David Luiz scored the only goal as Arsenal edged past Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium to move up to third in the Premier League. Luiz glanced home Nicolas Pepe’s ninth-minute corner for his first goal since his summer arrival from Chelsea. Bournemouth improved after the break and went close through Callum Wilson, but they rarely troubled Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal. The Gunners move above Leicester, Burnley and Crystal Palace with the win, while Bournemouth stay 10th. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went close in the opening stages and hit the post late on, but those opportunities bookended a game of few chances.
Bournemouth offered little as an attacking threat, but with Arsenal unable to kill the game off they were able to apply some pressure in the closing stages. Only a last-ditch tackle from Matteo Guendouzi prevented Joshua King from converting a low cross by Callum Wilson, who also fired straight at Leno in stoppage time. Though they were far from their best, a fourth win of the season means Arsenal go into the international break in the Champions League places having lost just once in eight league games. But while Unai Emery must be pleased with the way his side battled to the win, he will know there is still room for improvement, with a failure to score a second goal meaning this game was a lot closer than it could have been after their first-half performance.
Emery’s side began brightly and went close inside the opening five minutes when Aubameyang fired just wide from the edge of the penalty area after good work by Dani Ceballos and Bukayo Saka. They did not have to wait much longer to open the scoring, however, with Pepe’s corner from the right finding Luiz at the near post, and his flicked header went beyond Aaron Ramsdale into the far corner. Arsenal thought they had decent claims for a penalty when Pepe went down under a challenge by Diego Rico, but Martin Atkinson waved away the appeals, with his decision upheld following a VAR check.