23 #113320

    Great result. Kev you make a very good point. Whatever this team does or doesnt achieve this season there is no doubt that the spirit in the side is better than anything we have seen for years. While I am as sceptical as many others on here I hope that if Dick can add a few more quality players we might look a half decent side. As GoonerRon suggests next game a season defining one. Smash the spuds and we might go on a decent run.

  10. GoonerRon

    Feb 28, 2019, 09:15 #113319

    Great to follow up the increased fluency from the previous game into this one and maintain for pretty much 90 minutes. Saturday’s match is a really massive derby now, possibly as far as season defining - hopefully going from apparently being in the title race to looking over their should for CL qualification should put the wind up that lot. I can’t remember all the games so could we way off the mark here but have most of our best games come when playing one up front? We just seem to have more oil in our engine with an extra creative force in midfield - one for Emery to ponder. Let’s keep the decent run going and smash that lot into oblivion on the weekend.

  11. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Feb 28, 2019, 09:14 #113318

    Also Kev - Bournemouth's goal was the 1,000 Premier League goal Arsenal have conceded, (according to sources) meaning the Spuds can't claim that honour.