Bournemouth 1 Arsenal 2
King 45+1, Lerma og 30, Aubameyang 67

Arsenal  got back to winning ways and moved to within a point of the top four in the Premier League with a well earned 2-1 victory against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday. Jefferson Lerma’s spectacular deflection from Sead Kolasnic’s cross beat Asmir Begovic to give the Gunners the lead. Josh King levelled for the home side on the stroke of half time, but Arsenal grabbed their first Premier League win in four games when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s tenth goal of the season on 67 minutes proved to be the winner.

Having weathered the initial Cherries storm, which saw David Brooks have a goal ruled out for offside, the Gunners were worthy on their lead and almost doubled it when the impressive Lucas Torreira struck the post from 20 yards. With virtually the last kick of the half however, Bournemouth mounted a swift counter attack when Alex Iwobi wanted a touch too much, and lost possession in the Cherries box. In the blink of an eye Ryan Fraser and Brooks worked an opening which allowed Josh King to level into Bernd Leno’s top corner. The Gunners are yet to go into half time with a lead, but you sensed that Unai Emery – who dropped Mesut Ozil to the substitute’s bench in preference to Henrikh Mkhitaryan would find the right words to get his side back on track.

Electing to play a three man defence, the formation is clearly to the liking of Rob Holding. Alongside Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi, the former Bolton man had the freedom to advance at will and at times was out on the left wing. The Gunners were now firmly in control, and they re-took the lead with a move which started  from a free kick awarded for Lerma’s pull back on Mustafi. From deep inside the Bournemouth half, Iwobi slipped a precise pass to Kolasinac, and the Bosnia and Herzegovina defender played a first touch cross for Aubameyang to slide the ball into Begovic’s net from five yards.

Mkhitaryan had a gilt edged chance to increase the Gunners’ lead soon after but got his feet tangled with only Begovic to beat. Bournemouth were still fighting however and Lerma’s strike from 20 yards was too good for Leno, who was grateful to see the ball come back off his upright. With time ticking away, and into the fifth minute of time added on, substitute Junior Stanislas was fouled by Mustafi. Leno who had been active in the Arsenal goal with some fine saves, looked nervous, but this time he watched on as Stanislas struck his free-kick over the bar, as Arsenal held on to win.

Emery reflected on what was said at half time and also had praise for the travelling fans and their relenting support during the match.

“The result is very important, but we spoke in the dressing room at half-time after they’d scored and the process is in our mentality also. The result is very important and we went up 1-0, but they scored so we needed to keep calm and continue our control, which is getting better on the pitch.

“I think we knew this was a difficult stadium and a difficult team, and they were four points behind us, and it was an important game for them to be near us. I am very happy with how the players and fans supported and pushed us today. The control over the 90 minutes with keeping calm in a lot of moments was very important in this victory.”

Arsenal now travel to Qarabag in the Ukraine for their Europa League group game, with the North London derby and the arrival of Spurs on Sunday the next Premier League fixture.