David Luiz‘s first half goal was all Arsenal needed thanks to a fine defensive day in a 1-0 defeat of Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
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Arsenal moves into third place, a point behind Man City’s 16, while Bournemouth dips 10th with 11 points.
Three things we learned
1. Pepe’s back in form: There have been fits and starts for the Ivorian at the Emirates Stadium, but Pepe’s industry, vision, and creativity were all on display on Sunday. That doesn’t mention his accuracy, with Pepe’s corner kick serving as the assist on David Luiz’s first half goal. Gabriel Martinelli replaced him on the hour mark.
2. Unai likes it clean: Stopping Bournemouth from writing a name on the score sheet is a lot more difficult than Arsenal’s only other PL clean sheet this season (Newcastle United). Remarkably, the clean sheet came with struggling center backs David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and Sead Kolasinac on the left. But Calum Chambers on the right had a fine day, too, while Matteo “Mr. Second Half” Guendouzi may have been the best player on the pitch
3. Cherries miss only good chance: Bournemouth were flummoxed when they had opportunities, putting only one of their eight shots on target. The most disappointing play came when Dominic Solanke set up Callum Wilson for a dribble through the 18, but the English striker tried to pass rather than side-foot toward the gaping frame. Selfish, Callum! Be selfish!
Man of the Match: Guendouzi — Everything but a goal for the Guendouzi, who was monstrous in possession, tackling, and dribbling. A wonderful day.
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Arsenal was up for it early, winning a pair of corners through free-flowing football and seeing a vicious effort from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sail wide of the goal.
A bid to equalize via a Diego Rico free kick was headed wide by Dominic Solanke in the 18th.
Pepe missed with a curling effort from atop the box soon after the set piece. He then looked set for a VAR-awarded penalty following a collision with Rico, but the men with the screens thought it wasn’t a clear and obvious foul.
Callum Wilson dribbled three Arsenal defenders and goalkeeper Bernd Leno, but opted for a cutback rather than an acute effort on goal. The choice did not pay off.