Bournemouth v Arsenal

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The Breakdown

Analysis: Bad decisions so costly at Bournemouth

We conceded two goals in five second-half minutes as we slipped to another defeat on the road at Bournemouth on Sunday.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke examines the match in detail, focusing on:

  • How Bournemouth's players were able get between markers
  • The enterprising interplay between Xhaka and Wilshere
  • How individual errors cost us dear
  • How the Cherries equaliser changed the entire game

Click the 'Play' button to watch the The Breakdown and then check out the following:

  • Read the match report from the Vitality Stadium
  • See what the boss had to say about the Alexis situation
  • Find out what Petr Cech had to say about the defeat

 

 

Second-half goals from Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe consigned us to defeat at Bournemouth on Sunday.

After the match, Arsène Wenger spoke to Arsenal Player. Here’s what he said:

on whether it’s especially disappointing after taking the lead…
Yes, exactly. We made mistakes that were not even forced by their qualities, just because we made bad decisions. Overall, it’s very frustrating that we come out down from the stand and wonder how did we lose this game. I don’t really know how. Being harsh, I would say we gave the game away today with mistakes. It was not attitude, because our attitude was spot on. The players had good focus and as well, being objective, we didn’t create enough on that front.

on what concerns him more out of defensive mistakes or a lack of creativity…
Both boxes. I would say on the creative side we were not sharp enough. I am surprised by the kind of mistakes we made today. It’s very unusual and very difficult to explain. 

on what the team need to do to turn things around…
I think we need to give more, push ourselves even more and get some experienced players back at the back. We make too many naive mistakes. That is urgent, as well that we strengthen our offensive power. At the moment we have a lot of the ball, but we didn’t create enough in the final third. 

on Alexis…
He’s a bit on standby, he could move out or not. I don’t know really how the situation goes now. That’s why it was very difficult for him. He’s in a mode where he doesn’t know what’s happening to him. That’s why I decided to leave him out, because he could have moved today, or not. I didn’t want to come down with him here travelling away from the team.

on any incomings…
We cannot let the players go and not strengthen our squad. We have seen that today. It’s important that first of all, we get the players who are injured back and as well that we get some more offensive power in.

on if that could be soon…
It’s difficult always to say if it’s soon or not, but it has to be done. 

Press conference

'We made mistakes and didn't create enough'

The boss bemoaned shortcomings at both ends of the pitch, after witnessing Bournemouth's comeback win on Sunday afternoon.

The manager spoke to the media after our 2-1 defeat, when he outlined what went wrong on the south coast, as well discussing Alexandre Lacazette's form and the current team spirit.

on the performance…
I feel overall physically it was a tough game for us. We made it most difficult and after that we were 1-0 up. We made two very surprising mistakes that were not even forced errors, it was just a lack of decision-making and overall you come out of the game thinking: how did we lose the game? That was it basically, but by being very harsh I would say as well that we have not created enough with the possession we had. We looked a bit lacklustre in the final third, not sharp enough to create chances and that’s why as well when you are 1-0 up normally you should create more to be dangerous and we paid for that. It was a combination of the two which made us pay a heavy price.

on whether it was frustrating…
Yes of course it’s frustrating. It’s very frustrating and very disappointing result for us, especially when you are 1-0 up and we made mistakes in areas where you wonder where they come from.

on whether Lacazette is short on confidence…
That’s inevitable, with what happens when you don’t score you look a little bit like that.

on whether he is concerned with the team spirit…
I am not concerned about the spirit, I am concerned about the fact that when it matters we are not dangerous enough, we are not sound enough at the back. Where it matters is in your box and where it matters is in the final third, offensively we didn’t look dangerous enough today.

Post-Match Report

Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal: How it happened

What Happened

Despite taking the lead at the Vitality Stadium, we suffered defeat on the south coast to make it five games without a win.

Hector Bellerin seemed to have put the Gunners in control early in the second half, but the hosts hit back with two goals in five minutes.

All the drama came after the interval, the first half was light on clear-cut chances for both sides.

The closest we came in the opening 45 minutes was when Ainsley Maitland-Niles struck the crossbar on 15 minutes. The ball fell to him alone in the area, and after taking a couple of touches to work the shooting opportunity, he bent a right-footed effort which deflected off the bar and away.

Alex Iwobi saw an effort from 20 yards pushed away for a corner as the Gunners, without the attacking flair of either Alexis or Mesut Ozil, looked to take the game to the relegation-threatened hosts.

Bournemouth were well in the game themselves, and were presented with an excellent chance when Maitland-Niles inexplicably passed the ball straight to Jordon Ibe on halfway line. Fortunately for Arsenal though, the winger lost control when bursting into the box.

Danny Welbeck had an effort saved at close range by Asmir Begovic, and Lacazette was unable to control the follow up, but it was Bournemouth who ended the first half in the ascendancy.

Calum Chambers made a superb diving block to deny Dan Gosling inside the area. Bournemouth were hardly playing like a side with just one win from their previous 12 games.

But early in the second half the advancing Bellerin made the breakthrough. Iwobi released the right wing back with an early pass, and although Begovic  got something on the shot, he couldn't stop it from squirming over the line.

Bournemouth heads didn't drop though, and they continued to press forward. They got their reward when Callum Wilson nipped in between defender and goalkeeper to get his toe on a right-wing cross.

It went from bad to worse just seconds after an Arsenal substitution. Aaron Ramsey came on as we moved to a back four, and the Welshman hadn't touched the ball before Bournemouth went ahead. Ibe smashed home down the middle of the goal from a Wilson knockdown.

We were unable to work Begovic after that, as we suffered another disappointing away day in the Premier League.

What it Means

We stay in sixth place in the Premier League, five points behind Tottenham above us, with 15 games remaining. Arsène Wenger's men are still without a win in 2018.

What's Next

It's a rare midweek off for the Gunners - the first for two months - and we return to action with a home game against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, on Saturday at 3pm. That will be followed by the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea, also at Emirates Stadium, four days later.

Welbeck watch

With Alexis absent, and Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud still injured, a lot of the attacking onus fell onto England forward Danny Welbeck. Here are some of his best moments. 

35 - Welbeck Linked up well with Lacazette, ran onto a through ball and stabbed a first time shot, which Asmir Begovic saved well, racing off his line.

44 - Welbeck was dispossessed on the edge of the area by Steve Cook, just when it looked like the chance was opening up for him at the end of the first half.

47 - Welbeck swapped passes with Iwobi outside the area, and fed the ball to Hector Bellerin out wide, but the move broke down.

67 - His tenacity and hard work started another attack, when he won the ball before finding Lacazette.

69 - Welbeck is flagged just offside after running onto a Wilshere pass. 

79 - He sets up Aaron Ramsey just inside in the area after a couple of stepovers, but the Welshman couldn't get the ball under control

We fell to a 2-1 loss at the Vitality Stadium, despite Hector Bellerin’s opening strike.

The Spain international raced in shortly after the break to give us the lead, only for Bournemouth to hit back through Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe.

Click on the video above to watch the highlights or on the video below to watch our bitesize highlights.

 

Press conference

Wenger - Why I didn't select Alexis

The boss revealed his reasons for leaving Alexis out of the matchday squad for the trip to Bournemouth, when he spoke to the media after the game.

Arsène Wenger gave the latest on the transfer speculation surrounding the Chilean, and answered questions on possible new signings.

Read the transcript from his post-match press conference below

on whether he can afford to lose Alexis…
Look, if Alexis goes we need to replace him. When you look today we missed many players in our squad and you see that we have a weight in the team, and if players like Alexis go, we have of course to respond to it. Will he go or not? I do not know, but at the moment it’s the transfer period and in this kind of period you try to use the players that are completely focused at being at the club.

on whether he feels Alexis will go…
I don’t master the rhythm of that, but it could happen today or tomorrow, or not at all, that’s why I didn’t take a decision. I didn’t want to travel with him and suddenly he goes somewhere.

on whether Ozil didn’t travel for the same reason…
No, Mesut is injured.

on whether the rest of the team needs to step up and work harder…
I don’t think we didn’t work hard, we have come out of the Chelsea game where we gave a lot, we worked hard. We worked hard today, but we made mistakes and I wouldn't say the team hasn't worked or not played with a good spirit. They were focused and the attitude is one thing, but at that level it is a combination of quality and attitude, and today I question more the quality of what we have created, than the attitude of the players. The attitude of the players was strong.

on whether he needs the Alexis situation to be resolved…
Maybe, we would not need it at all. That’s basically what it is. I believe that when I arrived in England it [the transfer market] was open until April, from the first two days, I think how you keep it like that, how you close it completely during the season.

on whether he has been assured that Alexis will be replaced if he leaves…
Yes.

on what the situation is with Malcom…
No, nothing is concrete there.

on whether he is a player he is trying to get…
It’s better I would not come out on any specific name.

on whether Alexis didn’t want to play…
No, I didn’t say that. Alexis would have played, but it’s a difficult period for him. He has always been committed until now, but he could have moved yesterday, today or not at all. It will be decided in the next 48 hours, it was a bit different for him because he was on standby a little bit, that’s why I decided not to do it. He did not refuse to play.

Interview

Cech on what went wrong at Bournemouth

We looked in control midway through the second half at Bournemouth.

Hector Bellerin’s 52nd-minute opener had given us the lead - but then the hosts turned the game around with two goals in the space of four minutes. 

After the match, Petr Cech spoke to the media to discuss what went wrong:

on how we lost…
It’s disappointing because I thought for most of the game, we did really well. In the second half, we obviously needed to score the first goal, because the game was very tight. They tried to press us all over the pitch and did really well with that in the first half. In the second half, we knew that if we kept going, we could find the goal, which in the end we found. After the goal, I thought we [had] more possession, started controlling the game more and that’s when we conceded two goals. That’s disappointing because when we were put under pressure in the first half, we did better.

on how disappointing the goals were…
Obviously the first one I’m disappointed with because I thought I was going to cut the cross on time. Wilson arrived faster in front of me. It’s a matter of split seconds but I think I should have done better on that. The second one had an element of luck. It was a good long ball behind but it was everybody’s ball and it fell right in front of the player and he managed to shoot it very hard and squeeze it through my body. In that one, we were a bit unlucky. They rode their luck, they worked very hard all day and in the end, they got a big reward.

on Lacazette being without a goal in nine - and why that is…
At the start of the season, he played well and scored goals, which was really good for his confidence. You have games where you don’t score, it happens for every striker and it’s a moment where you have to keep working and hope that the luck changes. He keeps working and I believe that, with his quality, his luck will change.

on a difficult spell for Arsenal without a win in five…
The situation becomes very dangerous for us because we want to be in the top four at least. When you lose games like we have so far this season away from home, where we were in a position to win, you leave yourself a mountain to climb. With every game comes a bit more pressure, so hopefully we will manage to get the ready for the next one, win it and kick from there.

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