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Match Report | Arsenal produce a champion’s fightback in a heart-stopping 3-2 win over Bournemouth

A late winner from Hale End Academy product Reiss Nelson in the 7th minute of added time sealed a dramatic comeback by Mikel Arteta’s title chasing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal’s cardiac kids produced one of their biggest results of the season in a dramatic 3-2 win over relegation-threatened Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium to remain five points clear of champions Manchester City.

The Cherries will feel hard done after jumping to a 2-0 lead in north London with goals on either side of the half-time interval, including a match opener via Danish international midfielder Philip Billing after just nine seconds. Center-back Marcos Senesi doubled their advantage in the 57th minute, with Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil already taking a massive away result as the south coast side still sat in the bottom three coming into the weekend program.

But Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners were not to be denied in front of home support in the capital, with Thomas Partey cutting the deficit in half just five minutes later from close range.

Hale End Academy product Reiss Nelson was the ultimate difference maker after coming off the bench for Emile Smith Rowe seven minutes later before only needing one minute to turn provider for Ben White’s equalizer and first Arsenal goal since his arrival from Brighton last season.

Nelson had more left in the tank during a season where he has much to prove if he is to remain on the books at his boyhood club, and he duly delivered a thunderbolt match-winner with the last kick of the ball after chesting down Bournemouth’s clearance from a Martin Ødegaard corner twenty yards out before dispatching a left-footed half volley into Neto’s top corner, sending the Emirates into rapture.

It was a performance befitting of a side capable of being crowned champions while paying homage to the spirit of belief and camaraderie that Arteta has continued to instill in the club since his return to the club. On a day when Manchester City could have closed the gap after their 2-0 win against Newcastle United at lunchtime, Arsenal showed why they lead the title race.

Arsenal Player Ratings

  • GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 6.5
  • RB: Takehiro Tomiyasu – 6
  • CB: William Saliba – 7
  • CB: Gabriel Magalhães – 6.5
  • LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7.5
  • CM: Thomas Partey – 8
  • CM: Fábio Vieira – 6.5
  • CAM: Martin Ødegaard – 8
  • RW: Bukayo Saka – 7.5
  • LW: Gabriel Martinelli – 7
  • CF: Leandro Trossard – 6
  • Sub: Emile Smith Rowe – 6.5
  • Sub: Ben White – 7.5
  • Sub: Reiss Nelson – 8
  • Sub: Granit Xhaka – 6.5

Bournemouth Player Ratings

  • GK: Neto – 7
  • RB: Adam Smith – 6
  • RCB: Chris Mepham – 6.5
  • CB: Jack Stephens – 7
  • LCB: Marcos Senesi – 7
  • LB: Jordan Zemura – 7
  • RM: Dango Ouattara – 6.5
  • CM: Joe Rothwell – 7
  • CM: Philip Billing – 8
  • LM: Antoine Semenyo – 6
  • CF: Dominik Solanke – 7
  • Sub: Jaidon Anthony – 6
  • Sub: Ryan Fredericks – 6
  • Sub: Lewis Cook – 6
  • Sub: Ryan Christie – 5.5

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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