Premier League
ArsenalArsenal2BournemouthAFC Bournemouth0

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

By Mark MitchenerBBC Sport at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal celebrate scoring
Gabriel (left) scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal against Bournemouth

Mesut Ozil inspired Arsenal to reclaim top spot in the Premier League, at least for 24 hours, as they won their first league meeting with Bournemouth.

After a tense opening, Ozil's corner was met with a firm header by defender Gabriel for his first goal in English football.

Ozil made it 2-0 after the break from a slick one-two with Olivier Giroud.

Bournemouth showed plenty of spirit, but could not find their way through as Arsenal closed out the victory.

With Leicester not playing until Tuesday, Arsenal leapfrog them into top spot by one point.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, slip to 16th and remain only three points from danger as their six-match unbeaten run came to an end.

Relive Arsenal's win over Bournemouth.

Reaction to Monday's Premier League results.

Banishing the Boxing Day blues

Mesut Ozil graphic
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil made a game-high 50 passes in the opposition's half and 11 crosses. The touch map shows his effectiveness on either flank

If Arsene Wenger wanted a reaction from his squad, having rung the changes following Boxing Day's 4-0 mauling at Southampton, it took a while in coming.

But all it needed was the first goal just before the half-hour to kick the hosts, and their familiar fluent passing game, into gear.

All four of those Arsenal newcomers played their part as Gabriel opened his goalscoring account.

Kieran Gibbs had his hands full with the dangerous Matt Ritchie, Calum Chambers brushed off rumours of a January loan return to Southampton with an assured midfield display, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain threatened with his pace when Arsenal broke, going close to adding a third goal late on.

Although Bournemouth had overcome a 2-0 deficit to draw 3-3 with Everton in an enthralling game last month, such a comeback never looked on the cards here once Ozil had unlocked them.

Cech the record books

Gunners keeper Petr Cech was tested more than his opposite number Artur Boruc early on, as Bournemouth's Harry Arter opened up the defence with some through balls to lone striker Joshua King, who was twice denied by Cech to keep the game goalless.

But as the game went on, even when the Cherries found some space in the final third, there was no way past the Czech goalkeeper, who kept out Matt Ritchie's 30-yard drive and celebrated his 170th top-flight clean sheet to set a new Premier League record.

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Petr Cech's former club Chelsea tweeted a message of congratulations to the keeper for setting a new Premier League record

Meanwhile, Boruc earned his spurs at the other end with some important blocks to ensure the Cherries were not swept away.

Arsenal's title-winning sides of the past were built on solid goalkeeping, from Bob Wilson and John Lukic to David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. The purchase of Cech from Chelsea in the summer could turn out to be the key to a first title for 12 years.

Man of the match

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil was at the heart of everything Arsenal did well, not just setting up the first goal and scoring the second but also tackling back to rescue right-back Hector Bellerin at one stage.

What the managers said

Wenger praises 'sensational' Ozil

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "There was a little hesitancy at the start after our bad result on Saturday but slowly we got into the game and after that we created chances.

"After a disappointing result, not dropping points once again was most important for us."

On Ozil's performance: "I said many times that he has added something to his game - a desire to be efficient and desire to score goals. He has become a complete sensational football player.

"I am very, very happy with his performances. He is one of the best in Europe certainly. In his position, he is sensational."

Cherries 'dominated possession' says Howe

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: "We were well in the game. We started brightly but once we conceded we wobbled. At 1-0 there was always a chance we could get into the game but the second goal was of huge quality and ended it.

"We are developing all the time as a side. We still have some way to go but if we make the same improvement again we will be a good side.

"We took the game to Arsenal in the first half but unfortunately the quality of their players told in the end."

Who's up next?

Arsenal host struggling Newcastle on 2 January, while Bournemouth face a tough trip to second-placed Leicester.

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 5Gabriel
  • 3GibbsSubstituted forMonrealat 82'minutes
  • 21ChambersBooked at 61mins
  • 16RamseyBooked at 30mins
  • 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forIwobiat 90+3'minutes
  • 11Özil
  • 14Walcott
  • 12GiroudSubstituted forCampbellat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Debuchy
  • 6Koscielny
  • 13Ospina
  • 18Monreal
  • 28Campbell
  • 45Iwobi
  • 54Reine Adelaide

Bournemouth

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Boruc
  • 15A Smith
  • 2Francis
  • 3S Cook
  • 11Daniels
  • 6Surman
  • 30Ritchie
  • 4GoslingSubstituted forO'Kaneat 61'minutes
  • 8Arter
  • 7PughSubstituted forStanislasat 45'minutes
  • 17KingSubstituted forMurrayat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Rantie
  • 19Stanislas
  • 23Federici
  • 24Tomlin
  • 25Distin
  • 27Murray
  • 32O'Kane
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
59,983

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamBournemouth
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home12
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home7
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Iwobi replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Glenn Murray (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Charlie Daniels.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Héctor Bellerín.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Bournemouth. Eunan O'Kane tries a through ball, but Adam Smith is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).

  10. Post update

    Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Harry Arter.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Steve Cook.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Theo Walcott.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal replaces Kieran Gibbs.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Charlie Daniels.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Joel Campbell replaces Olivier Giroud.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Glenn Murray replaces Joshua King because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eunan O'Kane.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Arter.