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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Winner Sees Arsenal Past Bournemouth in EPL

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2018

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25:  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with Hector Bellerin during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Arsenal ended a three-game winless run Sunday at Bournemouth as they picked up a 2-1 victory at the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League. 

Arsenal took the lead following a spectacular own goal from Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma in the 29th minute. But on the stroke of half-time, a Cherries player struck at the right end, with Josh King firing home left-footed at the end of a slick counter.

The visitors got back in front on 67 minutes, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tucking home Sead Kolasinac's cross from close range for his eighth of the Premier League season. Lerma almost went from zero to hero late on as he rattled the post from long range as Bournemouth searched for an equaliser.     

   

Emery Should Shelve Three-Man Defence

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Arsenal manager \ Head coach Unai Emery during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Ge
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

There was confusion when the Arsenal team was announced, as there were an abundance of defenders included in the XI. The team eventually lined up in something resembling a 5-2-3 formation, with three centre-backs at the base.

While Arsenal did eventually get over the line in this one, the system didn't totally convince at times throughout the game, with the home side getting a lot of joy when they attacked in wide areas.

James Benge of the Evening Standard commented on how fractured the Gunners were in general play:

James Benge @jamesbenge

I’d have thought if you were playing a back three you might have felt secure enough to play Ramsey in the midfield two. Not enough of a link between midfield and front three at the moment, nor much dynamism in central areas.

Injuries to Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck did limit the Arsenal boss to a degree in his selection here, although a look to the bench saw players like Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil that could've given the team more control in midfield.

Emery will be encouraged that the team came through this game using the system and were able to take all three points. However, you sense some supporters would be uneasy if the team lined up in the same way against Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday.

                         

Iwobi the Biggest Beneficiary of Emery's Arrival

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Alex Iwobi of Arsenal and Simon Francis of Bournemouth during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Will
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Emery has had a positive impact on a lot of players since arriving at Arsenal this summer, but none more so than Alex Iwobi. In recent weeks he has been one of the Gunners' standout performers.

He did struggle in the first period at times in this encounter. Per James McNicholas of Gunnerblog, he was harshly blamed by some in the buildup to the Bournemouth goal:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

Can’t agree with anybody blaming Iwobi for that goal being conceded. He’s an attacker trying to fashion a chance. Everything after that point is to the problem.

However, after half-time the Nigeria international was more resemblant of the player who's been impressing in recent weeks. The manner in which he was able to respond was a testament to his improvements.

His running with the ball, physicality and willingness to help in defence ensured he was always involved in the game. It was also his quick thinking and intelligence that released Kolasinac in the buildup to what turned out to be the winning goal.

The now.arsenal account noted his progression and how much the second goal meant to the winger:

now.arsenal @nowarsenaI

Alex Iwobi has become a different player under Unai Emery this season. He’s been superb today aswell. Love the passion!❤️ #COYG https://t.co/bOL88bhuKc

Competition is fierce in the forward positions for the Gunners at the moment, but Iwobi is quickly making himself a crucial part of the attack.           

   

What's next?

Arsenal are back in action in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday as they travel to Ukraine to face Vorskla. Bournemouth have a big test Saturday in the top flight as they face champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

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