Match ends, Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0.
Arsenal 2-0 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.
Banishing the Boxing Day blues
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.
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
What the managers said
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."
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.
- 3GibbsSubstituted forMonrealat 82'minutes
- 21ChambersBooked at 61mins
- 16RamseyBooked at 30mins
- 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forIwobiat 90+3'minutes
- 12GiroudSubstituted forCampbellat 80'minutes
- 54Reine Adelaide
- 15A Smith
- 3S Cook
- 4GoslingSubstituted forO'Kaneat 61'minutes
- 7PughSubstituted forStanislasat 45'minutes
- 17KingSubstituted forMurrayat 80'minutes
- Roger East
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0.
Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Iwobi replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.
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.
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.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Héctor Bellerín.
Offside, Bournemouth. Eunan O'Kane tries a through ball, but Adam Smith is caught offside.
Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).
Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Harry Arter.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Steve Cook.
Attempt blocked. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Theo Walcott.
Substitution, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal replaces Kieran Gibbs.
Attempt missed. Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Charlie Daniels.
Substitution, Arsenal. Joel Campbell replaces Olivier Giroud.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Glenn Murray replaces Joshua King because of an injury.
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.
Attempt blocked. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eunan O'Kane.
Attempt saved. Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Arter.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).
Offside, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín with a cross.
Attempt missed. Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal) header from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Charlie Daniels.
Calum Chambers (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).
Goal! Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Olivier Giroud with a through ball.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Eunan O'Kane replaces Dan Gosling.
Calum Chambers (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Calum Chambers (Arsenal).
Harry Arter (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Arter.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth).
Attempt blocked. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.