First-half goals from Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired Arsenal to a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
- Bournemouth 0 Arsenal 2
- Ozil breaks the deadlock
- Chamberlain scores one minute later
- Arsenal move up to third place
- Cherries remain in 16th place
The visitors claimed the lead through Ozil’s well taken volley on 23 minutes, with Oxlade-Chamberlain getting in on the act just one minute later to double Arsenal’s lead.
Bournemouth produced a much improved performance after the half-time break but couldn’t find a way past the impressive Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal.
The Cherries started the match on the front foot, playing at a high tempo in a bid to forge an early breakthrough. However, they struggled to make an impression in the final third of the pitch, with former Gunners striker Benik Afobe often left isolated up front.
The first chance of note eventually arrived on 13 minutes when Alexis Sanchez raced onto a long ball over the top, but the Chile international was able to hold his nerve as he blasted a left-footed shot over the bar from just six yards out.
Following a brief lull in play, Arsenal claimed the lead on 22 minutes, Ozil latching onto Olivier Giroud’s cushioned header before smashing a right-footed volley into the back of the net from the centre of the box.
Bournemouth were still reeling from the opening goal when the Gunners struck again just one minute later, Oxlade-Chamberlain netting his first-ever goal away from home with a low drive that went in off the left-hand post from the right side of the box.
Arsenal’s second goal sparked a reaction from the hosts, who piled players forward in a bid to reduce the deficit.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech had to be on his toes to keep out a stinging drive from Harry Arter on 27 minutes, before Matt Ritchie lashed a powerful effort over from the edge of the area.
Bournemouth had one more chance to reduce the deficit on the stroke of half-time, but Adam Smith saw his goal-bound effort charged down by the onrushing Cech.
The hosts came flying out of the traps after the half-time interval and very nearly pulled one back on 51 minutes as Smith hooked a volley into the side netting from the right-hand side of the box.
However, Arsenal were always dangerous on attack and gave Bournemouth a timely reminder when Giroud headed straight into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
The Cherries were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, but they were unable to fashion any clear-cut chances as Arsenal’s defence held firm despite looking shaky earlier in the half.
They did almost pull one back in injury time, though, but Cech pulled off a brilliant double save to keep out efforts from Steve Cook and Arter in quick succession.