Arsenal scored twice in 88 first-half seconds to overwhelm Bournemouth and move level on points with second-placed Tottenham. Mesut Ozil lashed the ball home from 12 yards for the Gunners’ opener, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drifted in from the right and scored with a low shot. Bournemouth played some slick football at times and had more attempts at goal, but their finishing was poor. Matt Ritchie was the chief culprit, with none of his five shots on target. For Arsenal, who had not won in the league since 3 January, the relief was clear. They controlled the game with early possession before catching Bournemouth with a pair of swift strikes which rendered the contest a foregone conclusion.
Ozil set the Gunners on their way with a powerful shot after Olivier Giroud had headed Aaron Ramsey’s long pass into the German’s feet. And Arsene Wenger’s pre-match assertion that Oxlade-Chamberlain was in form and would offer good balance on the right proved prophetic when the winger came inside and his low shot went in via the far post. Again, Ramsey had a hand in the goal – the Welshman pulling the strings for the Gunners and giving Bournemouth a lesson in turning some eye-catching moves into ruthless attacks. Despite chasing the game in the second half, it took until stoppage time for Bournemouth to test Petr Cech, when the Arsenal keeper made a fine double save to deny Steve Cook and Harry Arter from low shots. Until then, it had been a succession of wayward pops at goal and intricate, but not incisive, approach play.
Arsenal are unbeaten in 23 fixtures against newly-promoted sides, winning 19 and drawing four. Mesut Ozil has now scored in both Premier League matches versus Bournemouth this season with both goals having been assisted by Olivier Giroud. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first Premier League goal in 38 appearances. It was his first goal involvement in 26 Premier League games. The Gunners move into 3rd place with 48 points, same as 2nd place Tottenham who have a better goal difference, and 5 points behind leaders Leicester City.