How Rambo and co enjoyed the stroll in Bournemouth's Cherry jungle

Raf Diallo looks at the key points from Arsenal's 2-0 win

BY Raf Diallo 15:36 Sunday 7 February 2016, 15:36 7 Feb 2016

Harry Arter and Aaron Ramsey (Picture by: John Walton / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

A simple one-two sucker punch from Arsenal in the first half was enough to overcome Bournemouth today and end their recent sticky patch.

Mesut Ozil fired in the opener 23 minutes in, followed by a composed second from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Arsenal move back level on points with second placed Tottenham in the Premier League table.

While Arsene Wenger's side were relatively comfortable aside - bar the concession of a few chances - the 2-0 win had its fair share of interesting under-currents. 

Bournemouth make for perfect opponents

For a few years, it was always said that Arsenal didn't like opponents going "up and at 'em". That stereotype doesn't hold as much water as it used to.

But it's still handy to come up against an opponent that stood off them to an extent.

Bournemouth's football is progressive and easy on the eye, which works perfectly for Arsenal who had ample opportunity to pick off the Cherries with little pressure on the main playmakers Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey.

Bournemouth had most of the possession overall (51% to 49%), but the first half saw Arsenal have more of the ball yet the pass that opened up the play for Ozil's opener was quite direct from the boot of Ramsey, rather than overly patient approach towards the box.


Both Arsenal goals owed much to the passing of Ramsey. The Gunners had joy down the channels around the Bournemouth defence and ball in from the midfielder also known as Rambo found Olivier Giroud who directed the ball back centrally for Ozil to fire home in style.

The second came shortly afterwards as Ramsey threaded in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain down the right-side channel and the Englishman scored class to find the post and net for a first away goal in half a decade.

Gabriel and Bellerin track down Pugh (Picture by: John Walton / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Ramsey is at his best in those box-to-box situations where he has space to be direct in front of a looser defensive structure to pick out passes or shots, with the vast majority of his pass attempts going forward instead of back and square.

And the defensive element of his box-to-box play was also evident in his seven attempted tackles of which five were successful - the most of any player on the pitch.

Gabriel in, Mertesacker out?

This wasn't the type of game to truly judge centre-back Gabriel vis a vis the merits of starting him in place of the smart but slow Per Mertesacker.

Aside from occasional minor wobbles, the Brazilian former Villarreal stopper was solid alongside Laurent Koscielny and provides the pace that his German counterpart lacks.

Shorter than Mertesacker, he was well suited to the type of approach Bournemouth provided as they did not focus on the aerial threat that a Stoke, for example, would test the Gunners with.


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