Arsenal were lucky enough to get the win against Bournemouth in their meeting at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday as the scoreline finished 2-1 to the visiting team.
Story of the match
Right from the get-go, Arsenal knew they were in for a cagey affair. Bournemouth looked to assert their dominance right away, and the chances they created were a result of their efforts.
It looked like Bournemouth had drawn the first blood early on. David Brooks put the ball in the back of the net, however, it was ruled offside. Should VAR have been in place, it may have been a different story for the Gunners.
Later on in the first half, Arsenal strode forward with purpose. The ball fell to Sead Kolasinac, who played a ball into the box. In fairness, it was a bad ball, but Jefferson Lerma managed to, unfortunately, find his own net. It was a terrific finish, but he would have liked it on the other side of the pitch.
It looked likely that Arsenal would go into the half time break on the upper hand, which would be a rare occurrence under Unai Emery. Instead, Bournemouth capitalised on a mistake from Alex Iwobi, with Josh King scoring on the counter-attack.
Arsenal came out in the second half with more purpose. It's a common trait of their season so far, but it was needed more than ever in this match.
It took around 20 minutes into the second half for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to slot home. It was an easy tap-in, with Kolasinac once again at the forefront of the goal.
For the next stages of the match, Arsenal had more chances to score. However, poor composure from Henrikh Mkhitaryan denied them of a few opportunities. The Armenian wasn't on top of his game.
Even more worryingly, Junior Stanislas had a few chances to grab the equalising goal late on. Firstly, he couldn't get enough power behind his shot to beat Bernd Leno. Then, with the last kick of the game, he couldn't convert a free kick on the edge of Arsenal's box.
Takeaways from the match
Arsenal can't keep relying on Leno
Bernd Leno continued his good form today. The scoreline could have fallen out of Arsenal's favour if it wasn't for the German. Just like he did against Wolves before the international break, he parried a few chances out and kept his side in the match.
While this was an impressive performance to witness, Arsenal needs to be careful. The defensive frailties shone through once again today, an area of their game they need to fix heading into the rest of the season.
Sokratis excluded from defensive frailties
In what was a pretty embarrassing defensive display, Sokratis Papastathopoulos was a real positive. The defenders were bound to be a little rusty, as they looked to acclimatise to a back three, but the Greece international stuck to his guns.
Bournemouth players are notorious for asserting their strength in challenges, but Sokratis was no pushover. He used his brute force well, keeping the ball out of danger from Arsenal's perspective. He could easily build a case to start alongside Laurent Koscielny amid the captain's return.
Aubameyang can hit the on switch immediately
Aubameyang wasn't as involved as he would have liked. The Gabon international just wasn't getting the service he strives from. He did look to make his own chances, but that was always going to be difficult against an organised defence.
For Arsenal's second goal, he showed excellent movement. The pass should have been hard for Kolasinac to complete, but Aubameyang's trickery off the ball made it easy for the full-back. It just goes to show that he turn his performance around at the switch of a button.
Having briefly touched on it earlier, the star player was Bernd Leno. Emery won't be delighted with Arsenal's reliance on the man between the sticks but he will likely give Leno a pat on the back. It's his second impressive performance in a row, and he's starting to show why Arsenal paid the money for him.