Arsenal mounted a dramatic comeback to snatch a point from Bournemouth after trailing by 3 goals
Bournemouth quickly took the lead after some slack defending from Arsenal let Charlie Daniels make a run into the box completely unmarked, and the defender turned Hector Bellerin with ease before slotting the ball home.
Arsenal quickly found themselves 2-0 down after a needless shove in the back on Ryan Fraser from Granit Xhaka gave Bournemouth a penalty, which Callum Wilson duly dispatched.
Ryan Fraser added another goal in the second half after some more poor defending from Hector Bellerin, before Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring for Arsenal after a flick on from Giroud. Lucas Perez then scored a brilliant goal – from yet another Giroud flick – before the Frenchman himself leveled the scores in stoppage time.
The game was not without drama, as Simon Francis was sent off in the 82nd minute for a reckless challenge on Aaron Ramsey. Bournemouth still managed to hold on for a draw and Arsenal will be disappointed to have dropped points in a game they should have won.
Arsene Wenger was still pleased with his team’s resilience after the game, but did admit that he was disappointed with the result.
“It was a mental test, but we succeeded because we have a great resilience in the team and great mental strength and that came out. In the end you are even frustrated not to win the game. We missed some opportunities in the end,” he said, according to the club’s official website.
“A corner into the hands of the goalkeeper, instead of taking an in-swinger we should’ve taken an out-swinger, these are the details that you have to keep composure and play until the last minute. That’s down to keeping your head cool.”
Wenger also bemoaned the lack of rest afforded to his team as compared to that of their opponents, and called for equal rest for teams in situations like this. When asked whether the result would have been different if Arsenal were given more time to recuperate after the game against Crystal Palace, Wenger had this to say.
“Look, I am ready to play tomorrow again as long as we play against an opponent who has played today as well. That is what I call fair. All the rest, we have to play when we are told to play but we want to play against a team with the same time of rest and preparation that we have.”
The result means that a victory for Tottenham Hotspur – who face Chelsea later tonight – will see them jump above Arsenal by one points. Should Chelsea win, it will extend their lead over the Gunners to 11 points. Despite the dramatic comeback, there is no doubt that this is a disappointing result for Arsenal.