Arsenal came back from 3-0 down to rescue an inspirational 3-3 draw in the final twenty minutes against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. The Gunners saw themselves 2-0 down in the opening twenty minutes after a goal from Charlie Daniels and a penalty from Callum Wilson after Granit Xhaka fouled Ryan Fraser in the box.
The Gunners started the second-half much better and went in search for a route back into the game but it was Bournemouth who found the third goal through Ryan Fraser, after beating Hector Bellerin and then coolly sliding the ball between Petr Cech’s legs to put the home side 3-0 up with just over half an hour left.
What happened next was quite sensational. Alexis Sanchez headed in from close range with twenty minutes remaining to pull the score back to 3-1. Shortly after, Lucas Perez grabbed his first Premier League goal for the club with a stunning volley from an acute angle to make it 3-2, with just little of fifteen minutes remaining. Bournemouth captain Simon Francis was then given a straight red card for a bad challenge on Aaron Ramsey. All before Olivier Giroud completed the Arsenal comeback in the 91st minute.
The draw still sees Arsenal eight points off first place Chelsea, who travel to fifth-place Spurs on Wednesday night. Here are the player ratings from a roller coaster night on the south coast…
Petr Cech: 5.5/10
Hardly at fault for all three of Bournemouth’s goals, though could of maybe done better in saving Fraser’s goal. Made some key saves though when score was at 3-0, including a big save to deny Arter at the end with the score at 3-3.
Hector Bellerin: 3/10
Possibly one of the worst games the Spaniard has had for the club, as he endured a difficult evening at the Vitality. At fault for Daniels’ opening goal, with some slack marking letting the Bournemouth man roam free. Followed by some very weak defending when leading to Fraser’s goal – though one could argue he was fouled by the Bournemouth man. In general, a bad night for one of Arsenal’s stand-out performers this season.
Laurent Koscielny: 5.5/10
A very tricky evening for the Arsenal captain on the south coast. Wilson caused both him and Mustafi a lot of problems all night. Though he was not directly at fault for any of the goals, he struggled to organise, what is normally a resolute defence. Was taken off with half an hour to go, not thought to be anything serious, though.
Shkodran Mustafi: 5/10
Like Koscielny, a very tough evening for the German on his return to the first-team after a month out after a hamstring injury. Passing was panicky and struggled to get to grips with the pace of the game at times. Looked very rusty at the back, and wasn’t his normal reliable self.
Nacho Monreal: 5.5/10
Not a good night at all for the Arsenal back line. Monreal struggled at times against the pace of the Bournemouth frontline, as their right-hand side caused all kinds of problems for Monreal as Sanchez failed to track back. Though became influential when chasing the game, as Bournemouth begun to tire.
Francis Coquelin: 4/10
Came off after Bournemouth’s second with what looked like a hamstring injury. Struggled to get into the game in the opening exchanges, was getting outran in midfield as Arter and Gosling dominated the midfield battles throughout the first half. Chamberlain came on in place of the Frenchman.
Granit Xhaka: 4.5/10
A poor night by the Swiss’ standards. He gave away the penalty for Bournemouth’s second goal with a silly push on Fraser, when he seemed to be going nowhere. His passing was out of sorts too as he like, the rest of the team, were being outrun by Bournemouth. Though, brilliant cross for Giroud’s equaliser. In general, a very poor night by Xhaka’s recent standards.
Aaron Ramsey: 4.5/10
Like the rest of the midfield, Ramsey was outrun by Bournemouth’s energetic players. The Welshman struggled to get into the game all evening as he started in the ‘number 10’ role. Though after Coquelin’s injury, he went back into a deeper role alongside Xhaka. Towards the end, he missed a glorious chance to equalise when the score was 3-2 – a very average display overall.
Alex Iwobi: 5/10
A very quiet night for Arsenal’s young talent. He’s been so impressive recently, and started out on the right-hand side, though when Coquelin went off injured, Iwobi switched to the ‘number 10’ role as Ramsey pushed back. Like Ramsey, the Nigerian struggled to get into the game. Iwobi Started off brightly but faded as the game went on, and was substituted on the hour mark.
Alexis Sanchez: 7/10
Arsenal’s standout performer all evening as the Chilean registered his 13th league goal of the season. The only one who took the game to Bournemouth and started the comeback with a well-taken header to get Arsenal back in the game at 3-1. He played a pivotal role as the Gunners went on the revival trail.
Olivier Giroud: 6/10
Very frustrated for most of the night as he struggled to get in the game. Lack of service from out wide meant the Frenchman was coming deep a lot. The arrival of Perez in the second-half though helped Giroud get more involved in the game, as Arsenal went for two up top. Took his goal brilliantly, to make it three goals in three games, in what could be a massive point for the team.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5.5/10
Came on in the 20th minute in place of the injured Coquelin. Very quiet throughout the match but begun to be very lively in the final twenty minutes.
Lucas Perez: 6.5/10
Changed the game when he came on with half an hour to go. Energetic runs going forward worried the Bournemouth defence. His goal was sublime too, shades of Marco Van Basten?
Gabriel Paulista: 5.5/10
Came on for Laurent Koscielny at the same time as Perez. Didn’t really have much to do as team surged forward in search of the comeback.
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