Few hours before the game, I had the feeling that it would go easy for the Gunners at the Vitality stadium but it was odd to imagine that Arsenal would lose to Bournemouth. The Cherries have never lost to the Gunners but all that is history.
Bellerin put Arsenal ahead in the second half but Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe punished the Gunners’ inexperience at the back to secure three points for the home side.
8 points away from the top four, the Gunners can forget about going to the Champions League via league positions, especially with Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Manchester City. While Arsenal’s 49 games unbeaten record was preserved by Liverpool’s victory, it makes Arsenal’s top four challenge more difficult.
Lacazette continues his goal drought and Cech continues to wait for his 200th Premier League clean sheet. He was found wanting for the second goal. Enough of this Niles experiment at the back, time for Arsenal to do something different. Iwobi continues to show that he is not yet there. Welbeck is just Welbeck and how did we loan out Lucas Perez? Aside the goal, Bellerin has regressed.
Ramsey return couldn’t help. Although he started from the bench, his introduction had little or no impact. Wilshere continued in his run but will be side not to be on the winning side. Last season, he was on the other side. Now with less than six months left on his contract, he looks like Arsenal’s best player in the absence of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Mesut Ozil missed the game due to injury but Sanchez is believed to be on his way to Manchester. It most likely will be the red half of Manchester but Arsenal will need to get a replacement ASAP. Arsenal must be active on this January window if they are to finish within the top 7 places.
The only hope for a trophy is the League Cup and the Europa League. The latter is a ticket to the Champions League. The Gunners must overcome Chelsea within the week to get the League Cup final.
Wenger’s touchline ban is over. He returns to the dugout against Chelsea in the League Cup return leg.
Take heart Gooners. This is difficult to bear.
Photo-credit: Premier League