Arsenal batter Bournemouth ahead of massive north London derby
Ozil and Mhkitaryan shine against woeful Cherries
27 February, 2019 — By Tom Foot
ARSENAL 5 (Ozil 4, Mhkitaryan 27, Koscielny 47, Aubameyang 59, Lacazette 78)
BOURNEMOUTH 1 (Mousset 30)
ARSENAL and Spurs fans will be thinking about one thing – and one thing only – until the weekend: a massive north London derby at Wembley.
Arsenal thrashed Bournemouth 5-1 while stumbling Spurs lost a second consecutive game, away to Chelsea without registering a shot on target.
A win for the Gunners on Saturday in the early kick off would put them just one point behind their rivals and keep hopes of St Totteringham’s Day and Champions League qualification firmly alive.
After Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mhkitaryan inspired the Bournemouth drubbing, manager Unai Emery said: “It is a big motivation to win – it will be a big test for us.”
Mesut Ozil set the tone when he opened the scoring after just 4 mins. Left in acres of space, he chipped a shot at Artur Boruc who flapped his save into the back of the net.
Minutes later Bernd Leno made a quick reaction save after Ryan Fraser was clean through – and Laurent Koscielny followed up with a goal stopping block.
Ozil brilliantly squared to Mhkitaryan who swept in a volley to make it 2-0 on 27 minutes.
Arsenal were in cruise control but a calamitous mistake by Matt Guendouzi on edge of box let Bournemouth back into the game. Dan Gosling pounced on the hapless Arsenal midfielder and squared to Lys Mousset who calmly scored.
The second half was barely underway when Ozil once again sent Mhkitaryan past the Bournemouth defence – his cross found Laurent Koscielny and his shot just crept over the line.
Back in control, Arsenal pushed for a fourth and once again Mhkitaryan was involved when it came.
Given a huge space to play into by wide-open Bournemouth, he passed straight down the middle between the two central defenders to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The striker rounded the keeper and made no mistake with the finish.
Substitute Alexandre Lacazette bent in a freekick to make it deservedly 5-1. Replays showed Sokratis subtly barging the wall out of the way to make space for the shot.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said: “We weren’t good in any aspect of the game.”
An injury to captain Koscielny at the end took the gloss off the celebrations but Emery said he hoped he would be OK for Saturday.
ARSENAL: Leno, Sokratis, Koscielny, Mhkitaryan (Lacazette 64), Ozil, Torreira, Aubameyang (Suarez 72) Jenkinson, Guendouzi, Kolasanic (Iwobi 57).
Subs not used: Cech, Elneny, Ramsey, Mustafi.
BOURNEMOUTH: Boruc, Gosling, Ake, Surman, Mousset, Ibe (Daniels 55), Smith (Rico 70), King, Clyne, Fraser (Surridge 82), Mepham.
Subs not used: Brooks, Rico, Simpson, Begovic, Taylor.