Arsenal finally got back to winning ways on Sunday after three consecutive league draws, beating high-flying AFC Bournemouth 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium.
This was always going to be a tough match, given Bournemouth’s attacking prowess, and they didn’t disappoint on that front. Arsenal had to pull off a few last-ditch challenges and blocks to prevent the home side taking the lead early on, and they got a bit of help via a dodgy offside decision from the linesman.
Perhaps riding their luck at that stage, the Gunners eventually grew into the game, and they had the better of the chances for the most part. It was all about grinding out the result on this occasion, so we can’t complain, even if the performance wasn’t always vintage Arsenal.
Let’s have a look at our individual ratings for the match:
1Goalkeeper and Centre-Backs
Bernd Leno 8
Leno wasn’t far away from saving Joshua King’s goal, but it wasn’t an easy stop by any means. For the rest of the match, the German was very solid, particularly towards the end of the game when he had to deal with a number of high balls into the box. In total, the 26-year-old had to make five saves, a couple more than Begovic at the other end.
Rob Holding 6.5
Holding was a little shaky at times, and he played a couple of lazy passes to Bournemouth players. He had plenty of good moments too, but this wasn’t quite as much of an assured performance as the Englishman’s other games recently. Perhaps the change in system threw him off a bit.
Shkodran Mustafi 7
In general, Mustafi played a good game, but he should’ve committed the tactical foul on the Bournemouth man just before half-time, and he took a big risk giving away a free-kick right at the end. Excluding those two moments, he might’ve been Arsenal’s best defender, winning a lot of tackles and aerial duels.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 7.5
Sokratis didn’t make any major individual errors like his centre-back partners. It still wasn’t a perfect performance, and he found himself on the wrong side of Bournemouth attackers a couple of times. That’s probably to be expected from a player making his first league start since September.
Nonetheless, his passing was excellent and he fought hard throughout the 90 minutes to keep the Bournemouth attackers at bay.
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