ARSENAL 3-1 AFC BOURNEMOUTH: FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE INTERESTING MATCH.
The Gunners were 3-1 visitors over the visiting Bournemouth side at the Emirates Stadium thanks to Alexis Sanchez second goal towards the end of the game to calm nerves as hostilities ensued in the encounter. It was a game that saw two of the best managers in the Premier League in the person of Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe flex tactical muscles on the coaching dugout in the course of the 90minute.
At the end it was all three points for the host Arsenal as some element of home advantages and personnel qualities counted in favour of the hosts on the field of play. With Arsenal’s win and continue run of form in recent games as regards to keeping the pace with the league leaders in the title race we take some things from the game into consideration.
Here are five things we learnt from the Arsenal’s win over the Cherris.
A CHRISTMAS GIFT TO SANCHEZ
The Bournemouth side were a victim of their own predicament following consistent pressure from Arsenal to commit a big blunder which resulted to Sanchez opener in the game. The Chile forward received a back pass from Bournemouth defender, rounded the onrushing Bournemouth goalkeeper for the opening goal of the game. It was actually a gift to a player of Alexis quality in that kind of position and the forward did not waste time to beat the goalkeeper and convert into the empty net to set the tone for Arsenal in the game. It was a costly error as it led Eddie Howe’s side to make some tactical renovation in order to adapt to the game changes after conceding to Arsenal.
A HARSH REFEREE DECISION
The center referee Mike Jones was typical harsh against Arsenal and just like the second time in few weeks the host conceded a penalty after taking the lead in a league context as regards to the recent happening against Tottenham. This time it was not the best of decision from the referee as the Bournemouth forward intentionally jumped on Arsenal left back Nacho Monreal to initiate a contact in the box for a penalty which was awarded by the match official despite the obvious situation. It was a decision which could have ruined Arsenal pursuit to win at home as it could have changed the course of the entire game as the visitors tried to build and gain momentum from the equalizer.
OZIL IS THE ULTIMATE PLAYMAKER
The German was at it all once again in the Bournemouth game picking out his teammates one after the other. Last season against the visitors (promoted Bournemouth side) he was the main man for Arsenal in the game as the Gunners won 2-0 on that occasion. As some of his other teammate were injured at this stage last term he took the game to the visitors, scored one and notched an assist from a corner-kick for Gabriel Paulista to fire home the second in the encounter last year. This time around he was really instrumental as he danced around the opposing defence at the edge of the box to pick out a cross for his teammate which was not well dealt with by Nathan Ake in the box as the resultant ball fell to Walcott for a free header as the forward restored the hosts lead. The playmaker (Ozil) was at it at the end to release Olivier Giroud on the right side with a clever pass to square for Sanchez for a simple tap in to make it 3-1.
SANCHEZ IS ARSENAL’S GREATEST THREAT
The Chile forward came back from a superb World Cup Qualifier were he scored a brace against Luis Suarez led Uruguay and was once again at his best to get on to the end of Giroud’s final ball to grab a brace in the game. His positional play and link up movement was superb and the forward has a good understanding of where the goal is and where to be at the right time. His presence puts defenders in mind chaos as was seen in defenders making mistakes just like the one that led to the first goal. The forward showed instinct and awareness as he was well placed to capitalize on the Bournemouth defensive blunder to give Arsenal the breakthrough. Sanchez performance just shows how much of a threat he is to the opposing team in an attempt to help his Arsenal team win games.
SANCHEZ NEEDS OLIVIER GIROUD
The French forward had not been starting games this season due to the arrival of Spanish forward Lucas Perez and certain kind of injuries that had plagued the forward this season but his return is a boost for the team and for one man (Sanchez) who has been deployed in the central role to fill the void created by his absence in attack for much of the season. Sanchez was at his best every time Giroud comes off the bench as Alexis loves being part of an attacking build up and team work in transition to the opponent’s goal rather than ball watching and waiting for ball in the central position.
Giroud’s presence affords him the chance to be involved more in games creating and scoring some himself as it was seen with the rapid breakout in attack where Giroud feed Sanchez in the box for a simple tap in to make it 3-1 with the Chile forward racing to Giroud to celebrate as they were spotted in some kind of brotherhood celebration in tandem with the Chief distributor Mesut Ozil.
A team that celebrates together, wins together!