Two goals within as many minutes helped Arsenal see off Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon. Following three Premier League games without an Arsenal goal, Mesut Özil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck in the first half to earn Arsenal a much needed three points.
A cagey start to the game at Dean Court saw Mathieu Flamini escape a red card. Diving into a two-footed tackle 10 minutes into the match, the midfielder won the ball but the complaints of the Bournemouth team were fair and Arsenal got away with it.
The Gunners didn’t look back, and the first half-chance of the game was smashed home by Mesut Özil. A move started by Aaron Ramsey, striker Olivier Giroud was strong in the air to nod the ball down and Özil, with his weaker right foot, belted it home before Artur Boruc could react.
It took fewer than two minutes for Arsène Wenger’s side to double their lead. After three goalless Premier League games, Arsenal had two goals in as many minutes. A defensive error saw Ramsey collect the ball once again, and he laid it off to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the overlap. The winger, back in the side for Joel Campbell, cannoned it in of the post.
The first half wasn’t without scares – Petr Čech made one great save and Héctor Bellerín recovered an error by Gabriel to save a huge chance – but Arsenal reached the break with their two-goal lead intact.
After the break, the hosts were much more inventive. Both Matt Ritchie and Adam Smith had sights at goal early in the half but neither could trouble Petr Čech, at the other end Alexis continued to look lively but failed to provide anything decisive.
With Bournemouth on the up and Junior Stanislas introduced, Wenger replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain with Francis Coquelin in an attempt to reinforce the midfield. Bringing on Kieran Gibbs with 10 minutes to go reinforced Arsenal further, but it allowed Bournemouth to do all the attacking in the late stages.
Josh King had a huge chance to make the dying moments interesting but fluffed his lines. More balls into the box were dealt with, and Ramsey had a last minute opportunity to make the score 3-0 but was denied by Boruc following a long pass forward. Two strong saves from Petr Čech in injury time denied Bournemouth what would’ve been a fairly deserved consolation.
Barring a couple of moves midway through the first half it wasn’t pretty, but it was what Arsenal needed on the south coast. Next up: a title face-off with Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium.