By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal made on change in the starting line up for this match. Oxlade-Chamberlain started in the place of Campbell who dropped to the bench.
In the centre of defence we still had the Gabriel-Koscielny partnership and Per found himself a place on the bench.
Team at the start: Cech, Bellerin,Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud.
On the beach : Ospina, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Walcott, Iwobi, Campbell.
Bboth teams trying to attack in the opening minutes but not leading to real dangerous attacks. The Ox almost sending Özil through on goal but a defender could kick the ball away in the last second. Flamini with a strong tackle on the ball but a correct foul called and a yellow card. Was a dangerous tackle and frontal tackles are always a foul. A through ball then that came in front of Alexis but he blasted over from a difficult angle with his left foot. Özil brought down on the flank but no free kick for Friend this time… was a foul and in a promising position. Maybe he didn’t like the skill from Özil that lead to the foul? 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Ramsey cleanly winning the ball resulting in an injury from a Bournemouth player that was beaten to the ball and it was him who kicked against the foot of Ramsey and in to the ground. The Ox then trying to shoot when a pass would have been the better option to a teammate that could have been on his own. Alexis the called offside… are you sure assistant? Looked level to me. A bit later a cross from Ramsey to the far post, a header back in front of the goal by Giroud and Özil on hand to blast the ball in the net. GOAL! 0-1 to The Arsenal after 23 minutes.
Arsenal win the ball back after the kick off, Özil to Alexis who just can’t control the ball but Ramsey picks it up plays it The Ox and he drills it in the far corner and over the line it goes from the post. GOAL! 0-2 to The Arsenal after 24 minutes.
Arter with some room for Bournemouth and a good shot but Cech tips it voer the crossbar. Monreal goes down when he wins the ball but Friend gives no penalty. Friend was right as it was more a stumble than a contact. Pugh almost away for Bournemouth but Bellerin with a last second kick on the ball prevented a possible shot on goal. Arsenal still 0-2 in front after 30 minutes.
Arsenal taking the tempo out of the match but let’s not get too casual as Ritchie has a shot from distance but well wide and over. Bournemouth trying to push a bit more forward in the closing stages of the first half leading even to a big chance for Smith but Cech quickly off his line at the expense of a corner. 0-2 in favour of Arsenal at the end of the first half.
Bournemouth trying to attack from the start of the first half. Arsenal with an attack but Giroud just can’t reach the cross from Özil. Smith at the other end find the outside of the net for Bournemouth after a good attack on their right flank. Arsenal has to be on focused when defending. Alexis at the other end with a low shot but the keeper with a good save. Giroud with a header from the corner but straight at the keeper. Giroud with a clumsy challenge should have been booked. Alexis with a great run on the left flank but no Arsenal player put his cross over the line. Arsenal still 0-2 in front after 60 minutes.
A Bournemouth player clearly slipping but ref Friend gives a free kick that is cleared but well a bit soft ref. Bournemouth mostly trying with shots from distance for the moment. After 66 minutes Coquelin comes on for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The energy from Coquelin somehow changes the match as Arsenaly suddenly back master of the ball. Arsenal not making most of the attacks though. A third goal would have killed the match completely. Arsenal still 0-2 in front after 75 minutes.
After 80 minutes Alexis goes off and Gibbs comes on. Bournemouth kept on attacking and Arsenal lucky when a loose ball bounced around but no Bournemouth player on hand to make something happening. For the rest lots of distance shots and some corners but the defenders on top of it. An attempt from Bournemouth in the last minute of normal time but easy save for Cech. Then Ramsey and Giroud both on the same ball, the first one was allowed to run on Boruc but the keeper saved the one on one.
A corner to Bournemouth in extra time and two big big saves from Cech to deny a Bournemouth goal. In the last minute of extra time Theo came on for Giroud. But he didn’t touch the ball before the ref blew the final whistle.
Arsenal back to winning ways against a spirited Bournemouth that battled till the end. A few minutes of turning op the tempo had proven enough to come out winners.