Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seals victory
Jefferson Lerma gifts Arsenal opener with bizarre own goal
Last Updated: 26/11/18 6:13am
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner as Arsenal claimed a first Premier League win in four games with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
Eddie Howe's side had recovered from Jefferson Lerma's remarkable own goal, the Colombian inadvertently volleying beyond his own goalkeeper from the edge of the box (30), as Josh King deservedly curled them level on the stroke of half-time (45+1).
But the Gunners produced a belated moment of attacking quality midway through the second half when Alex Iwobi and Sead Kolasinac combined to afford Aubameyang a simple finish (67).
Lerma almost atoned but cracked the post, while Bernd Leno made a leaping late save to preserve the fragile advantage and Gunners - now unbeaten in 17 games with a north London derby looming - held on to move to within a point of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Bournemouth: Begovic (6), Francis (6), S Cook (7), Ake (6), Daniels (6), Brooks (7), Gosling (6), Lerma (5), Fraser (6), Wilson (7), King (7).
Subs: L Cook (6), Stanislas (6), Mousset (n/a)
Arsenal: Leno (7), Mustafi (6), Sokratis (7), Holding (6), Bellerin (6), Torreira (7), Xhaka (7), Kolasinac (8), Mkhitaryan (6), Iwobi (7), Aubameyang (7).
Subs: Guendouzi (6), Ramsey (n/a), Nketiah (n/a)
Man of the match: Sead Kolasinac
Bournemouth have lost three in succession but they started and finished strongly, David Brooks gliding goalwards and slotting home (8), only to see the offside flag.
Lucas Torreira clipped a post as the travelling fans sung his name before Aubameyang shanked behind at the back post, but Arsenal looked vulnerable in the channels with a less familiar back three.
Dan Gosling started his first Premier League game in two months, while Joshua King and Charlie Daniels also came in for Bournemouth.
Unai Emery made two changes as Mesut Ozil was named on the bench and Alexandre Lacazette missed out (groin). The Gunners appeared to shift to a three-man defence as Sokratis Papastathopoulos came in, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan started in attack.
Ryan Fraser forced a fine Leno save from a free-kick that was retaken - to Emery's annoyance - but Lerma soon gifted Arsenal the lead in bizarre fashion, sliding to intercept Kolasinac's cut-back but instead rifling beyond Asmir Begovic.
Arsenal were now on top, Iwobi wasteful, but Fraser sparked a glorious home counter moments before the break and when Brooks laid into his path, King found the top corner without breaking stride.
Emery's side enjoyed prolonged possession after the restart but though they had struggled for attacking fluency against committed hosts, Iwobi's slide-rule pass suddenly dissected opposition lines.
Aubameyang had blazed over again just minutes earlier but the Gabon striker was afforded a tap-in at the far post when Kolasinac delivered the cross and Arsenal swagger was back again.
Bournemouth legs looked weary but a final push yielded a series of chances to hit back again, Junior Stanislas poised to meet Charlie Daniel's ball but scuffing a straight into Leno's hands.
Lerma took aim with five minutes left, and Leno had to stretch when Sokratis dangerously stuck out a boot, but a second leveller proved elusive.
Man of the match - Sead Kolasinac
Emery sprung a tactical surprise, starting with a three-man defence for the first time in the league, and though Wilson and Brooks exploited space in the early stages, Kolasinac provided plenty of his own threat as an attacking force. It was his ball from an advanced position that drew Lerma's dramatic intervention and he combined superbly with Iwobi for the matchwinner.
- Arsenal have already won as many Premier League away games this season (4 of 6) as they did in the whole of the 2017-18 campaign (4 of 19).
- Bournemouth have lost back-to-back home games in the Premier League for the first time since August 2017, when they lost their first two of the 2017-18 campaign.
- Arsenal are one of only two teams still yet to lead at half time in a Premier League game this term (alongside Cardiff), however they have gone on to win eight of those 13 fixtures (D3 L2).
- Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 23 goals in 26 appearances in the Premier League (18 goals, five assists).
- Bournemouth striker Josh King scored his 35th goal in the Premier League; 10 more than the player with the next-most for the Cherries (Callum Wilson, 25).
Arsenal travel to Vorskla in the Europa League on Thursday before focus swiftly turns to Sunday's north London derby against Tottenham, live on Sky. Bournemouth face a testing trip to free-scoring Manchester City next Saturday.