Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth: Gunners go third with crucial win

David Luiz scored his first goal for Arsenal after arriving from Chelsea in the summer transfer window as the Gunners recorded a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon. 

The result sees Unai Emery’s side move up to third in the Premier League, remarkably just one point behind holders Manchester City, who lost 2-0 against Wolves.

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Arsenal grind out important win to take healthy league position

Plenty of criticism has been levelled at Arsenal over the past few months, particularly in relation to poor defensive resilience that has seen Emery’s side ship unnecessary goals from individual errors. However, for all the pressure placed on the manager’s shoulders, the Gunners find themselves in third place, just one point behind Pep Guardiola’s side.

The London club got off to a strong start, with David Luiz turning in Nicolas Pepe’s ninth-minute corner for his first goal at his new club. Pepe has now been involved in 28 goals in his last 30 home league games for Lille and Arsenal – 16 goals and 12 assists. Perhaps more remarkably, of the twelve Premier League goals Luiz has scored during his career, eleven of them have been in London. 

His goal meant Bournemouth are without a clean sheet this season, recording just one in their last twelve Premier League games dating back to the 2018/19 campaign

A strong start for the Gunners, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would also go close in the early exchanges, firing just wide from the edge of the box after good link up play between Dani Ceballos and Bukayo Saka. Indeed, Arsenal should have been out of side in the first-half given their dominance, with Nicolas Pepe proving a constant threat down the flank.

The summer signing had a decent shout for a penalty after going down under the challenge of Diego Rico, but Martin Atkinson judged the attacker to have left his foot in in an attempt to force contact with his opponent, subsequently waving away appeals before VAR upheld the decision. 

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Gunners almost made to pay for missed opportunities

Failure to take their chances amid a period of real dominance, Arsenal’s lack of cutting edge in the final third gave Bournemouth plenty of encouragement after the interval. As the home side faded, Eddie Howe’s side would get their opportunities, the best of which fell to Callum Wilson.

The striker currently has five goals to his name this season and should have made it six after rounding Bernd Leno, but his decision to cut the ball back into the danger area rather than go for goal from the wide angle enabled Calum Chambers to clear his lines. 

Leno was later called into action by Jack Stacey, whose cross-shot looked to be arching just under the crossbar before Philip Billing’s effort went wide of the mark, enabling Arsenal to grind out an important three points. 

The result marks Arsenal’s fourth win of the season, meaning they go into the international break having lost just once in eight league games.