Premier League
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Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal

Olivier Giroud scores Arsenal's equaliser against Bournemouth
Giroud headed the equaliser and was involved in each of Arsenal's three goals against Bournemouth

Arsenal completed a dramatic comeback at Bournemouth as they rescued a point in injury time having fallen 3-0 behind.

The Gunners looked destined for a third away league defeat in a row before a late rally that began with a diving Alexis Sanchez header and gathered momentum when a stunning Lucas Perez left-footed volley reduced the gap to a single goal.

Bournemouth went down to 10 men when Simon Francis was sent off for a challenge on Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal capitalised as Olivier Giroud headed a 92nd-minute equaliser.

The home side had overwhelmed the Gunners early on and taken the lead when Charlie Daniels cut inside Hector Bellerin and stroked a shot past on-rushing keeper Petr Cech.

Callum Wilson scored a penalty to extend Bournemouth's lead and Ryan Fraser sent a shot through Cech's legs for the Cherries' third before the hour mark.

But the hosts buckled under Arsenal's late pressure as Arsene Wenger's side moved eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, who play Tottenham on Wednesday.

How the comeback unfolded

Arsenal had produced a feeble display for 70 minutes and were second best in the face of Bournemouth's energy and desire but that all changed when Sanchez headed in at the far post following Giroud's flick-on.

Alexis Sanchez scores Arsenal's first goal at Bournemouth
Sanchez has scored 10 goals and assisted three more in 10 Premier League away appearances this season

The momentum of the match changed and five minutes later Giroud clipped a lovely ball to substitute Perez and he sent an angled volley inside the far post.

Lucas Perez watches on as he scores his first league goal for Arsenal with his effort at Bournemouth
Perez scores his first league goal for Arsenal

Francis' sending-off helped Arsenal, although Cherries boss Eddie Howe felt it was a "harsh" decision by referee Michael Oliver.

Simon Francis was last sent off in January 2015 prior to his dismissal against Arsenal
Simon Francis was last sent off in January 2015

Giroud headed in from a Granit Xhaka cross as Bournemouth failed in their desperate attempts to hang on during six minutes of added time.

Olivier Giroud watches on as his header goes in for Arsenal's equaliser against Bournemouth
Giroud has been involved in eight goals in his last four Premier League starts (six goals, two assists)

Mixed emotions for Arsenal

Arsenal have been accused of lacking the character to maintain a title challenge in recent seasons and they did little to change that perception before Sanchez's goal.

They were continually second best to the home side and frustrations rose to the surface in the first half.

Sanchez and Ramsey exchanged angry words at 2-0 down, while Giroud showed his annoyance when Shkodran Mustafi failed to find him with a pass that went harmlessly out of play.

That they regrouped in such thrilling manner was doubtless a relief but not one that entirely satisfied goalscorer Giroud.

"I'm pleased to help the team by scoring the equaliser but I'm still disappointed," said the Frenchman.

"It's nice to come back but the way we played at the end, that made me think we should have done better. At least we came back, showed great mental strength and I will take it."

Narrow miss for Bournemouth

On this date in 2009, boss Eddie Howe was taking caretaker charge of his first match at Bournemouth - who were then second from bottom in League Two.

Success with the Dorset side as they won promotion to League One saw Howe lured away by Burnley, before he returned in October 2012 to complete the club's transformation with two more promotions in three seasons.

It is a mark of the turnaround he has instigated that he and his side were left bitterly disappointed at failing to avenge their defeat at Emirates Stadium in November.

The Cherries' 3-1 defeat at Arsenal was harsh on them and they looked more than capable of making amends for the majority of this game as the Gunners struggled to deal with their attacking 4-4-2 formation.

Even with the Arsenal comeback under way, Howe's men had a chance to go 4-2 up when Dan Gosling turned superbly in the visitors' area only to shoot well wide of Cech's goal.

A point keeps the Cherries ninth in the table.

Man of the match - Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud
Giroud only made his first league start of the season for Arsenal on Boxing Day against West Brom when he scored the winner

What they said:

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "At the start we suffered from the quality of Bournemouth. One team had over three days to recover and on top of that we suffered at the back.

"It was a physical test but we came back into the game and we showed we are mentally strong. I am happy to play every day but only if our opponent has done the same."

Read more from Wenger here.

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Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal: Arsene Wenger says Gunners 'succeeded mentally'

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: "It's a strange one for us. At 3-0 up you hope the game is over but you can't underestimate the quality of Arsenal and as soon as they got the first goal the game changed.

"We didn't see the game out in an effective manner from our perspective but you have to praise their resilience."

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Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal: Eddie Howe says draw 'hurts so much'

Arsenal paying the penalty

  • Arsenal came back to draw a Premier League game from three goals down for the first time.
  • Only Hull (nine) have conceded more Premier League penalties than Arsenal this season (six, level with Southampton).
  • Charlie Daniels has provided more assists than any other Premier League defender since the start of last season (eight).
  • Sanchez's goal was Arsenal's first shot on target in the match, in the 70th minute.
  • Sanchez has now matched his Premier League goal tally from last season (13 in 20 games this season, compared with 13 in 30 games last season).

What next?

It's FA Cup third-round action for both these teams in their next outings with Bournemouth at Millwall at 15:00 GMT on Saturday, 7 January and Arsenal at Preston for a 17:30 kick-off on the same day.

Line-ups

Bournemouth

  • 1BorucBooked at 86mins
  • 2FrancisBooked at 82mins
  • 3CookBooked at 44mins
  • 5Aké
  • 11Daniels
  • 8ArterBooked at 90mins
  • 4Gosling
  • 19Stanislas
  • 17KingSubstituted forSurmanat 63'minutes
  • 24FraserSubstituted forSmithat 68'minutes
  • 13C WilsonSubstituted forSmithat 90+1'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Surman
  • 14Smith
  • 15Smith
  • 23Federici
  • 26Mings
  • 31Mousset
  • 33Ibe

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 24BellerínBooked at 32mins
  • 20MustafiBooked at 80mins
  • 6KoscielnySubstituted forGabrielat 64'minutes
  • 18Monreal
  • 34CoquelinSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 28'minutes
  • 29Xhaka
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forPérezat 63'minutes
  • 8RamseyBooked at 45mins
  • 7Sánchez
  • 12Giroud

Substitutes

  • 5Gabriel
  • 9Pérez
  • 13Ospina
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 16Holding
  • 31Reine-Adelaide
  • 55Maitland-Niles
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
11,202

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home13
Away14
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 3.

Booking

Harry Arter (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 3.

Foul by Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).

Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Hand ball by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

Attempt saved. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Adam Smith.

Goal!

Goal! Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 3. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Brad Smith replaces Callum Wilson.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nathan Aké.

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Pérez.

Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Booking

Artur Boruc (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Dan Gosling.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Steve Cook.

Attempt blocked. Lucas Pérez (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.

Dismissal

Simon Francis (Bournemouth) is shown the red card.

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Simon Francis (Bournemouth).

Attempt missed. Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Junior Stanislas.

Booking

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).

Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Harry Arter (Bournemouth).

Goal!

Goal! Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 2. Lucas Pérez (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

Hand ball by Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal).

Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Simon Francis (Bournemouth).

Goal!

Goal! Bournemouth 3, Arsenal 1. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Adam Smith replaces Ryan Fraser because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Gabriel replaces Laurent Koscielny because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Lucas Pérez replaces Alex Iwobi.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Andrew Surman replaces Joshua King.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Shkodran Mustafi.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Petr Cech.

Attempt saved. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Chelsea1916122949
2Liverpool2013522544
3Man City2013341942
4Arsenal2012532241
5Tottenham1911622339
6Man Utd2011631239
7Everton20866530
8West Brom20857429
9Bournemouth20749-525
10Southampton20668-624
11Stoke20668-824
12Burnley207211-923
13West Ham206410-1222
14Watford206410-1322
15Leicester20569-721
16Middlesbrough20479-519
17Crystal Palace204412-716
18Sunderland204313-1815
19Swansea204313-2215
20Hull203413-2713
View full Premier League table

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