Match ends, Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 3.
Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal
Arsenal completed a dramatic comeback at Bournemouth as they rescued a point in injury time having fallen 3-0 behind.
The Gunners looked destined for a third away league defeat in a row before a late rally that began with a diving Alexis Sanchez header and gathered momentum when a stunning Lucas Perez left-footed volley reduced the gap to a single goal.
Bournemouth went down to 10 men when Simon Francis was sent off for a challenge on Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal capitalised as Olivier Giroud headed a 92nd-minute equaliser.
The home side had overwhelmed the Gunners early on and taken the lead when Charlie Daniels cut inside Hector Bellerin and stroked a shot past on-rushing keeper Petr Cech.
Callum Wilson scored a penalty to extend Bournemouth's lead and Ryan Fraser sent a shot through Cech's legs for the Cherries' third before the hour mark.
But the hosts buckled under Arsenal's late pressure as Arsene Wenger's side moved eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, who play Tottenham on Wednesday.
How the comeback unfolded
Arsenal had produced a feeble display for 70 minutes and were second best in the face of Bournemouth's energy and desire but that all changed when Sanchez headed in at the far post following Giroud's flick-on.
The momentum of the match changed and five minutes later Giroud clipped a lovely ball to substitute Perez and he sent an angled volley inside the far post.
Francis' sending-off helped Arsenal, although Cherries boss Eddie Howe felt it was a "harsh" decision by referee Michael Oliver.
Giroud headed in from a Granit Xhaka cross as Bournemouth failed in their desperate attempts to hang on during six minutes of added time.
Mixed emotions for Arsenal
Arsenal have been accused of lacking the character to maintain a title challenge in recent seasons and they did little to change that perception before Sanchez's goal.
They were continually second best to the home side and frustrations rose to the surface in the first half.
Sanchez and Ramsey exchanged angry words at 2-0 down, while Giroud showed his annoyance when Shkodran Mustafi failed to find him with a pass that went harmlessly out of play.
That they regrouped in such thrilling manner was doubtless a relief but not one that entirely satisfied goalscorer Giroud.
"I'm pleased to help the team by scoring the equaliser but I'm still disappointed," said the Frenchman.
"It's nice to come back but the way we played at the end, that made me think we should have done better. At least we came back, showed great mental strength and I will take it."
Narrow miss for Bournemouth
On this date in 2009, boss Eddie Howe was taking caretaker charge of his first match at Bournemouth - who were then second from bottom in League Two.
Success with the Dorset side as they won promotion to League One saw Howe lured away by Burnley, before he returned in October 2012 to complete the club's transformation with two more promotions in three seasons.
It is a mark of the turnaround he has instigated that he and his side were left bitterly disappointed at failing to avenge their defeat at Emirates Stadium in November.
The Cherries' 3-1 defeat at Arsenal was harsh on them and they looked more than capable of making amends for the majority of this game as the Gunners struggled to deal with their attacking 4-4-2 formation.
Even with the Arsenal comeback under way, Howe's men had a chance to go 4-2 up when Dan Gosling turned superbly in the visitors' area only to shoot well wide of Cech's goal.
A point keeps the Cherries ninth in the table.
Man of the match - Olivier Giroud
What they said:
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "At the start we suffered from the quality of Bournemouth. One team had over three days to recover and on top of that we suffered at the back.
"It was a physical test but we came back into the game and we showed we are mentally strong. I am happy to play every day but only if our opponent has done the same."
Read more from Wenger here.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: "It's a strange one for us. At 3-0 up you hope the game is over but you can't underestimate the quality of Arsenal and as soon as they got the first goal the game changed.
"We didn't see the game out in an effective manner from our perspective but you have to praise their resilience."
Arsenal paying the penalty
- Arsenal came back to draw a Premier League game from three goals down for the first time.
- Only Hull (nine) have conceded more Premier League penalties than Arsenal this season (six, level with Southampton).
- Charlie Daniels has provided more assists than any other Premier League defender since the start of last season (eight).
- Sanchez's goal was Arsenal's first shot on target in the match, in the 70th minute.
- Sanchez has now matched his Premier League goal tally from last season (13 in 20 games this season, compared with 13 in 30 games last season).
It's FA Cup third-round action for both these teams in their next outings with Bournemouth at Millwall at 15:00 GMT on Saturday, 7 January and Arsenal at Preston for a 17:30 kick-off on the same day.
- 1BorucBooked at 86mins
- 2FrancisBooked at 82mins
- 3S CookBooked at 44mins
- 8ArterBooked at 90mins
- 17KingSubstituted forSurmanat 63'minutes
- 24FraserSubstituted forA Smithat 68'minutes
- 13WilsonSubstituted forB Smithat 90+1'minutes
- 14B Smith
- 15A Smith
- 24BellerínBooked at 32mins
- 20MustafiBooked at 80mins
- 6KoscielnySubstituted forGabrielat 64'minutes
- 34CoquelinSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 28'minutes
- 17IwobiSubstituted forPérezat 63'minutes
- 8RamseyBooked at 45mins
- Michael Oliver
- Shots on Target
Harry Arter (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card.
Second Half ends, Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 3.
Foul by Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).
Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Hand ball by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).
Attempt saved. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Adam Smith.
Goal! Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 3. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Brad Smith replaces Callum Wilson.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathan Aké.
Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Pérez.
Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Artur Boruc (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Dan Gosling.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Steve Cook.
Attempt blocked. Lucas Pérez (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.
Simon Francis (Bournemouth) is shown the red card.
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Simon Francis (Bournemouth).
Attempt missed. Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Junior Stanislas.
Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Harry Arter (Bournemouth).
Goal! Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 2. Lucas Pérez (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.
Hand ball by Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal).
Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.
Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Simon Francis (Bournemouth).
Goal! Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 1. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud with a headed pass.
Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Adam Smith replaces Ryan Fraser because of an injury.
Substitution, Arsenal. Gabriel replaces Laurent Koscielny because of an injury.
Substitution, Arsenal. Lucas Pérez replaces Alex Iwobi.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Andrew Surman replaces Joshua King.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Shkodran Mustafi.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Petr Cech.
Attempt saved. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.