Arsenal 1 Bournemouth 0
Luiz 9

Arsenal moved back into the top four with a performance which was more workmanlike than spectacular, yet the only goal of the game saw David Luiz open his Gunners’ account with a first half header from Nicolas Pepe’s corner. That proved to be the only goal of the game and also the winner. That it was scored after nine minutes, all the indications were that the Gunners – with Aubameyang, Pepe and teenager Bukayo Saka in attack would add to their opener. Faced with a resolute Bournemouth who dug deep, and that however didn’t happen. The Cherries responded well after the break and Callum Wilson should have drawn his side level after a strong run to skip around Bernd Leno. But his choice to cross rather than shoot enabled a shaky Arsenal rearguard to clear the danger and claim all three points.

Bournemouth have never won on their previous six Premier League visits too N5, and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going close soon after the kick off, all the omens were that the Cherries disappointing record would continue. Unai Emery made ten changes from the side which blew away Standard Liege 5-0 in the Europa League last week. His defence reverted back to Luiz, Sokratis, Calum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac. After their work rate on Thursday, Tierney and Rob Holding were on the bench, while Hector Bellerin and Shkodran Mustafi were not involved.

Luiz has taken his time to settle since his cross capital switch from Stamford Bridge, and when he rose too beat his marker to Pepe’s ninth minute corner with a header to beat Aaron Ramsdale, he rightly ran away in heightened celebration.

Dani Ceballos has shown he is ready for the Premier League fight, and he had no hesitation in tracking back and putting his foot in when it needed. He combined with Bukayo Saka to set up Aubameyang who went close. Two first half penalty appeals were turned down after Pepe was upended, with the challenge from by Diego Rico seemingly a clear cut penalty. In both cases, VAR ruled in agreement with referee Martin Atkinson. No penalty.

The visitors came out quickly for the second half and almost capitalised on a sluggish Arsenal defence. Emery cut a frustrated figure, urging his players to step up the tempo. He brought on 18 year old Gabriel Martinelli and his pace and directness caused Bournemouth problems. An ingenious lofted ball almost set up Aubameyang, while the Brazil midfielder took a yellow card as Bournemouth attempted a quick break out.

After Wilson almost levelled, the Emirates crowd became nervous. Jack Stacey forced Leno to tip the ball over the ball at his near post, while Martinelli almost got his side’s second goal after a strong run and curled shoot which flew just wide of target.

Leno watched as Phillip Billing’s effort went wide, and he held another shot from Wilson as the Cherries sensed a leveller. Only a strong block by Guendouzi from Joshua King from Wilson’s cross prevented Arsenal from conceding. Five additional minutes in time added on drew groans from the Emirates’ faithful.

But it was Arsenal who held on to an attritional win and earned their first home clean sheet in the Premier League this season.

The Gunners next travel to Sheffield United in the Premier League after the international break.