GUNPOWDER REVIEW: GUNNERS ESCAPE EMBARRASMENT AFTER 3-3 DRAW WITH BOURNEMOUTH
shaking my head at you Arsenal! where do i actually begin with this review? Listen, Make no mistake this was a bad result for the Gunners forget the whole comeback thing. If you call yourself a title contender and have genuine ambitions to be on top of the league table by May. This is surely not the kind of performance or result that shows seriousness. Its not even a case of mixed feelings at this point for me, as i can muster no praise for the team in the light of that absolutely shocking first half display that Dug us into the hole in the first place. We began the game slightly better than the home side. In the opening 8-9 minutes it was all us, then all of a sudden we simply handed the reigns of control to the Bournemouth who gratefully took it and went about tearing us apart at every opportunity. Being 3-0 down to Bournemouth at 70mins is embarrassing and not champions stuff at all. Im sorry but we ought to be better than that.
starting Eleven:ARSENAL (4-2-3-1)
Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, (Gabriel 64,), Monreal 5; Coquelin 5 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 28), Xhaka 5; Ramsey, Iwobi (Perez 63, 6), Sanchez, Giroud
GOALS: Sanchez (70), Perez (75), Giroud (90+2)
Instead i’ll give full credit to the Home side Bournemouth who played out of their skin, showed us no respect and took the game to us. Time and again i watched as they gave us an absolute ripping in every department, they looked faster , more purposeful, determined and cohesive. They were making dangerous incursions time after time while we just seemed to look bereft of any idea to counteract.
It wasn’t a complete surprise when we fell behind in the 16th minute to a Daniels strike off a long ball from Stanislas. It seemed like just another one of their incursions into our area, however when Stanislas spotted the huge gap between Daniels and Bellerin (who had been sucked inside the Center-back area) and went for the pass from deep to find Daniels we were suddenly in trouble the moment the Bournemouth fullback took down the pass with an unerring first touch. Bellerin scrambled to recover but he was beaten easily and next thing you knew the ball was at the back of the Arsenal net, Cech had no chance. 1-0 and Bournemouth were deservedly ahead.
If that Goal was a shock to our system, what was to follow next was just worse. Bournemouth were on a counter attack and Bellerin was covering the run of Ryan fraser, ONLY for Granit Xhaka to appear across and apparently shove the Bournemouth forward to the ground in the penalty BOX. The referee wasted no time in blowing for the penalty to the utter horror of all Arsenal fans watching..Wilson wasted no time in scoring the penalty and in the space of 5mins Arsenal had suddenly found themselves 2 goals down in a must win game.. i particularly was incensed at now recurring clumsiness from Xhaka in our penalty box. He not too long ago showed similar rush of blood to the head in a game against Stoke at the Emirates causing a penalty against us also on that occasion after he raised an elbow in Joe allen’s face. Arsene wenger will do well to have a chat with the young man, because as talented as he is, and as importance as his range of passing is to our setup..he just cannot go into challenges in our box with excessive force. Its costing us and needs to be cut out.
The half ended in that fashion, 2-0 down and considerably second-best for the most part of the game. The worrying thing for me was that not only were we being outplayed on the pitch,(Arsenal had recorded zero attempts on goal) it also looked like we were lacking in fight&passion to match the intensity of the Bournemouth players. Definitely something had to change, and the majority of the ARSENAL fanbase hoped that Arsene would talk sense into the boys to bloody wake up.
The second half began with urgency from Arsenal and a couple of good forays into the Bournemouth area gave hope they could find their way back early. However the breakthrough would not come for the gunners, Alex iwobi went close and sanchez too but it was the homeside that shocked us by making it 3-0. A seemingly harmless pass aimed at Fraser was being shepherded by Hector Bellerin (who it must be said had a night to forget) on gaining control of the situation he appeared to be shoved off the ball by Fraser. The referee saw no foul and waved play on allowing the forward to calmly finish past a stranded Peter cech. 3-0 Bournemouth and the shit had well and truly hit the fan at this point.
It was panic stations for Arsenal as this was turning into an embarrassment. At this point one would have loved to see a response from the manager by way of subs..he had already taken off Coquelin with a suspected hamstring injury and Koscielny went off too bringing in Gabriel and Oxlade chamberlain. But in the face of impending defeat We had Lucas Perez on the bench and he had proven able to grab a goal or two in recent games..He was then introduced in the 63rd minute and his addition in place of Iwobi made all the difference.
In the 70th minute Arsenal pulled one back through Sanchez who had looked pissed off all game. The goal came off a flicked Header by Giroud. The goal went some way in providing belief to the hitherto fumbling gunners as they were soon finding their range with passes and looking dangerous like we expect..No later than the 75th minute it was 3-2. Substitute Lucas Perez meeting a giroud floated pass with an excellent one time Volley that flew past Boruc into the bottom left corner.
It suddenly seemed like our luck was changing as the Referee later gave the Bournemouth defender Francis a red card over a strong challenge on Ramsey..SO it was perfectly set up, Bournemouth down to 10 men and on the ropes .. we had 10mins to find an equalizer and possibly the winner. We cranked up the pressure big time but the goal didn’t come until the 92nd minute of extra-time when Giroud met a cross from Xhaka 3-3. What followed next sparked a debate of epic proportions on social media as Fans berated Giroud for choosing to over celebrate his equalizer( The french man broke into a demonstration of his weekend Scorpion kick goal versus Crystal palace) instead of rallying himself to restart the game.
There wasn’t time to find the winner and Arsenal had to settle for a share of the spoils. My frustration stems from the attitude of the players which i think was a bit wrong going into this game. Its obvious they felt “oh its only just Bournemouth,” Thinking they can just show up and the 3 points will be handed over to them no fuss. It wasn’t until we found ourselves behind by 3goals was when we began to apply the sort of seriousness needed to win this game.. that is definitely not the mentality of champions. Arsene can talk of the mental strength in the team all day long till the cows come home but its on the pitch the actual character is shown. Some might say a comeback FROM IMMINENT defeat of that nature should be commended no matter what, i say No! We had no business getting ourselves in that situation in the first place. We are better than Bournemouth as a team and individually to a man. If we had been more serious like we showed towards then end of the game ..it would have been a sure 3 points..
Now with Chelsea’s loss to Tottenham, The league Table looks even worse for us as we have been kicked out of the Top four
position..We ought to have been in 3rd, 6 points adrift but now we are 5th, 8 points off the top…and that my freinds isn’t what you call Champions stuff…Much as it hurts me to say.