Bournemouth 1 Arsenal 2
Lerma 30 o.g. King 45+1 Aubameyang 67
Unai Emery has a second half team.
For this manager every first half is an experiment, a period that mixes a few thrusts with a lot of nullification.
I thought Bournemouth would be busy and inventive and stretch Arsenal, so that Holding might have to play the game of his life to keep Arsenal in the match. Callum Wilson, scorer of three goals in three games against Arsenal, had scored on his England debut against the USA, and could be flying.
Emery surprised us with a back three of Mustafi- Sokratis-Holding.
And his wing backs played quite well.
Laca was out with a groin twinge, Ozil relegated to the bench.
Eddie Howe’s plans were nullified by Emery in an untidy game that looked like an FA Cup Third Round scuffle.
No manager could have planned the way the opening goal came.
Arsenal had only scored six first half goals in the league so far and they went ahead with a goal they didn’t score.
Colombian central midfielder Jefferson Lermas slid in to clear Kolasinac’s low cutback but somehow volleyed the most bizarre own-goal I’ve seen for a decade, giving keeper Begovic no chance.
Then, in first half stoppage time, Bournemouth created a superb breakaway from-m inside their own penalty area, Frazer to Wilson running left and very wide, switched back inside to Brooks in right-centre-mid, then tidily right to King, who buried a left-foot shot for 1-1.
Two goals in 46 minutes,both scored by Bournemouth.
In 64, Auba had a gift chance but fired yards over the bar. Then Iwobi played in Kolasinac and his cross was converted by Auba. That goal had been coming.
Then a 25-yard shot by Lerma hit Leno’s right hand post.
Bournemouth were unlucky but overall the contest was mediocre viewing compared to Saturday’s demolition of Chelsea by Spurs. But new keeper Bernd Leno looked very good but still has no clean sheets in the Premier League.
Matteo Guendouzi came on in 79 for Lucas Torreira, Josh White had a half-chance toepoke that was easily saved, Lerma hit the post with a spectacular shot from 25 yards and Sokratis almost scored an own-goal.
Man City and Liverpool have still not lost a game.
But Arsenal are digging out results. If they beat Tottenham next Sunday, they will be above them on goal difference.
After that the next away game is at Old Trafford.That game will be another tight tactical battle, like this one.
The good news is that Man United have far less power and fluency than Spurs this season.
United don’t have a Kane, don’t have an Eriksen, don’t have a Son or Alli. And De Gea is leaving.