Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth: Mesut Ozil on target in Gunners win
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 29/12/15 7:08am
Mesut Ozil set up one and scored another as Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger's side knew they could take top spot for 24 hours at least with a win as Leicester host Manchester City on Tuesday night.
And they took full advantage by claiming all three points against the Cherries, with Ozil producing his 16th assist of the season when his corner was headed home by Gabriel in the first half.
It was a terrific display by the German World Cup winner, who was a constant threat to the visitors, and he deservedly got on the scoresheet himself after the break following an impressive team move.
Overall, it was a fine evening's work for Arsenal, with Petr Cech also setting a new record for clean sheets in the Premier League with his 170th shut-out.
The remarkable numbers behind Mesut Ozil's season after his starring display against Bournemouth
However, the home side actually started very slowly as Bournemouth enjoyed some early possession, with Charlie Daniels and Marc Pugh especially having some joy down the left-hand side.
Arsenal began to dominate as the half wore on, however, with Ozil causing the away defence all sorts of problems.
It was his delivery which was met by Gabriel in the 27th minute, with Bournemouth failing to check the Brazilian's run as he headed into the top corner.
It could have been 2-0 shortly afterwards when Ozil's delightful ball on the right-hand side completely wiped out the Bournemouth backline and picked out Theo Walcott but he was edged out wide and his effort was cleared.
From the resulting corner Ozil's delivery was met again by Gabriel whose header was touched on to the post and rebounded off the head of Per Mertesacker from close range before dropping wide.
A minute later Ozil again brilliantly picked out Walcott but he blasted his shot off of Artur Boruc before Olivier Giroud headed high over the bar from the resulting corner.
The visitors were struggling to deal with Ozil and his deliveries into the box and looked unsettled again as the midfielder whipped in another Arsenal corner which was flicked on by Gabriel but Aaron Ramsey was unable to head in at the back post.
After the break Bournemouth had a half-chance to restore parity when Josh King sped clear of the Arsenal defence but was dragged out wide and his low cross was cleared.
Dan Gosling then appealed for a penalty as he went down after getting a touch of the ball ahead of Gabriel. He felt there was contact from the defender but referee Roger East waved away the claims.
The hosts then doubled their lead shortly after the hour mark with a typical free-flowing Arsenal move.
Ozil started it off by sending the ball out wide before picking up the return and finding Giroud, whose neat flick through the Bournemouth defence found Ozil still on the move and he coolly slotted the ball under Boruc.
It was nearly three just a few minutes later as Hector Bellerin picked out the run of Walcott on the right but he fired his low shot just wide of Boruc's far post as Ramsey looked for the cut-back.
Walcott's blushes were then spared slightly when Boruc spilled Giroud's effort from the edge of the box but the flag went up as the England forward failed to find the target from close range.
The Frenchman then had the chance to get on the scoresheet when Ozil picked him out 12 yards from goal but he scuffed his effort wide.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then went close for the hosts following a quick Arsenal break but his shot was deflected and then pushed on to the post by Boruc.
There was time for a chance at either end as the clock ticked down, with Cech denying Glenn Murray before Boruc was on hand to save from Walcott again.
Arsenal: Cech (6), Bellerin (6), Mertesacker (6), Gabriel (7), Gibbs (5), Ramsey (6), Chambers (5), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Ozil (8), Walcott (6), Giroud (6)
Subs used: Monreal (3), Campbell (3), Iwobi (2)
Bournemouth: Boruc (7), Smith (6), Francis (6), Cook (6), Daniels (7), Surman (6), Ritchie (6), Gosling (6), Arter (6), Pugh (5), King (6)
Subs used: Stanislas (5), Murray (3), O'Kane (3)
Man of the match: Mesut Ozil