Arsenal secured a tight 1-0 victory against Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium as home backers breathed a collective sigh of relief.
A solitary goal from David Luiz gave Unai Emery’s side a much needed three points.
The Gunners are now sitting in third place, one point behind reigning Premier League champions Manchester City who were shocked at home against Wolves.
The game started relatively slowly with both sides unwilling to push men forward in the search for the first goal of the match.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked to continue his great goalscoring form and looked to justify his 4/9 odds of scoring in this match. The Gabonese international had the first good chance of the game where he curled an effort just wide in the first five minutes of the match.
The Gunners controlled proceedings in the first few exchanges and found the breakthrough shortly after Aubameyang’s chance.
David Luiz flicked home a header from a Nicolas Pépé corner in the eighth minute to give Unai Emery’s side a deserved lead.
Arsenal continued to pressurise Bournemouth with an eye of putting the game to bed early on. Record signing Pépé looked the most likely to put the Gunners two goals to the good.
The Ivorian curled a shot wide from outside the box and had a penalty shout waved away shortly after.
The tricky winger showed great skill as he breezed past Diego Rico with some great step-overs.
The defender brought down Pépé but referee Martin Atkinson refused to point to the spot. VAR deemed the decision not to be clear and obvious and thus did not overturn Atkinson’s decision.
On the other side of the pitch, Eddie Howe’s side could not trouble Arsenal’s defence and looked toothless in front of goal. The Cherries managed to muster up a measly three shots and none of them were on target.
Despite Arsenal having 58% possession in the first half, they were not able to add further to their early goal and had to settle for their one-goal lead heading into the second half.
Bournemouth came out energized and nearly equalised just five minutes after the restart.
Callum Wilson, who had scored three times in four against Arsenal, ran through the Gunners’ defence., rounded the rounded the keeper and tried to square it to Josh King for an easy tap-in.
However, a great interception from Calum Chambers denied the Norwegian and Bournemouth were unable to convert a great opportunity. The Cherries tried to create more chances in order to level the scores.
Phillip Billing had a decent effort from 20 yards but curled it past the post in the 57th minute.
With Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno only keeping one clean sheet this season, Bournemouth knew they had a great opportunity in the second half to get something from this game.
The fixture became a scrappy affair midway through the second half with both teams trying to win the midfield battle. Both teams were giving away fouls and were unable to create something of note.
After Arsenal substitute Gabriel Martinelli sent a shot over the bar in the 80th minute, the game became more open. The Cherries were able to cut through Arsenal’s resolute midfield and attack their defence.
Eddie Howe’s side had a few opportunities to take a point back to the Vitality Stadium. Arnaut Groeneveld had an attempt that was whiskers away from being on target and Steve Cook headed over from a corner.
Callum Wilson missed a great chance in the dying minutes, shooting straight at Leno from inside the box.
That is not to say Arsenal didn’t have chances to put the game to bed. Aubameyang was put through by Chambers but only managed to hit the post.
However, he was offside so had the ball gone in, the goal would not have counted.