Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth: David Luiz header sees Gunners up to third
Report and highlights from the Emirates as Gunners dig in
By Matt Storey
Last Updated: 07/10/19 9:01am
David Luiz's early header proved enough for Arsenal to beat Bournemouth and move up to third in the Premier League.
The Brazilian netted his first Arsenal goal on nine minutes, guiding Nicolas Pepe's corner past Aaron Ramsdale and into the back of the net.
In a game short of clear-cut chances and quality in the final third, neither 'keeper endured busy afternoons as Callum Wilson came closest to equalising for Bournemouth only to see Calum Chambers hack his effort away.
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post at the death, but one goal was all the Gunners needed to move up to third in the Premier League on 15 points, while Bournemouth sit 10th with 11 points.
Arsenal: Leno 7, Chambers 7, Luiz 7, Sokratis 7, Kolasinac 7, Guendouzi 6, Xhaka 6, Saka 6, Ceballos 7, Pepe 6, Aubameyang 6
Subs: Martinelli 6, Willock 6, Torreira 6
Away Team: Ramsdale 6, Stacey 6, Cook 6, Ake 6, Rico 6, Billing 7, Lerma 7, Harry Wilson 6, Josh King 6, Dominic Solanke 5, Callum Wilson 6
Subs: Fraser 6, Groeneveld 6, Francis 6
Man of the match: Calum Chambers
Arsenal edge to important three points
Aubameyang had already narrowly missed the bottom corner with a bending effort when Arsenal took the lead with the simplest of goals, making the most of non-existent Bournemouth defending. Pepe whipped in the corner, Luiz lost his marker and guided the ball inside the back post.
Bournemouth were lethargic for much of the first half yet should have equalised. Dominic Solanke failed to find the target with a free header from Diego Rico's free-kick into the box less than 10 minutes after the opener.
Aubameyang had a goalbound shot well-blocked on the line, while VAR twice had a look at Arsenal penalty appeals as Pepe went down. Neither of Martin Atkinson's decisions were overturned.
Unai Emery made 10 changes from the side who beat Standard Liege in the Europa League, but just one from the team who got a point at Manchester United. Dani Ceballos came in for Lucas Torreira, while Mesut Ozil was not in the squad once again. Bournemouth were unchanged from the side who drew with West Ham, but Ryan Fraser did return to the bench.
Arsenal had failed to make the most of their possession and Bournemouth's display before half-time, and they almost paid the price for that five minutes after the break.
Wilson drove into the box and beat Luiz, before rounding Bernd Leno as he rushed off his line. From a tight angle, Wilson decided to try and square the ball for Josh King instead of shooting and Chambers got a brilliant last-ditch clearance in.
The second half was a much more even affair as Bournemouth upped their game. Jack Stacey forced Leno into clawing a cross away from his front post as both sides struggled to create chances and really test the keepers.
Steve Cook could not keep his header from a corner down in the final minute of normal time, while Aubameyang struck the post as he got on the end of Chambers' low cross - replays showed he would have been offside.
In the dying seconds, Wilson fired straight at Leno from the edge of the box and Arsenal held on for an important win.
Man of the match: Calum Chambers
Calum Chambers might not see right-back as his preferred position but he put in an accomplished display against Bournemouth. The highlight was the vital clearance as Josh King looked to pounce on Callum Wilson's cross and bring Bournemouth level. He also offered an outlet going forward and laid the ball on a plate for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, only for the striker to hit the post.
What the managers said
Arsenal's Unai Emery: "Very good three points. The match in the first half we controlled it and was the moment to make a difference. The second half changed and we didn't control the match. We were strong first half, I felt our team was strong. We lost something and conceded chances afterwards. But we finished with young players on the pitch, this is a process and I'm proud of our work but realistic - we need to improve.
Asked in his press conference about Luiz's impact, Emery said: "Yes (he's popular) because he's very positive. Every time he's speaking about positive things and helping young players. He came late into the squad but really, his commitment is very high with us, and his behaviour is too. Everybody is happy with that."
Bournemouth's Eddie Howe: "Overall I think it was two contrasting halves for us and contrasting emotions. First half we weren't quite on it. We allowed Arsenal to show their best qualities. In the second half we were the opposite. We were the front foot team, I felt we played very well and created a number of chances, it just wouldn't fall for us. We got beat because of our first-half display."
- Arsenal have won all six of their home matches in all competitions against Bournemouth - only against Gainsborough Trinity (eight wins out of eight) do they have a better 100%-home win ratio in their entire history.
- Bournemouth have lost 13 of their last 14 away Premier League games against the 'big six' teams (W1 D0 L13).
- Only against Man City (9) have Bournemouth lost more Premier League games than against Arsenal (7).
- Bournemouth have won none of their last 25 Premier League matches when conceding first (W0 D5 L20).
After the international break, Arsenal travel to Sheffield United on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League. Bournemouth host newly-promoted Norwich City on Saturday, October 19.