With 2 matches to be played in 48 hours, Arsenal were set up to buckle under fixture schedules in January. The Gunners won 2-0 at the Emirates but had to drag their tired legs to Bournemouth where Olivier Giroud earned them a late draw.
Ozil was still away ill, but Mustafi and Ramsey returned to the starting line-up in place of Gabriel and Lucas Perez. Ramsey’s role as a 10 was short-lived after Coquelin hopped off with an injury. Arsenal’s rich midfield now looks empty with El Neny away with Egypt to the AFCON 2017. Hopefully Coquelin returns ASAP. The Ox came on and Iwobi came in to the centre.
The Gunners went down 2-0 in the first half. Bellerin was taken out by Daniels who opened the scoring. Callum Wilson converted a penalty after Xhaka pushed him in the box. It was heading south for the North London side. Without Wilshere, the Cherries had their foot on the pedal.
It continued in the second half with Fraser taking an advantage of Bellerin’s slip. It was not getting easy for the Gunners. The banter lords have started typing. The Wenger Out Brigade were out. Even Ramsey and Sanchez had a go at each other in the first half. It was not looking good for the Gunners.
Things turned around in the 70th minute with Giroud’s flicked header guided home by Alexis Sanchez. Giroud had a hand in the second as Perez volloyed home Arsenal’s second of the game within 5 minutes. Giroud finally completed the comeback in added time after he rose and guided a Xhaka’s cross beyond Boruc.
That was to be the end as there were no chances to get an Arsenal winner despite playing with one more man after the second goal. Cech even had to keep the points for Arsenal after a late save. Mustafi’s charm lives on. The Gunners have never lost a game whenever he features.
Two points lost or one point gained. Sour Cherries or Sweet Cheery. I would go for the former. It was a great comeback but that was two points lost. The Cherries avoided a defeat for the first time against Arsenal. Arsenal cannot afford to slip up again. Chelsea is on fire but hopefully their winning streak takes a halt tonight.
The FA Cup at Preston North End is next.
Picture Credit: Arsenal.com