Arsenal back on course after ending 328 minutes without a goal

first_img Mesut Ozil scores for Arsenal against Bournemouth Two goals in a first half minute were enough to give Arsenal victory at Bournemouth and put the Gunners back on course in the title race.It was an end to end battle between two exciting sides attempting to slice the other apart with intricate passing.Both teams needed the three points – Bournemouth to put themselves clearer of the relegation zone and Arsenal to close the gap on Leicester at the top to five points.But it was the home side who suffered the first cuts of the match when Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in quick succession to end an Arsenal goal drought that had lasted 328 minutes.Olivier Giroud nodded the ball down for Ozil to smash in the first and then Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the lead moments later.A shell shocked Bournemouth, though, simply dusted themselves down and hit back immediately and Harry Arter forced Petr Cech to tip his fierce long range drive over the bar.When the sides returned for the restart, the hosts appeared determined to fix the wrongs of the first half and were almost back in the game through Adam Smith.Turning inside on the six-yard line, the defender’s effort crashed against the side netting.Then it was Arsenal’s turn to attack and Alexis Sanchez forced Artur Boruc to turn the ball wide of the post.But despite finding themselves presented with half chances, Bournemouth were struggling to find the back of the net.Arsenal continued to block and were able to keep their opponents at arm’s length, with Cech being largely untroubled in the Gunners’ goal.It was exhausting for both teams and managers Eddie Howe and Arsene Wenger made changes with just over 20 minutes to go.Francis Coquelin replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain; while a double substitution for Bournemouth saw Joshua King and Junior Stanislas replace Dan Gosling and Matt Ritchie.However, the cohesive unit that looked like it might cause Arsenal some damage earlier in the game had disappeared and the visitors seemed keen to defend their lead in the final 10 minutes, when Sanchez made way for Kieran Gibbs.Bournemouth continued to look for that elusive goal right up until the final whistle and finally tested Cech in the closing stages.Steve Cook’s shot produced a brilliant save and the goalkeeper then got down low to keep out Arter.Those shots aside, Arsenal never looked like surrendering their lead and the win puts them level on points with second-placed Tottenham’s 48. 1last_img read more