A fine footballing goal won this tight game for an improving Arsenal team but Eddie Howe will know the truth. A manager consumed by fine details, Bournemouth’s coach will know that it was a communal and unforgivable dereliction of duty that cost his team here.
You can never switch off in the Premier League, not for a second. It doesn’t matter who you are playing. After conceding an unnecessary free-kick 40 yards from their own goal midway through the second half, Bournemouth momentarily allowed their minds to wander and within 30 seconds the ball was in their net.
It was a pretty goal from Arsenal. Alex Iwobi’s pass inside the full back to the galloping Sead Kolasinac was particularly lovely and the subsequent low cross to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the far post was perfect. It was a goal that deserved to win any match.
There was a little luck for Arsenal early on and Howe was rightly upset that an eighth-minute effort from David Brooks was ruled out for offside. The 21-year-old was dangerous in an opening spell that Bournemouth dominated and beat Bernd Leno from seven yards after playing a ball into the area and running on to the return. He looked offside when he scored but he wasn’t. Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi was playing him on as he lay on the floor and the goal should have stood.
Bournemouth’s Colombian midfielder, Jefferson Lerma contributed a stunning own goal on the half-hour, stretching to intercept a cross from Kolasinac and volleying it powerfully past his own goalkeeper from 14 yards.
The London club are now unbeaten in 17 games since the middle of August and have scored at least twice in every one of their Premier League matches away from home. If that continues, they will challenge for a top-four place that most would have presumed to be beyond them at the start of the campaign. Progress, indeed.