Bournemouth v Arsenal

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Post-Match Report

Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal: How it happened

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

AFC Bournemouth -

Vitality Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  AFC Bournemouth
      
              J. King (45)
          
   crest
AFC Bournemouth
J. King (45)
1 2
  Arsenal
      
                  J. Lerma (30 og)
                   Aubameyang (67)
            
   crest
Arsenal
J. Lerma (30 og)
Aubameyang (67)

WHAT HAPPENED

 
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 10th goal of the season made the difference as we moved to within a point of the top four with our first win in four games.
 
Alex Iwobi’s fabulous pass set up Sead Kolasinac for a low cross that Aubameyang converted from close range to clinch a hard-fought win.
 
Bournemouth, in Unai Emery’s words, have “played with joy” this season and they were certainly the livelier side in the early stages.
 
David Brooks had a goal ruled out for offside and we were indebted to Sokratis for a couple of timely interventions - the Greece defender back in side as a part of a back three.
 
Lucas Torreira seized on a careless pass to advance and fire a shot against the post, but we were mostly up against it until an eye-catching own goal gave us the lead.
 
Kolasinac got forward on the left and clipped a pass towards Aubameyang inside the box. It never reached him - Jefferson Lerma got there first and inadvertently
slammed the ball past Asmir Begovic.

Auba hair GIF

Auba scored his 10th goal of the season

 
That prompted a spell of dominance for us, and Iwobi tested Begovic with a curler. But Bournemouth - aggrieved to be behind after their strong start - equalised against the run of play on the stroke of half-time.
 
It was hugely frustrating for us. One moment we were camped in the Bournemouth box, the next Josh King was sweeping a shot past Bernd Leno.
 
That first half-time lead of the season remains elusive but, not for the first time, we did the business in the second half.
 
Henrikh Mkhitaryan set up a decent chance for Aubameyang with a precise pass through the centre, but the Gabon striker leant back as he shot and cleared the crossbar.
 
Our top scorer persevered - and he took his next chance.
 
This time Iwobi dissected the Bournemouth defence and Kolasinac’s low cross was perfectly weighted for Aubameyang to poke the ball into the net.
 
Mkhitaryan could have sealed the points when he was set up by Aubameyang on the break, and we were almost pegged back when Lerma smashed a late shot against the post.
 
Fortunately for us, his first-half finish was just a bit more accurate.

Auba Sunday stat

Auba Sunday stat

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

 
See how our trip to the south coast unfolded with our play-by-play commentary.

 

ANALYSIS

 

Auba's persistence, Tank on a roll, three at the back, and Iwobi v Ozil

WHAT IT MEANS

 

Premier League table, November 25

Premier League table, November 25

 
 

THREE AT THE BACK 

Unai Emery changed our formation for our first game since the international break.
 
Sokratis came back into the side but, instead of replacing Rob Holding or Shkodran Mustafi, the Greece defender was the central man in a back three.
 
That gave Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac more freedom to get forward on the flanks, and it meant Mesut Ozil had to settle for a place on the bench.
 
Alex Lacazette was left out as a precaution with a tight groin, so Aubameyang started up front.

WHAT’S NEXT
 

It’s back to the Europa League on Thursday with a trip to Ukraine to face Vorskla Poltava.
 
Then it’s the big one - the north London derby against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium.

Video

Thou shall not pass: the best of Sokratis

Tackles: 2. Tackles won: 2. Clearances: 9. Aerial duels won: 100 per cent.

Sokratis was back at the heart of our defence on Sunday as we beat Bournemouth, and he was in imperious form at the back.

Click the ‘Play’ button above to watch the Greek defender’s best moments.

Goals

Watch the goals from our win over Bournemouth

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner as we beat Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

After Josh King’s strike had cancelled out Jefferson Lerma’s own goal, Aubameyang stretched to poke Sead Kolasinac’s cross home with 20 minutes to go, extending our unbeaten run to 17 games.

Click ‘Play’ on the video above to watch our highlights package and then don’t forget to check out more clips below:

 

Interview

'We're at 70-80 per cent of our potential'

Sokratis

Heading into a week that ends with a north London derby, it was vital that we build up momentum again after the international break.

We did that with a hard-fought win against Bournemouth on Sunday, and Sokratis - who was in fine form at the Vitality Stadium - feels that we are developing well as a team.

"We are around 70-80 per cent [of our potential]," the Greek defender said. "We need to improve sometimes to not lose the ball or when we have the ball to finish the action and score.

"That is the difference, we need to improve and we know this. We work every day and I am happy that I am part of a team that works very good together.

"We have confidence [we can get into the top four] but it is not easy. Next week is very important, it is good that we didn't lose points because we go full of confidence and we will see.

"Of course we need to improve, of course we would like to put Arsenal in the top teams in the Premier League – we try every day for this.

"It will be difficult against Tottenham. You have a lot of games, everything gets changed – a lot of players. It is difficult but what can I say? For now we are not bad, we are good.

"It will be a very important game - but I don't think it is a game that can give you the Champions League. For example, if we win against Tottenham and lose some other games, it is the same thing.

"For me, it is very important that in every game we look different, we go for the win in every game and in the end we will see how it is going. But of course Tottenham is a very important game."

Press conference

Emery press conference: every single word

Emery

Unai Emery dissected our performance against Bournemouth when he faced the media shortly after our 2-1 win at Vitality Stadium.

Here’s what the head coach said about the result, the talking points and his tactical decisions.

on securing all three points…
The result is very important, but we spoke in the dressing room at half-time after they’d scored and the process is in our mentality also. The result is very important and we went up 1-0, but they scored so we needed to keep calm and continue our control, which is getting better on the pitch.

I think we knew this was a difficult stadium and a difficult team, and they were four points behind us, and it was an important game for them to be near us. I am very happy with how the players and fans supported and pushed us today. The control over the 90 minutes with keeping calm in a lot of moments was very important in this victory.

on returning to winning ways…
Today is 17 matches unbeaten, but in the last three matches we drew and it is not enough for us, for our mind, for our objective - and today, to win, we were speaking during the week about how important it was to win, and that it is very difficult. It was a big moment for us.

We have lots of matches coming, and we are playing teams with the same objective as us. I think the team spirit today and the supporters helped us to feel more strong.

on Ozil starting from the bench…
We thought how we can be better in the match today which is very demanding with the physicality and the intensity - but every player is important. Also today we tried with three centre backs like we’ve done at some stages this season and it’s another possibility for us to improve and find our best performance.

on when he would have brought Ozil on…
It depends how it is coming the match, how it is coming in the 90 minutes, and I decided for another option. In the beginning of the season we were speaking every day about being organised and competitive - and it’s the same today.

on Auba playing in a central role…
Yesterday Lacazette felt a small injury and also we need Aubameyang and Nketiah. Today the most important thing for us is that not only did Aubameyang score for us, he was also working in the 90 minutes. He helped us in all the things, the tactical moments and the defensive moments. 

on whether Torreira is injured...
He said to us that he was a little tired and that there was a possibility. He was giving us good balance but also we have to be clever because he played with the national team for two matches and sometimes you need to listen to the player when they sometimes need rest. Matteo is working very well and also I think we need every player. This change was because we need to give him a rest.

on why he played three at the back…
We played like that in pre-season and in Qarabag, and it was an opportunity for us to find our best performance, best system and best combinations. For example today there was Sead Kolasinac and Alex Iwobi which is a very interesting combination. Also when we are pushing with Hector Bellerin wide we need some players for balance. The most important thing for us is finding balance in the defensive moments because we are conceding more goals than we want, but we don’t want to lose our good performances in attacking moments with scoring and the players performances. But we need to improve and we need to do more.

on whether he will rotate in Ukraine…
For us the Europa League is very important. We want to finish first in the group. It’s a long travel and suddenly after we will play Tottenham, but I want to give the team rest for the competition. We are going to think for Thursday’s game. We are going to decide on Tuesday how we can prepare better to win there and then think about Saturday.