Match ends, Bournemouth 1, Arsenal 2.
Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal: Emery expects more despite win
Arsenal manager Unai Emery said he still expects more from his team despite extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 17 games with victory at Bournemouth.
After embarking on a 10-game winning run earlier in the season, Arsenal had drawn four of their past five games going into Sunday's match at the Vitality Stadium.
But Jefferson Lerma's own goal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's eighth strike of the season secured their fourth Premier League away win of the campaign - equalling their tally for the whole of last season - and moved them to within one point of the top four.
"We've not lost for 17 matches but we've drawn some and that is not enough for us," said Emery. "We spoke in the week about how important today was.
"We are happy and before the match we knew it would be a difficult match and that we needed to win today to be near the top four. Bournemouth were four points behind us and could have been near our position with a win."
After beginning the weekend in sixth, Bournemouth drop two places to eighth and have now lost their past three league matches.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe felt key moments went against his side, particularly when David Brooks saw his early strike disallowed for offside and Lerma hit the post late on.
"We're disappointed with the result - we felt we were very much in that game, but we were on the wrong end of some decisions," said Howe. "I've not seen it, but I'm told the David Brooks [disallowed] goal was onside and the luck was just missing for us - such as Jefferson Lerma's shot hitting the post.
"My players gave everything. We started the game brightly and Arsenal came back into it, but you won't see something like their first goal again. Jefferson stuck his leg out and it went in - that was the sort of luck which went against us."
Aubameyang the hero again
That run of dropping points in four of their past five games had reduced some of the excitement generated during the early weeks of manager Emery's reign.
But this impressive performance, against a side which began the day just four points behind the Gunners, will raise hopes among supporters that they can sustain a top-four challenge this season.
With Alexandre Lacazette ruled out with a groin injury, Emery switched formation to a back three, with Aubameyang the lone striker.
The Gabon international responded by netting again and moving to the top of the Premier League scoring charts alongside Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.
To further highlight his importance to the side, Aubameyang has now been directly involved in 23 goals in 26 league appearances since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January.
The 29-year-old was ably supported on this occasion by Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with 14 of the Gunners' 20 shots at goal coming from those three players.
The formation change also allowed Sead Kolasinac to be a constant threat down the Arsenal left, with the Bosnia-Herzegovina international having a hand in both goals.
Bournemouth momentum stalling
Bournemouth have enjoyed a brilliant season so far but this loss made it three straight defeats - more than they had suffered in the opening 10 games of the campaign.
They were second best for much of this match, but manager Eddie Howe can point to two key moments of misfortune.
Brooks' disallowed goal will leave the Cherries rueing the lack of video assistant referee (VAR), which is being introduced in the Premier League from next term, while there was also little a manager could do to legislate for a spectacular own goal - Lerma's thunderous finish as he stretched to cut out Kolasinac's pass giving Begovic no chance.
Despite those key incidents going against them, Howe's side demonstrated considerable spirit to level before half-time thanks to a fine finish from Joshua King, fit again after four games out with an ankle injury.
And after falling behind once more in the second half they were unlucky not to equalise when Lerma's long-range strike hit the post late on.
Despite the disappointment, the team have made huge strides this season - they had to wait until the end of December last term to reach their current tally of 20 points.
However, with games against Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United before the end of the year, Howe faces a real challenge if he is to sustain Bournemouth's top-six challenge into 2019.
Man of the match - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
What they said - 'the luck was against us'
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "If you look at the two goals we conceded, an own goal and the winning goal, for all Arsenal's good play the game could have gone any way."
On Arsenal's winning goal: "I don't think the players individually would say they switched off, but as a team we didn't look alert and we paid the price for that. It's really important that the players don't lose confidence and we have to try and respond next week."
Arsenal boss Unai Emery: "In 90 minutes we deserved to win. We worked with the system sometimes, it's another possibility and we spoke in the dressing room about how we can be better and control matches. But we have won with another system and we can also do that.
"Bournemouth pushed a lot but I'm very happy with every player and how they worked and it's good for next week. We are going to play another match against a top team like Tottenham."
Arsenal march on - the stats
- After losing just two of their opening 10 games in the Premier League this season (W6 D2), Bournemouth have lost their past three in a row.
- Arsenal have already won as many Premier League away games this season (four of six) as they did in the whole of the 2017-18 campaign (four of 19).
- Bournemouth have lost back-to-back home games in the league for the first time since August 2017, when they lost their first two of the 2017-18 campaign.
- Arsenal are one of only two teams yet to lead at half-time in a Premier League game this term (alongside Cardiff) - though they have gone on to win eight of those 13 fixtures.
- Bournemouth striker Josh King scored his 35th goal in the Premier League, 10 more than the player with the next most for the Cherries (Callum Wilson with 25).
- Since being promoted to the Premier League in 2015, only Swansea (12) have scored more own goals in the competition than Bournemouth's seven.
Arsenal travel to Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on Thursday (17:55 GMT kick-off) before hosting Tottenham in the north London derby in the Premier League next Sunday (14:05).
Next up for Bournemouth is a trip to Etihad Stadium to play champions Manchester City next Saturday (15:00).
- 3S Cook
- 5AkéBooked at 52mins
- 20BrooksSubstituted forStanislasat 73'minutes
- 4GoslingSubstituted forL Cookat 73'minutes
- 8LermaBooked at 66mins
- 17KingSubstituted forMoussetat 82'minutes
- 16L Cook
- 5PapastathopoulosBooked at 25mins
- 11TorreiraSubstituted forGuendouziat 79'minutes
- 17IwobiSubstituted forRamseyat 82'minutes
- 14AubameyangSubstituted forNketiahat 90+4'minutes
- Craig Pawson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Bournemouth 1, Arsenal 2.
Attempt missed. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.
Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal).
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah replaces Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathan Aké.
Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Lys Mousset (Bournemouth).
Attempt missed. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Bernd Leno.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Shkodran Mustafi.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) because of an injury.
Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Junior Stanislas.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Lys Mousset replaces Joshua King.
Substitution, Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey replaces Alex Iwobi.
Attempt missed. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Attempt saved. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Charlie Daniels with a cross.
Substitution, Arsenal. Matteo Guendouzi replaces Lucas Torreira.
Attempt missed. Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Rob Holding.
Attempt blocked. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Simon Francis.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Lewis Cook replaces Dan Gosling.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Junior Stanislas replaces David Brooks.
Foul by Alex Iwobi (Arsenal).
Simon Francis (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jefferson Lerma.
Attempt blocked. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Alex Iwobi.
Attempt missed. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following a fast break.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Sokratis.
Foul by Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).
Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Bournemouth 1, Arsenal 2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sead Kolasinac.
Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth).
Attempt saved. David Brooks (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joshua King.
Attempt missed. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.