Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth: Alexis Sanchez double gives Gunners hard-fought win
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 28/11/16 6:13am
An Alexis Sanchez double helped Arsenal earn a hard-fought 3-1 win against Bournemouth on Sunday in the Premier League.
Arsenal went ahead early on after Sanchez capitalised on a poor Steve Cook backpass to slot home, before Callum Wilson equalised with a soft penalty after he was brought down by Nacho Monreal in the area.
Theo Walcott regained Arsenal's lead eight minutes into the second half with a header after Monreal's fine cross, while Bournemouth had a strong penalty appeal turned down by Mike Jones after Monreal handled in the area.
Sanchez made sure of the points in stoppage time, finishing simply from six yards after substitute Olivier Giroud's centre.
The result means Arsenal, who are unbeaten in 19 games, stay three points off leaders Chelsea, and break their winless run after three straight draws in all competitions.
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Arsene Wenger made seven changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night, dropping Olivier Giroud back to the bench, and starting Granit Xhaka, Theo Walcott and Mathieu Debuchy, who hadn't appeared for the club in over a year.
During a frantic opening, Mesut Ozil saw his close-range effort blocked by the superb Nathan Ake, before Ake again blocked from Mohamed Elneny after a well-worked Arsenal free-kick.
The hosts were ahead on 12 minutes, largely thanks to Bournemouth defender Cook, whose weak back-pass towards Adam Federici was pounced upon by Sanchez. The Chilean composed himself to apply a simple finish as the goal was left open by the Cook mishap.
The injured Debuchy was replaced by Gabriel minutes later, as the half began to turn in Bournemouth's favour.
They were awarded a penalty halfway through the first period after Wilson got goal-side of Monreal, though it did not look like the Arsenal defender made much of a move towards Wilson as the striker fell down in the area.
Wilson stepped up to convert, much to the dismay of the Arsenal players and fans, who were furious with referee Jones.
Adam Smith then headed over the bar unmarked from eight yards after Ake's header across goal, before Petr Cech saved well at his near post from Brad Smith's effort.
Arsenal finished the half on top, Sanchez smashing the ball against the bar from an acute angle on the right of the area, but Bournemouth deserved to be level at the break.
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Arsenal were ahead again on 53 minutes, as Monreal unselfishly centred for Walcott to head past Federici from eight yards, his sixth Premier League goal of the season.
Ozil was then inches away from latching onto Sanchez's fine through ball, while Cook did his best to redeem himself for his early error with a superb block from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's effort.
Bournemouth had a strong penalty appeal turned down halfway through the second half as Monreal handled in the area, before former Arsenal youngster Benik Afobe saw his far post effort from a corner from six yards saved well by Cech.
Arsenal avoided a nervy finish in the first minute of stoppage time, Sanchez finishing from close range after substitute Giroud squared for him from the right of the area.
Arsenal: Cech (7), Debuchy (5), Mustafi (6), Koscielny (6), Monreal (6), Elneny (6), Xhaka (6), Walcott (6), Ozil (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Sanchez (8)
Subs: Gabriel (5), Ramsey (6), Giroud (6)
Bournemouth: Federici (6), Smith (6), Francis (6), Cook (5), Smith (6), Ake (7), Gosling (6), Arter (6), Stanislas (6), King (6), Wilson (6)
Subs: Ibe (6), Mousset (6), Afobe (6)
Man of the match: Alexis Sanchez