Premier League
Arsenal2Bournemouth0

Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

Arsenal celebrate scoring
Gabriel (left) scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal against Bournemouth

Mesut Ozil inspired Arsenal to reclaim top spot in the Premier League, at least for 24 hours, as they won their first league meeting with Bournemouth.

After a tense opening, Ozil's corner was met with a firm header by defender Gabriel for his first goal in English football.

Ozil made it 2-0 after the break from a slick one-two with Olivier Giroud.

Bournemouth showed plenty of spirit, but could not find their way through as Arsenal closed out the victory.

With Leicester not playing until Tuesday, Arsenal leapfrog them into top spot by one point.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, slip to 16th and remain only three points from danger as their six-match unbeaten run came to an end.

Relive Arsenal's win over Bournemouth.

Reaction to Monday's Premier League results.

Banishing the Boxing Day blues

Mesut Ozil graphic
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil made a game-high 50 passes in the opposition's half and 11 crosses. The touch map shows his effectiveness on either flank

If Arsene Wenger wanted a reaction from his squad, having rung the changes following Boxing Day's 4-0 mauling at Southampton, it took a while in coming.

But all it needed was the first goal just before the half-hour to kick the hosts, and their familiar fluent passing game, into gear.

All four of those Arsenal newcomers played their part as Gabriel opened his goalscoring account.

Kieran Gibbs had his hands full with the dangerous Matt Ritchie, Calum Chambers brushed off rumours of a January loan return to Southampton with an assured midfield display, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain threatened with his pace when Arsenal broke, going close to adding a third goal late on.

Although Bournemouth had overcome a 2-0 deficit to draw 3-3 with Everton in an enthralling game last month, such a comeback never looked on the cards here once Ozil had unlocked them.

Cech the record books

Gunners keeper Petr Cech was tested more than his opposite number Artur Boruc early on, as Bournemouth's Harry Arter opened up the defence with some through balls to lone striker Joshua King, who was twice denied by Cech to keep the game goalless.

But as the game went on, even when the Cherries found some space in the final third, there was no way past the Czech goalkeeper, who kept out Matt Ritchie's 30-yard drive and celebrated his 170th top-flight clean sheet to set a new Premier League record.

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Petr Cech's former club Chelsea tweeted a message of congratulations to the keeper for setting a new Premier League record

Meanwhile, Boruc earned his spurs at the other end with some important blocks to ensure the Cherries were not swept away.

Arsenal's title-winning sides of the past were built on solid goalkeeping, from Bob Wilson and John Lukic to David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. The purchase of Cech from Chelsea in the summer could turn out to be the key to a first title for 12 years.

Man of the match

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil was at the heart of everything Arsenal did well, not just setting up the first goal and scoring the second but also tackling back to rescue right-back Hector Bellerin at one stage.

What the managers said

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Wenger praises 'sensational' Ozil

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "There was a little hesitancy at the start after our bad result on Saturday but slowly we got into the game and after that we created chances.

"After a disappointing result, not dropping points once again was most important for us."

On Ozil's performance: "I said many times that he has added something to his game - a desire to be efficient and desire to score goals. He has become a complete sensational football player.

"I am very, very happy with his performances. He is one of the best in Europe certainly. In his position, he is sensational."

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Cherries 'dominated possession' says Howe

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: "We were well in the game. We started brightly but once we conceded we wobbled. At 1-0 there was always a chance we could get into the game but the second goal was of huge quality and ended it.

"We are developing all the time as a side. We still have some way to go but if we make the same improvement again we will be a good side.

"We took the game to Arsenal in the first half but unfortunately the quality of their players told in the end."

Who's up next?

Arsenal host struggling Newcastle on 2 January, while Bournemouth face a tough trip to second-placed Leicester.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 5Gabriel
  • 3GibbsSubstituted forMonrealat 82'minutes
  • 21ChambersBooked at 61mins
  • 16RamseyBooked at 30mins
  • 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forIwobiat 90+3'minutes
  • 11Özil
  • 14Walcott
  • 12GiroudSubstituted forCampbellat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Debuchy
  • 6Koscielny
  • 13Ospina
  • 18Monreal
  • 28Campbell
  • 45Iwobi
  • 54Reine Adelaide

Bournemouth

  • 1Boruc
  • 15A Smith
  • 2Francis
  • 3S Cook
  • 11Daniels
  • 6Surman
  • 30Ritchie
  • 4GoslingSubstituted forO'Kaneat 61'minutes
  • 8Arter
  • 7PughSubstituted forStanislasat 45'minutes
  • 17KingSubstituted forMurrayat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Rantie
  • 19Stanislas
  • 23Federici
  • 24Tomlin
  • 25Distin
  • 27Murray
  • 32O'Kane
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
59,983

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamBournemouth
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home12
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home7
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Iwobi replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Attempt saved. Glenn Murray (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Charlie Daniels.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Héctor Bellerín.

Offside, Bournemouth. Eunan O'Kane tries a through ball, but Adam Smith is caught offside.

Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Harry Arter.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Steve Cook.

Attempt blocked. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Theo Walcott.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal replaces Kieran Gibbs.

Attempt missed. Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Charlie Daniels.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Joel Campbell replaces Olivier Giroud.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Glenn Murray replaces Joshua King because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Attempt blocked. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eunan O'Kane.

Attempt saved. Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Arter.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

Offside, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.

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

Attempt missed. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín with a cross.

Attempt missed. Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal) header from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Charlie Daniels.

Calum Chambers (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

Goal!

Goal! Arsenal 2, Bournemouth 0. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Olivier Giroud with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Eunan O'Kane replaces Dan Gosling.

Booking

Calum Chambers (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Calum Chambers (Arsenal).

Harry Arter (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Arter.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth).

Attempt blocked. Harry Arter (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal19123433181539
2Leicester18115237251238
3Tottenham1998233151835
4Man City18112537201735
5Crystal Palace199462316731
6Man Utd198652216630
7West Ham197842823529
8Watford198562420429
9Stoke198562019129
10Liverpool187652122-127
11Everton196853528726
12Southampton196672623324
13West Brom196581824-623
14Chelsea195592329-620
15Norwich195592232-1020
16Bournemouth195592234-1220
17Swansea194781624-819
18Newcastle1945101934-1517
19Sunderland1833121937-1812
20Aston Villa1915131534-198
View full Premier League table

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