By Walter Broeckx
A few changes at the start of this match in the Arsenal team. No Özil and from last match no Elneny who was off to Africa. Lucas dropped to the bench. Also Gabriel dropped to the bench.
As a result Mustafi came back in the centre of the defence. Coquelin started in the place of Elneny and Ramsey started in the place of Lucas.
Team at the start: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Alexis, Giroud.
On the beach: Ospina, Gabriel, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas.
Iwobi starting at the right flank and Ramsey behind the strikers judging on the position in the first hectic minutes. Not much fluent football possible with Bournemouth chasing all over the field. A first shot for Bournemouth after 8 minutes but straight at Cech. Cech then having to come out in the feet of a Bournemouth striker and was on the ball. No real Arsenal fluent football in the first 15 minutes and so a 0-0 score still.
Bellerin then too far to the middle and Bounemouth crossed the ball to Daniels who went past Bellerin and put the ball in the goal. 1-0 to Bournemouth after 16 minutes. Bournemouth counter and Xhaka with a little push in the back in the penalty area and the ref put the ball on the penalty spot. And Wilson put the ball in the goal. 2-0 for Bournemouth after 20 minutes. A needless foul from Xhaka as the player was going away from the goal. What a terrible start from Arsenal.
The passing from Arsenal really below par. Coquelin then on the floor with an injury and Oxlade-Chamberlain came on after 27 minutes. Ramsey dropping back, Iwobi central and The Ox came on at the right flank. Ramsey on the turn but the ball was deflected just wide. Arsenal still 2-0 behind after 30 minutes.
Bellerin with a foul and a yellow card. Mustafi with a good tackle to stop Wilson. Arsenal not making any dangerous attacks as they cannot find teammates up front. A cross from The Ox finds Iwobi but he drags his shot wide under pressure after some 40 minutes. Cook goes in the book for a flying tackle on Alexis after an advantage came to nothing.
A few players from Arsenal really below par. Mustafi not at his level from before his injury, even Bellerin looking slow. Another Bournemouth shot goes just wide. Ramsey also in the book after a bad pass and he has to bring a man down. Arsenal 2-0 behind at half time after a disappointing performance. We will have to improve a lot but not many options on the bench going forward.
Monreal given offside at the start when he was not offside. Alexis going down but nothing given, and no replay shown. The Ox with a cross but Giroud couldn’t direct his header. Ramsey almost dribbles himself through the defence but he is stopped at the last moment. Bournemouth now with all the players defending and Arsenal again with a bad pass. 77% possession in the first 10 minutes but no end product for Arsenal.
Bournemouth scores but the ref cancels it for handball. The ball was going wide and then went in from the arms. A foul on Bellerin where Fraser pushed Bellerin in the back was not given by the ref and Fraser scores. A clear push even worse than the foul from Xhaka. Oh well.. 3-0 after 58 minutes.
A shot from Alexis is deflected wide for a corner. At the other end Cech has to stop a free kick from Stanislas. After 62 minutes Lucas came on for Iwobi and Gabriel came on for Koscielny. The Ox with a good tackle on the ball when Mustafi was left standing. A cross from Bellerin finds Giroud who backs it on and Alexis heads it over the line. GOAL! 3-1 after 70 minutes.
Giroud with a shot but straight at Boruc. Alexis being called back for a handball when he was one on one and it was correct. Arsenal attack Xhaka to Giroud who puts it over the defenders to Lucas who finishes with a fantastic volley. GOAL!! 3-2 after 75 minutes!
Mustafi gets a yellow card for making another foul. He had made a few so no complaints from me. Gosslin with a turn around Giroud of all people but his shot went wide. Francis with a flying tackle on Ramsey and the ref pulls out the red car for Francis. A two footed tackle with both feet off the ground.
Lucas not happy with the “speed” that Francis took to get off the pitch. Lucas with a shot after a push but no foul given but a corner. Giroud just can’t reach the ball and then a bit later Ramsey misses his volley with his left foot. Boruc goes in the book for time wasting.
Lucas with a low cross but the effort from Giroud is blocked for a corner. Alexis with an opening to Lucas but the ball is just over hit. 6 minutes of extra time given. Gabriel now also up front and the cross from Xhaka finds the head of Giroud who head it over the line. GOAL!!! 3-3 after 92 minutes.
Cech then with a save when Bournemouth suddenly attacks. The ref then blows an end to the match before the 6 minutes in which Arsenal scored so time had to be added on but well in the end we have to be happy with the final result given the way this match looked lost after one hour.
Our defence looked bad in the first hour with too many players completely off the pace and looking pale. But in the end our character saved a point that seemed lost.