Victory for Arsenal as they ended their year on a high beating AFC Bournemouth 2-0 at the Emirates. Goals from Gabriel and Ozil were enough to guarantee the Gunners a comfortable win and a spot on top of the league table.
We take a look at the talking points from the encounter:
A convincing victory at home was enough to put their nightmare result at St. Mary’s behind them. Wenger made four changes in crucial positions where they lost out to Southampton in the weekend. Starting Gabriel ahead of Koscielny proved to be the gamechanger for Arsene Wenger’s men. Quick counter attacks with the help of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pace gifted Ozil his goal. The victory also proves that Arsenal have depth to deal with a difficult run of fixtures.
Only two changes were made by Eddie Howe for today’s game, meant that Bournemouth had too many heavy legs playing two fixtures in a little more than two days. Josh King was brought in to exploit the lack of pace in the Arsenal back four but Gabriel dealt with him effectively. Junior Stanislas was truely missed in the first half and could do little in the second after Arsenal went two up.
The absence of Mathieu Flamini provided Chambers only his second start to a Premier League game this season but he played the holding midfield role with ease. He never looked uncomfortable on the ball and after the half an hour mark he started to break every Bournemouth play in Arsenal’s half. The young Englishman formed an excellent partnership with Aaron Ramsey.
An energetic second half from Bournemouth saw them creating a couple of chances even after being two down but they never came too close to scoring. All the pressure was magnificently soaked in by Gabriel and Cech but Bournemouth had a good all round play in the Arsenal half in the final thirty minutes and they can take plenty of positives from their recent run of fixtures including this one.
Another Game and another assist for Ozil is not something new for the Gunners faithful these days. Along with the assist, he scored a goal off Giroud’s fine flick. Ozil has been pulling the strings of Arsenal’s attack all season and the assist was his sixteenth of the season, a Premier League record at this stage of the season with half of the campaign still left.
For now the excellent performance by the German puts Arsenal at the top of the league table.