Arsenal stroll over AFC Bournemouth with 0 – 2 win
Arsenal returned to form with a comfortable 2-0 win at AFC Bournemouth on Sunday that sees them move above Manchester City and into third place in the Premier League.
The Gunners came into the game on the back of four league matches without a win and having failed to score in their last three, but two goals in quick succession midway through the first half at Vitality Stadium ended that run.
Mesut Ozil netted the opener with a powerful finish, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain swiftly doubled the lead to score his first Premier League goal away from Emirates Stadium.
The victory, which never looked in doubt after the rapid double, moves Arsenal level on points with Tottenham in second and to within five of leaders Leicester City , who the Gunners host in a crunch title clash next Sunday.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, suffer a first defeat in four games and remain five points clear of the relegation zone in 15th position.
Eddie Howe’s men were unchanged, while Arsenal brought in Oxlade-Chamberlain for Joel Campbell in their solitary switch.
The early stages saw Mathieu Flamini only booked for a heavy challenge on Dan Gosling which could have been punished more severely, while Alexis Sanchez lashed a shot over from a tight angle after latching on to Aaron Ramsey ‘s bouncing pass.
It was the match’s first shot on target which produced a goal from Ozil on 23 minutes. A deep cross from Ramsey was headed down by Olivier Giroud and the Germany international impressively arrowed a right-footed shot into the roof of the net.
Within 88 seconds, the lead was doubled. A poor piece of defending saw Steve Cook give away possession and Ramsey took advantage to slip a pass to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who directed an excellent finish in off the far post.
Bournemouth almost got back into the game when Harry Arter beat two men and unleashed an impressive dipping strike that was kept out by an acrobatic Petr Cech save.
Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal was denied a penalty by referee Kevin Friend after going down under Matt Ritchie ‘s challenge as the Gunners went into the break with a strong lead.
Both sides exchanged decent chances early in the second half, with Adam Smith forcing his way past Laurent Koscielny before firing a shot against the side netting for the hosts.
A few moments later, Sanchez collected a pass from Ozil at the other end and had a shot beaten away by Artur Boruc , with Arsenal settling for a comfortable two-goal victory.
Key Opta stats:
-Bournemouth have now met Arsenal three times in all competitions, losing each clash without reply (conceded seven).
-The Gunners are unbeaten in 23 fixtures against newly-promoted sides, winning 19 and drawing four.
-Mesut Ozil has now scored in both Premier League matches versus Bournemouth this season with both goals having been assisted by Olivier Giroud.
-Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first Premier League goal in 38 appearances. It was his first goal involvement in 26 Premier League games (assist v West Ham 28th December 2014).
-Indeed, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s strike was his first ever Premier League goal away from home.
-Just 88 seconds separated Mesut Ozil’s and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goals for Arsenal.
-Bournemouth have won just two of their last nine Premier League home matches (D3 L4).
-Petr Cech kept his 12th clean sheet of the season; more than any other Premier League goalkeeper.