Arsenal Draw 1-1 with Bournemouth in Mikel Arteta's First Match in Charge

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2019

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Jefferson Lerma of AFC Bournemouth tackles Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Arsenal drew 1-1 with Bournemouth on Boxing Day in Mikel Arteta's first match as the new head coach.

Dan Gosling gave the Cherries the lead in the first half, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tied things up after the break.

The Gunners had won just one of their last 10 Premier League outings. Unai Emery was dismissed at the end of November amid the poor run of form, and Freddie Ljungberg took charge of the side for five of those matches, earning the singular win against West Ham United earlier in December.

Here's a look at Arteta's first teamsheet:

Arsenal @Arsenal

🚨 Three changes for @m8arteta's first game in charge... ⬅️ Chambers, Smith Rowe, Martinelli ➡️ Sokratis, Ozil, Lacazette #BOUARS

The Cherries started well and forced the first good save out of Bernd Leno after just five minutes, with Ryan Fraser taking aim. Alexandre Lacazette had a decent look on the other end of the pitch, but he couldn't keep his shot on target.

Callum Wilson narrowly blasted a volley over the crossbar, and Reiss Nelson and Aubameyang had shots blocked inside the box. Lacazette also couldn't beat his marker after good work out wide from Ozil and Nelson.

Aubameyang tried his luck from distance just before the half-hour mark but fired over, and the Gunners started to take control of possession, leaving themselves vulnerable to counter-attacks.

It cost them after 35 minutes, when poor passing and a turnover gave Bournemouth an opening in attack, and Jack Stacey found Gosling, who got the opener.

Bleacher Report's Aaron West noted Arteta can't fix everything himself:

Aaron West @oeste

can't believe arteta's mere presence didn't solve the fact that we have sokratis & david luiz playing center back together

Bournemouth ended the half on top and came close to a second goal through Joshua King, who drew another good save from Leno. The resulting corner was headed wide by Chris Mepham.

At half-time, The Athletic's James McNicholas urged fans to be patient:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

45 minutes in, I like my first look at Arteta’s Arsenal. If they were sharper in the final third we’d be well in front. Patience, patience, patience.

Ozil found Aubameyang in a promising position early in the second half, but the Gabon international couldn't sort out his feet and shot wide. 

Bournemouth did an excellent job shutting down their half of the pitch, limiting the spaces and getting physical when needed. It led to some entertaining battles in midfield but few chances for either side.

The Gunners found the breakthrough after 63 minutes, however, pushing Bournemouth back for a long spell before a deflected effort reached Aubameyang. The former Borussia Dortmund star did not miss from close range.

The Telegraph's Sam Dean credited Granit Xhaka for his role in the buildup:

Sam Dean @SamJDean

Deserved equaliser for #AFC, who have really taken control of this second half. Aubameyang is there at the back post, turning in Nelson's deflected shot. Midfield-splitting pass from Xhaka created the opportunity. Big celebrations in the corner.

Arsenal pushed for a second goal, and Ozil nearly turned home a fantastic cross from Nelson, but he found a defender in his path. Wilson correctly had a goal ruled out for offside, and Joe Willock wasted a fantastic chance in injury time, aiming his shot straight at Aaron Ramsdale.


What's Next?

Arsenal will host Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday. Bournemouth will travel to Brighton & Hove on Saturday..