Arsenal Bournemouth 3-1: the view from block 110

By Walter Broeckx

Sorry to have been keeping you waiting for this match report. But as you know I have been travelling a bit and so was in the stadium and not in my comfortable seat at home. So no seeing things and typing with looking further at the match. So the events may have happened in some other order as I now am working from what my brain has remembered as being important.

In my match preview I managed to get most names wrong. Only Cech, Mustafi and Kos and Özil were about right I think. Wenger used his squad and started with the following players: Cech, Debuchy ( a real surprise to most of us), Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal (I expected Gibbs more or less) Elneny and Xhaka in midfield and then Özil, Walcott, Alexis and Oxlade-Chamberlain (who was also a surprise inclusion for me).

On the beach: Ospina, Gibbs Gabriel Coquelin, Ramsey, Iwobi, Giroud.

Arsenal started rather bright with a good run from the Ox on the left who was then chopped down in a brutal way. A foul and a yellow card was given. Another foul and another yellow card against Bournemouth followed soon. Arsenal attacking with speed and Debuchy doing a good job both defensive when blocking a possible cross and helping out in the attack. When a Bournemouth defender tried to play the ball to his keeper he underhit it the ball and Alexis was quickly there to take the present and put the ball under the keeper. GOAL!!! 1-0 to the Arsenal.

Then we saw Debuchy sitting on the floor a bit later. He had to come off and Gabriel came on. After some confusion first it was Gabriel who would play at right back. Poor Debuchy. He looked sharp and was having a good first match. I really feel sorry for him. After having been kicked and pushed off the field in his first seasons he now is having some bad luck once again.

It seemed to have an impact on our game as we suddenly were less dominant. Gabriel trying to find his position and trying to find how to play right back. Suddenly Bournemouth who are a decent midtable team smelled blood. And so did the ref who from my seat in the stands started to do some strange things. Alexis being brought down (in or outside the penalty area is unclear for me) but he completely ignored what looked a blatant foul for me. And to make things worse he then complete ignored a Bournemouth player embracing Özil and throwing him on the floor and from the following attack a Bournemouth player threw himself at the floor with what looked like an excellent dive in the Olympics and much to our amazement the ref pointed at the spot. Should we really be amazed at such decisions from the PGMO representant???  Not really for those who have been following Untold and our referee reports.

Bournemouth equalised and Arsenal struggled. Losing a player who was having a good match, then the ref calling all and everything against Arsenal it was a bit too much and you could see how the players were more worried about what next the ref would invent than they were busy playing football. It really is one of those things that can destabilise a team when they feel/think the ref is doing them over. It was visible. Too much arguments towards the ref and not enough focussing on what we can do about it.

Bournemouth with a few half chances but they couldn’t capitalise on our bad patch in the match. And with the end of the first half in sight we started to get better again. A chance for Alexis that he shot just wide, another shot that was going wide and then Alexis had a great shot that cannoned off the crossbar. That deserved a goal.

In the second half we played with more focus. Xhaka dictating play in midfield with his passing, Elneny running and closing down all over the field. Up front we sometimes took the wrong options. A few times a great opening was clear to see from the stands but players picking out the wrong man. A better execution would have seen us clear much earlier.

But finally Özil delivered a cross from the right that ended up at the other side where Monreal brought it back in front of goal. Alexis was just too short but Walcott was the next option and he nicely headed it home. GOAL!!! 2-1 after 54 minutes.

Bournemouth came at Arsenal again trying to find the equaliser. And Arsenal had many chances of making it game over on the break but our final bass simply went missing or was not good enough. The Ox was getting tired and was replaced by Ramsey. Goalscorer Walcott was also taken off and Giroud came on.

Bournemouth got a corner and former Gunner Afobe had a shot from close range but Cech showed he still is one of the best  with a reaction save. Ramsey trying to find Giroud but he couldn’t control his volley and the ball went wide. Then a moment when the ball seemed to hit the arm of Monreal at the far end for me but the ref had given enough present to Bournemouth I think and he didn’t give them a second penalty.

The match was completely open now and in the last minute we finally made sure that the 3 points would be ours. Özil on a counter on the right with Giroud in the middle and Alexis at the far post. He picked out the rung of Giroud who had to sprint hard to get to the goal line and keep the ball in play, his low pass was simply pushed over the line by Alexis. GOAL!!! 3-1 after 90 minutes.

Match over and both teams seemingly settling for the final score in the extra time. A late clash of heads between Giroud and a defender right at the final whistle but both players could walk in to the dressing room.

A hard fought win against a Bournemouth team that seemed to get a little bit of help from the referee at first but had to accept defeat. 3 well taken goals from Arsenal against 1 early Christmas present penalty goal for Bournemouth. We hit the cross bar. And some say Arsenal was lucky….. oh well…


16 Replies to “Arsenal Bournemouth 3-1: the view from block 110”

  1. Referee was an absolute disgrace yesterday – even after Theo’s goal the whole of the North stand was silent for a good 5 seconds before celebrating as we were watching the ref & referee’s assistant to see who would disallow the goal and why.

    Agree with destabilising the team – we were second best for a while after their “goal” but it’s almost impossible to play when it seems every challenge is a foul.

  2. Interesting comments in today’s Telegraph by the former referee Mike Hackett regarding some of the incidents in the Bournemouth game yesterday. According to him the Bournemouth penalty wasn’t so he agreed with the crowd on that one. He agreed that the Monreal handball was ball to hand and so a non-penalty but thought that the Alexis challenge on Arter should have been a red card and that Mustafa was lucky not to give away a penalty for an off-the-ball grab on Steve Cook. I’ll await Usama’s video clips for further clarification.

    Video on “Arseblog” shows that the first half foul on Alexis was just outside the penalty area but a not-given clear foul and I thought that there were a number of Bournemouth challenges that were cynical and deserved yellow cards but weren’t given.

    In all Mike Jones displayed his typical form from his last two years of Arsenal games rather than his much better numbers from the PL this season.

  3. Andrew – it’s interesting because MOTD focused on the Mustafa push on Cook, but when you watch the replay, no Bournemouth player, including Cook, appeals or even looks at the ref … in an era where EVERYTHING gets appealed, I though that was odd …

  4. I think it is a good thing that some people, even Walter, had problems predicting who might start the game. If a team has too few players of sufficient quality available for a given game, it becomes too easy to predict who will start, and hence it is easier to start to draw up tactics against Arsenal. It is bothersome that (nearly) all opposing managers decide to take advantage of the PGMO bias when playing Arsenal. They should continue to play to their own style, instead of changing just to suit PGMO and the FA.

  5. Yeah the twats in the sky room were in high praise for the Bournemouth dive, referring to it as winning a penalty. So 55000 fans know nothing but the establishment knows best! A sad state of affairs – reality TV pundits!

  6. I wish MOTD hadn’t made such an issue of Mustafi’s push because it was as clear foul as any of the five penalty calls.
    The one he actually gave was a joke, not just because Smith threw himself into Monreal, but also the foul on Ozil immediately before. So he owed us one for that.
    The two handballs (one to each side were ) were accidental, and Sanchez was outside the area, but why no foul given?
    I think Hackett is implying that if Sanchez had been sent off then he obviously wouldn’t have had such an influence on the game. To me that was the decision I was most grateful for.

  7. Oh, thank you Walter. Sorry for missing that.

    I was just looking at the standings again. Some place around the 10th game, it should be time to take a look at the standings to see if one’s team is heading towards relegation.

    While relegation is determined by points, which is a bit of a crap shoot with it being so dependent on luck, goal difference is reported to be the stronger predictor of team quality.

    And I think back at the 10 game point, I believe the lowest team had 6 points, which predicts to something like 23 or 24 points for the season. Which being below 40, is relegation territory nearly all the time.

    We are 3 games past 10, and the worst goal differences are:

    Hull -17 18th
    Sunderland -11 20th
    Swansea -10 19th
    State Aid -10 16th
    Burnley -9 13th

    Swansea finally got a win, so they may be on the start of fixing things. With 25 games remaining, these teams could look to get 25 draws, but even an addition of 25 points at this point does not push Burnley above the 40 point plateau, let alone the others picked out. And just getting draws does nothing to goal difference. Those five teams need to start scoring more, and they need to allow fewer goal on their own goal. For the rest of the season. Which means anyone having to play those teams, could easily have a tougher time of things.

    We’ve played Hull, Burnley, Swansea and Sunderland once. We have played none of them twice, and we have yet to play State Aid. So, of our 25 remaining games, we can expect a tougher time of 6 (nearly 1/4) just because those teams are in a relegation fight.

  8. From the last tread, @Andrew Crawshaw, thanks for pointing out some unknown issues to me concerning my starts and bench which I did for our ELC game against the Saints in ignorance of the pending issues in the Gunners’ 3 teams. That’s why is good to wait for Le Prof’s team update before dabbling into making a starts & bench.

  9. I still haven’t seen the (penalty?) foul on Alexis but according to the laws if a last defender makes a foul just outside the penalty area to prevent a goal scoring opportunity he has to be send off. If inside the penalty area a yellow card would be sufficient.

    So in short: if the foul was outside: free kick and red card
    in the foul was inside: penalty and yellow card

  10. Did anybody notice that before Mustafi pushed the Bournemouth player in the back that the Bournemouth player already had his hands on Chamberlain and was therefore committing the first foul which would have made the Mustafi irrelevant. Regarding the non penalty for the two fouls on Sanchez the first was not in the box but the second certainly was, If the first was not worthy of a free kick the second one in the penalty area should have given Arsenal the penalty kick, how the linesman never saw it is unbelievable.

  11. Penalty,Free-kick, Penalty, Penalty, ball to hand, Mustarfi braces for backing in, the resulting nudge, is redundant. Either award at corners, or don’t even get into innocuous challenges.

    Alexi over the top, bit lcuky some would say, it#s not in his game, but Artur was beginnning to take the piss, without couguelin, nobody picked him up. Elneny showing he was what Couquelin used to be. I think switching to 4-1-2-1-2 or 4-1-2-2-1 would suit us better once we are in a situation as with Bournemouth. Wilshhere, missed badly. Monreal 8 goals directly from his frailties! If Giroud is more than a twinge, bring out Akpom, bet he don’t need hold up play. just channels.

    Wilock, does anyone know who Gnabry got a hat-trick against??? It really is rhetorical. Wolfsburg raid for that duo. Alaba, can go to United, heard they are shipping it across the Atlantic, wrapped in rat proof bags with name tags and IRS avoidance dockets.

    Meyer, Niang, Dracler, Rodriguez, Tymon, preorder for January. Recall Jack!

    Cash in on: Monreal, would have said Debouchy, he just needs to quit. Insurance money! Santi ask him, Gibbs, ask him, Giroud, if we have a replacement, Perez will score goals. Per, anything, he can’t play again now, not here.

    S’pton MArtinez, Jenkinson, Gabriel, Hodling, Gibbbs, Couquelin, Elneny, Ramsey, O Chamberlain, Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis???? He’s cray he’ll play someone he probbly shouldn’t

  12. Monreal, seen them given, but the player cut across him as he aimed, to get out of the way, dive! He should have been goal side, feet correct position, legs not fit for EPL! Bilboa, otherwise he’ll get exposed and his value will drop, bet Tymon and Rodriguez can cope! Gibbs get to cover and decide. It is a real issue!

  13. Nancho getting exposed by not having supporting cover. Isn’t the sprighliest but never has been. Links so well on the left and still, for me, one the best fbs around.

    Critics getting on his back. Just hope this doesn’t knock his confidence. His arms do flail around a bit which the opposition and refs are noticing.

    I could not believe the foul on Ozil before the goal was not given. And then the pen… But the ref if so minded could have called a few more against us. I was surprised at how we lost composure (inc sanchez foul) but showed great resilience.

    Overall it felt an improved performance and credit to Bmouth. They were very positive and there was no bus in sight.

    Rambo much better and good work from the Ox and Alexis on the left. A few defensive worries to sort out.

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