Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth: Mesut Ozil scores and assists as Gunners return to winning ways to go top of Premier League

first_imgArsenal bounced back from a heavy Boxing Day defeat to beat Bournemouth 2-0 and return top of the Premier League.The three points means Arsenal could be top going into 2016, depending on tomorrow’s meeting between Leicester and Man City.Arsene Wenger will have wanted to see a reaction from his Gunners side after the 4-0 drubbing at Southampton and they certainly provided that.Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista – starting for the first time in over a month – opened the scoring after heading home Mesut Ozil’s corner – yet another assist for the German playmaker.Another German in Per Mertesacker should have doubled Arsenal’s tally as he headed the ball wide from point-blank range.Ozil was then on the scoresheet in the second half, when he combined well with Olivier Giroud before finishing superbly past Artur Boruc.Defeat for Bournemouth also ends their run of six matches unbeaten, as Eddie Howe’s side boosted their chances of Premier League survival.Arsene Wenger made four changes to the side that lost 48 hours earlier at St Mary’s, with Calum Chambers, Gabriel, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs coming into the XI.Eddie Howe’s resurgent Bournemouth, meanwhile, went into the tie full of confidence after most recently beating Chelsea, Man United and West Brom and drawing with Swansea.The Cherries’ Josh King was denied with an early shot at Petr Cech, after a quiet start at the Emirates.The home side began to grow into the game and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who looked lively after being restored to the line-up, made an exciting run down the wing to earn the Gunners a corner.Ozil took the resulting set piece to deliver his 16th assist of the season, putting a floated ball to the edge of the six-yard box for Gabriel, 25, to score his first Arsenal goal.Wenger’s men dominated after the goal and they pushed for a second, very nearly adding to their tally when Ozil’s corner came in and Boruc tipped a header onto the post. It ricocheted off the frame and straight at Mertesacker, whose face quickly connected with the ball and trickled past the post from three yards.Bournemouth ventured forward early in the second period, but Cech was on hand to grab Adam Smith’s cross, with the Czech goalkeeper determined to keep a clean sheet after Saturday’s showing.It was then 2-0 after 63 minutes, as Ozil played a one-two with Giroud, getting the return ball inside the box, controlling and finishing well into the far corner, low past the goalkeeper.Arsenal had the ascendancy and nearly grabbed a third when Ramsey pulled the ball back for Giroud, who has scored six goals in his last five Arsenal games, but the Frenchman could not get the ball out of his feet quick enough.Giroud then tested Boruc, who saved well and parried but Walcott could not convert the follow up, as Arsenal ran out comfortable winners in the end. Mesut Ozil 1last_img

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