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:
2Midfield and Wing-Backs
Hector Bellerin 7
Bellerin got forward well and kept a couple of attacks alive when the ball looked lost. At the same time, he has to take his share of the blame for not tracking Brooks for the Bournemouth goal.
It’s not easy to make a recovery run in the last minute of a half, but it was certainly necessary on this occasion. Otherwise, it was a very decent performance from the Spaniard.
Lucas Torreira 8
Other than Lerma, Torreira was Arsenal’s biggest goal threat in the first half, bizarrely. He hit the post and had another good chance in a period where the Gunners were mostly on the back foot.
As the game went on, normality resumed, and the Uruguayan got back to doing what he does best, breaking up play and recycling possession. He ended up coming off as Arsenal tried to see out the game, presumably with an upcoming difficult fixture list in mind.
Granit Xhaka 7.5
Xhaka had a pretty good performance in general, spending more time on the ball than anyone else, as usual. He was dispossessed once but so were all of the starting midfielders and forwards bar Torreira.
The Arsenal fans kept begging Xhaka to shoot but I’m glad he resisted the urge. Having a crack from well outside the box usually only results in turning over possession.
Sead Kolasinac 8.5
Back in his favoured wing-back position, Kolasinac bounced back from a poor performance against Wolves to play a big part in both goals against Bournemouth.
It was his cross that Lerma turned into his own net for Arsenal’s opener and his pass across the box to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that led to the winner. He even had a chance of his own to score, but could only find the side netting. The Bosnian defender was solid defensively too, and no one made more tackles than him.
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