Arsenal come from three down to grab draw with Bournemouth

Published 04/01/17

Arsenal launched a stunning fightback in the final 20 minutes to come from three goals down and rescue a point from their Premier League clash with 10-man Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this evening.

The hosts looked to be home and dry having taken a surprising but deserved three-goal lead through goals from Charlie Daniels, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser in a one-sided opening hour.

However, Arsenal fought back dramatically in the final 20 minutes as Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud staged a thrilling late comeback to prevent the Gunners from falling to a third consecutive away defeat.

Bournemouth, who began the match seven places better off than at the same stage last season, made a bright start to proceedings when Joshua King - one of three changes to Eddie Howe's side - fired narrowly wide of the target after just five minutes.

Petr Cech was called into action for the first time shortly afterwards when he held a powerful effort from Junior Stanislas, and the Arsenal keeper was soon the subject of a penalty claim when he brought down Wilson, although the replays showed that he got a crucial hand on the ball first

Arsenal were punished for their slow start to the match in the 17th minute, though, as Daniels collected a pass from Stanislas inside the area before cutting inside Hector Bellerin and slotting his finish past Cech.

It was Bournemouth's first ever home goal against the Gunners and only their second overall, but it took just three minutes for them to double their tally on the night as Arsenal's lacklustre start went from bad to worse.

Bournemouth broke quickly following a poor free kick from Granit Xhaka, and it was the Arsenal midfielder who gave away the penalty while tracking back, barging into Fraser just inside the penalty. Wilson stepped up to take the spot kick and, just as he did in the reverse fixture, rolled his finish past Cech from 12 yards.

Arsenal finally had their first shot of the game midway through the half when Sanchez fired one high and wide, but their miserable performance got even worse shortly afterwards when Francis Coquelin was forced off with a hamstring injury.

The closest the visitors came to a goal in the first half, or indeed a shot on target, arrived just before the half-hour mark when Aaron Ramsey collected a pass from Sanchez before firing a shot on the turn just wide.

Arsene Wenger's side did create another good chance with just under five minutes to go until half time when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled the ball back for Alex Iwobi, but Simon Francis did enough to put the Arsenal man off as he skewed his finish wide.

Bournemouth were worthy of their lead, though, and they almost added a third in first-half stoppage time when Stanislas wrapped his foot around the ball and curled a 25-yard effort narrowly past the post.

The Cherries did have the ball in the back of the net for a third time 10 minutes after half time when Harry Arter's powerful strike hit Wilson on its way in, but referee Michael Oliver ruled that the ball had struck the Bournemouth's striker's hand.

It would not be long until the third goal did arrive, though, as Fraser seemingly put the hosts out of reach by barging Bellerin off the ball before cutting inside and sneaking his finish between the legs of Cech from a tight angle.

Howe's side did not seem ready to settle for just the three goals, though, and Cech was needed once again shortly past the hour mark when Stanislas's free kick almost crept inside the post.

However, after a disappointing display in the opening 70 minutes Arsenal suddenly launched their comeback in the final 20, with Sanchez setting them on their way with a diving header from close range - Arsenal's first shot on target of the night.

It would not be their last, though, and having claimed an assist for his side's first goal, Giroud was once again the creator five minutes later when he flicked the ball into the path of Lucas, who thumped an exquisite first-time volley into the far corner for his first Premier League goal.

Bournemouth had the chance to kill off the fightback and seal their first ever victory over Arsenal with eight minutes remaining when Dan Gosling found himself unmarked inside the penalty area, only to curl his finish wide of the top corner.

If that miss was a blow, the hosts suffered an even bigger one just seconds later when Francis was shown a straight red card for a crunching challenge on Ramsey, leaving Howe's side to see the game out with just 10 men.

They were unable to do that, though, and Giroud once again wrote the headlines just two days after his scorpion goal when he glanced Xhaka's cross into the bottom corner to restore parity and seal the memorable comeback two minutes into stoppage time.

That goal suddenly sparked Bournemouth back into life, though, and there was almost another twist in the tale late on when Cech was forced to beat away a thumping Arter effort at his near post.

Ultimately, though, the spoils were shared in the most dramatic of circumstances and, while it may have felt like a defeat for the hosts, they were left with their first ever point against Arsenal.

The Gunners, meanwhile, will undoubtedly be pleased with the draw under the circumstances but miss the chance to move third in the Premier League table and could now fall 11 points behind Chelsea if the leaders beat Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night. Should Tottenham win, though, then Arsenal would drop out of the top four.

Our Preferred Social Media Groups Are Listed Below

Recent Arsenal Daily News