Eddie Howe’s men Cherry bomb the Gunners putting Arsene in a new jam
Arsenal experienced a glimpse of life without Sanchez on Sunday, surrendering the lead, and allowing struggling home side the Cherries to pip them to three valuable points.
The visitors were missing two key players for their day at the Bournemouth seaside. Mesut Ozil is out sporting a knee injury, and Sanchez omitted. Sanchez continues to be linked with a much debated and imminent move.
The geographical argument has narrowed down to the City of Manchester. Which colour shirt he chooses remains to be seen. Either way it seems he will not be United with Wenger.
Gunners away but Sanchez home
Before the game Arsene Wenger didn’t deny Alexis Sanchez was left out purposely. Speaking to Sky Sport he said:
“You know he is being vague at the moment. It is not decided one way or the other, so I left him at home. “
When pressured as to why, and if an announcement was imminent, ambiguous as ever he replied: “I wouldn’t read too much into that, because even I don’t know really what way it will go. ”
He continued, “You just want to focus on the players on the pitch that can do well for the club”
He was then asked which club he thought Sanchez would choose, he answered with a simple “No”.
The first twenty of the game saw little action with Bournemouth holding their own. The visitors pushing, but lacking any decisive finish. Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck doing most of the gunning, whilst Lacazette looked lost and idealess.
Not his best performance and now eight games without a goal for the summer signing. For the first half hour, the Gunners had seen little enemy fire.
Toward the end of the half though, Bournemouth remembered they were at home. Settling into their game, they began to press the Gunners, awakening the stadium and their desire for a slice of Premiership point pie for the Cherries.
The absence of Arsenal’s best attacking threat told, as they struggled to break down their hosts before Hector Bellerin’s 52nd-minute opener. Finding the perfect pass at his feet from Alex Iwobi. Going a little against the run of play, the visitors were ahead.
Cherry Callum Wilson scores his virgin goal
Callum Wilson’s equaliser with 20 minutes to go was sharply followed by Jordon Ibe’s first Premier League goal for Bournemouth. Callum Wilson turning provider.
Those strikes proved enough to land a famous victory for Eddie Howe’s team, now unbeaten in their last five matches across all competitions. It was Howe’s first ever win over beleaguered Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal remain sixth, but have not won in five, and are struggling to keep pace in the top four challenge. Their travel sickness remains, taking just 9 points from a possible 33 on the road.
Their away form is now keeping out of the top four. Tottenham and Liverpool’s respective decisive wins this weekend have heaped extra pressure on Wenger and his squad.
If, as expected, Sanchez completes a Northern move to the Etihad or Old Trafford, Wenger must be seeking an immediate strike force solution.
Hopes of a top four finish will dissipate if the Arsenal continue to fail outside the safety of the Emirates. Safety that perhaps is still not enjoyed by Wenger.
With the second successive Sunday ending in disaster for Arsenal, his future again will cause debate. That is of course alongside the Sanchez saga.
Arsenal face Crystal Palace next in the Premier League who are showing better form of late. They will be looking to cash in on the poor run of results for the North London side. Arsenal now without a win in five matches in all competitions.
It is safe to say that Eddie Howe reflected warmly on his weekend, a weekend which saw Arsene Wenger find the sea air a little too bracing.
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