Bournemouth add to Arsenal woes with a surprise win

Bournemouth add to Arsenal woes with a surprise win

52, Bellerin, 1-1, min. 70, Wilson.

Arsenal return to action on Saturday with a Premier League home clash against Crystal Palace.

Arsenal have never lost to Bournemouth in their six meetings but know they'll have a challenge on their hands here, just like they experienced on the South Coast a year ago where they fought from 3-0 down to draw 3-3; the only time they've battled back from that deficit in a Premier League match.

But in a tightly contested first half neither side were able to get a shot on goal as it remained goalless at the break.

Alexis Sanchez was left out of the Arsenal squad for the game as the speculation about his future at The Emirates continues.

It was a selection that displayed the alarming lack of quality available to Arsene Wenger - who was also missing Mesut Ozil through injury - meaning the Gunners' boss was forced to field an XI which from the outset looked as though it would struggle for goals - and indeed that was the case.

The Gunners got off to a positive and hit the upright in the opening 10 minutes through Ainsley Maitland-Niles' powerful strike.

Aside from that the visitors were restricted by a compact Bournemouth defence but Shkodran Mustafi did have two opportunities from first half corners, heading wide on both occasions.

There was a much clearer claim for a spot-kick moments later in the Arsenal area when Alex Iwobi handled Ibe's free-kick but referee Kevin Friend decided the contact was unintentional.

The goal was Bellerin's second goal in consecutive EPL games for Arsenal.

Callum Wilson restored parity for Bournemouth in the 70th minute, stabbing home a cross from the right flank before Ibe bagged the victor.

Four minutes later the hosts found themselves in front.

"He doesn't, he goes to sleep, it falls to Ibe and it's 2-1".

The win saw Bournemouth climb to thirteenth on the Premier League table with 24 points. It seems inevitable that Sanchez will depart this month, leaving the team without its game-changer and top scorer from last season.

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