Bournemouth Shock Everton In Premier League Clash

Bournemouth’s English striker Callum Wilson (2nd R) heads home the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Everton at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on September 15, 2019. OLLY GREENWOOD / AFP

 

Callum Wilson scored twice as Bournemouth curbed early season optimism over Everton’s prospects with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

The England international took advantage of some sloppy defending from the visitors to head home the opener from close range, but Everton levelled before half-time through Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The Toffees have spent big again this summer in a bid to challenge the established ‘top six’ for a European place, but will need to improve on the road to do so.

Ryan Fraser’s driven free-kick restored Bournemouth’s lead 23 minutes from time via a deflection off Fabian Delph before Wilson’s cool finish to lob international teammate Jordan Pickford made the game safe.

Everton have now picked up just one point from three away games this season after also failing to win at Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

Victory takes Bournemouth above their opponents on goal difference with both sides on seven points from their opening five games.

Silva Sparkles As Aguero Double Fires City

 

Sergio Aguero bagged a brace and David Silva marked his 400th appearance for Manchester City by playing a role in all three goals as the champions won 3-1 at Bournemouth on Sunday.

First half efforts from Aguero and Raheem Sterling ensured Pep Guardiola’s side led at the interval despite a stunning free-kick reply from Bournemouth’s Harry Wilson.

Argentina striker Aguero wrapped up City’s second Premier League victory of the season with his second goal of the game after half-time.

It was Silva, though, who was the architect of the win and having already announced this will be his last season at the Etihad Stadium, this display only underlined how much he will be missed.

READ ALSO: Salah Stars As ‘Greedy’ Liverpool Beat Arsenal

The Spanish midfielder remains an integral part of Guardiola’s team, with his contribution to City’s goals demonstrating exactly why he is so valued by his manager.

For the 15th minute opening goal, it was Silva who operated as the fulcrum towards the start of the move with the midfielder finding Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left, allowing the left-back to drill in the low cross that eventually led to Aguero’s finish.

Silva’s contribution to the second was even more eye-catching, with his superbly weighted ball picking out Sterling’s darting run into the box before the England attacker struck past keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Then a positive surge into the Bournemouth area caused confusion among the home backline before Aguero pounced for the third.

Those moments helped City maintain control of a game that could easily have slipped from their grasp had Eddie Howe’s side enjoyed better fortune.

Aguero’s predatory finishing was the perfect tonic for City after Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus was withdrawn from the squad with a hamstring problem sustained in training.

City said Jesus will be back to full fitness after next month’s international break, meaning he should miss only next weekend’s clash with Brighton.

Bournemouth had established an unwanted record in the corresponding fixture last season when they became the first home team not to register a shot on goal in the Premier League.

Note of panic

On this occasion a positive start ensured they quickly avoided a repeat with Josh King testing Ederson in the first minute.

It was clear from the start Bournemouth were anxious not to concede territory to Guardiola’s team, who initially appeared unsettled.

Kyle Walker was booked for a foul on Nathan Ake in the 10th minute, having already been fortunate to escape a caution for an equally bad challenge on the same player.

And there was an uncharacteristic note of panic in the City defence when Ederson raced out to the right hand touchline and halted Callum Wilson with a crude, waist-high challenge which also earned a yellow card.

Aguero’s strike ended Bournemouth’s bright opening, with the forward reacting first after Kevin De Bruyne miscued from Zinchenko’s shot.

Bournemouth responded well, despite losing left-back Charlie Daniels to a knee injury and would have levelled but for Ederson’s fine save to deny Ake shortly before the keeper produced an even better block from Adam Smith’s close-range shot.

Belief was growing among the hosts before Silva’s second major contribution when he teed up Sterling to double the lead two minutes before the break.

And the intervention was particularly timely as moments later Harry Wilson, on for Daniels, brought Bournemouth back into the game with a stunning free-kick.

The goal ensured Bournemouth returned from the interval full of hope, with Wilson drawing another fine save from Ederson.

City were convinced they should have had a penalty when Silva went down under a challenge from Jefferson Lerma, but the referee Andre Marriner decision to ignore the visitors’ claims was upheld by VAR.

Perhaps aggrieved at the decision, Silva wasted no time in setting up Aguero’s second goal to ensure Guardiola’s side eased their way to victory.

Bournemouth Beat Nine-Man Tottenham After Ake’s Late Strike

Bournemouth Beat Nine-Man Tottenham With Ake's Late Strike
Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli (R) gestures at referee Craig Pawson (2R) during the English Premier League football match against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, southern England on May 4, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Mauricio Pochettino insists nine-man Tottenham won’t let a “cruel” 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth ruin their bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four and reach the Champions League final.

South Korea forward Son Heung-min was sent off for a needless push in the closing moments of the first half and Argentine defender Juan Foyth saw red for a studs-up lunge soon after the interval, barely two minutes after entering the field as a half-time substitute.

Pochettino’s side looked like they would hold on for a point as the match entered stoppage-time, but Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake ended third-placed Tottenham’s stubborn resistance to delay their attempt to guarantee a place in the top four.

A win at Dean Court would have achieved that aim, but fourth-placed Chelsea will now go above Spurs if they defeat Watford and Arsenal, currently fifth, will move to within one point of their north London rivals if they beat Brighton.

“Of course it is difficult to get something positive. We made a massive effort,” said Pochettino.

“We need to move on. We have ahead two finals. It is in our hands. If it does not happen we will be proud because nobody expected Tottenham to be in the position they are today.”

Tottenham’s ninth defeat in their last 15 games in all competitions means they need to wait for Sunday’s results to see if they need to win their final Premier League game of the season at home to Everton on May 12.

It was the worst possible preparation for their bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Ajax on Wednesday.

“We are fighting six teams. It’s impossible for all six to get the top four, whatever happens, I will feel proud and whatever happens in the semi-final I will be proud,” added the Argentine.

Pochettino didn’t rest any of his key players ahead of the trip to Amsterdam, with Son, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura all starting, although Jan Vertonghen was absent after his head injury in midweek.

Lucas Moura tried to catch out Bournemouth’s teenage keeper Mark Travers with an audacious effort from the halfway line.

Travers, making his Premier League debut, was way off his line, but went unpunished as the Tottenham forward’s shot went just wide.

The 19-year-old was fortunate on that occasion, but he proved he had banished any nerves when he dived to his right to save Dele Alli’s long-range strike.

– Ugly tackle –

Lucas tried again from more conventional range when the Brazilian burst clear for a shot from the edge of the area that Travers did well to tip over the bar.

Shining in his personal duel with Lucas, Travers foiled the Tottenham star for a third time, quickly rushing off his line to save with his legs before producing another superb save to keep out Alli’s header.

Tottenham finished the half down to 10 men as Son earned an out-of-character dismissal.

Frustrated by a heated battle for possession with Ryan Fraser, Son responded to Jefferson Lerma’s presence by shoving the Bournemouth midfielder to the turf, leaving Craig Pawson no option but to flash the red card.

Tottenham’s disciplinary woes weren’t finished yet and Pochettino was left shell-shocked after his half-time substitute Foyth was the second player to be sent off following an ugly tackle that smashed into Jack Simpson’s leg in the 48th minute.

Tottenham couldn’t hold out and Ake headed home from Fraser’s corner in the 91st minute.

In a dramatic finale, Tottenham felt they should have had a penalty with the last kick when Alli was bundled over by Wilson, but Pawson ignored their protests.

AFP

City Back At Premier League Top After Win At Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc dives as he watches a shot from Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero hit the bar during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Manchester City at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on March 2, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Manchester City struck the latest blow in the Premier League title race as they moved above Liverpool to the top of the table after Riyad Mahrez secured a 1-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday.

City climbed two points clear of Liverpool, increasing the pressure on their title rivals before Jurgen Klopp’s side face Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

After the single-goal victory against West Ham in midweek, City manager Guardiola could again be satisfied with the way his side stuck to their task to deliver the result they needed at Dean Court.

And the way Guardiola celebrated this vital three points with his players on the pitch after the final whistle spoke volumes.

Mahrez’s contribution was also timely after the Algeria winger had been widely criticised for his display against West Ham, when he was withdrawn after just 55 minutes following his first league start since December 30.

There have already been suggestions the 28-year-old might move on just 12 months after his £60-million ($79.26 million) arrival from Leicester, but his second-half winner will undoubtedly lift his confidence ahead of the remaining weeks of the season.

READ ALSO: Roger Federer Wins 100th Title

City’s victory came at the cost of an injury to Kevin De Bruyne, who was withdrawn after appearing to pick up a hamstring immediately before half-time.

John Stones also left the field early in the second half and Guardiola will hope both players are not sidelined for long, with Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte already out of action.

Guardiola’s men totally dominated the opening half, enjoying 83 percent possession, yet rarely troubled Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc and managed just one shot on target before the break.

– City rewarded –

That was due in part to the protection given to Boruc by his defenders, who held their concentration and stuck to their task impressively in the face of sustained City pressure.

Sergio Aguero was largely denied a clear sight of goal before the interval and it was Nicolas Otamendi who came closest when he met De Bruyne’s corner with an acrobatic volley that flew narrowly over.

De Bruyne’s departure added to City’s first-half frustrations but Mahrez, the Belgian’s replacement, quickly made an impact, delivering a corner that was diverted goalwards by Bournemouth’s Chris Mepham, forcing Boruc to save from close-range.

City were never likely to change their approach significantly despite their unproductive first-half efforts.

And after starting the second half in exactly the same way as they saw out the first, they took full advantage when Bournemouth finally cracked and allowed Mahrez enough room to fire past Boruc in the 55th minute.

The build-up to the goal was like so many of City’s previous moves, with the ball being worked quickly across the face of the home goal, where David Silva eventually helped it on to Mahrez.

Positioned beyond the far post, the Algerian pulled away from Charlie Daniels and had the time to steady himself before beating Boruc at the near post.

From that moment, the outcome of the game was effectively decided.

Bournemouth had offered few signs of being able to trouble City and, exhausted by their defensive efforts, they lacked the energy to mount a response.

City could have added to their tally but for a series of fine saves from Boruc.

‘Maybe It’s My Fault’: Sarri Fumes After Chelsea Meltdown

File: Chelsea Italian Coach, Maurizio Sarri gestures from the touchline.

 

Maurizio Sarri questioned his ability to motivate Chelsea’s spluttering stars after their humiliating 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Wednesday.

The shocking result at Dean Court ranked as Chelsea’s biggest league defeat for 22 years and was their fifth loss in the last 12 Premier League games.

The Blues have dropped out of the top four — below Arsenal on goals scored — to leave their bid to qualify for the Champions League under severe threat.

And Chelsea boss Sarri, who publicly questioned his side’s approach after the recent defeat at Arsenal, conducted a lengthy post-match inquest alone with his players after asking his backroom staff to leave the dressing room.

The Italian maintained he does not feel under pressure but admitted the blame for the defeat could lie with himself.

READ ALSO: Juventus Dumped Out Of Coppa Italia By Atlanta

“In that moment I wanted to talk with them alone, without anybody else,” he said.

“I needed to understand. It’s impossible to play in such a different way between the first and second half.

“I don’t understand why. I don’t know exactly. I want to try again tomorrow because we want to solve the problem.

“I think (the players are good enough). Maybe we are not at the top of the Premier League at the moment, but we are competitive.

“We cannot lose 4-0 against Bournemouth. I want to respect Bournemouth, but it’s impossible to lose 4-0 here.

“Maybe it’s my fault, maybe I’m not able to motivate them. But the team is very strong, it is also able to win without the coach.”

Sarri is facing growing questions about his tactics and motivational ability just half-way through his first season in charge.

And the former Napoli boss admitted he is starting to get annoyed by Chelsea’s inconsistency.

“I feel frustrated. Not under pressure. I didn’t see the signal of my work. So I am frustrated,” he said.

Chelsea dominated long periods of the first half but after conceding Joshua King’s opening goal in the 47th minute, they had no response as David Brooks doubled the lead in the 63rd minute.

‘Ride that storm’

King added a second eleven minutes later, and Charlie Daniels headed the fourth in stoppage-time.

“What I saw in the first half, there was the possibility to solve the problem,” Sarri said.

“We had 43 minutes still to play, so we could solve the problem. But not with that kind of reaction.

“At the moment, they are able to react very well always against a big team. When we play against a big team, usually we are able to play with a very good level of motivation.

“In the first half, I saw a team with a very good level of motivation and determination. Then, suddenly after the first goal, we were not able to play.”

The withdrawal of Gonzalo Higuain in the 64th minute prompted chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from the Chelsea supporters.

Sarri said: “We have only to say sorry to our fans. We can lose, of course, in every match, but not in this way.

“We need to solve the problem. We need to understand where the problem is.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe revealed his side’s game-plan was to put pressure on Jorginho, Chelsea’s deep-lying midfielder.

“It was something we looked at and planned and David did a brilliant job beyond his years with his diligence, and then he showed his class at the other end as well, so I’m pleased for him,” Howe said.

“We just knew they’d have more of the ball than we would. They’ve got world-class players, technically.

“The way their manager plays the game is great to watch. We had to ride that storm, really.

“The way we dealt with Hazard, Pedro, Higuain, getting bodies around the ball, tracking runners. We just managed to frustrate them.”

 

AFP

Bournemouth Thrash Chelsea 4-0 In Premier League Cracker

 

Bournemouth produced an amazing display which saw them thrash Chelsea 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday. 

Chelsea dominated the first half of the clash but had little to show for their efforts as Joshua King turned things around a few seconds into the second half.

READ ALSO:  Juventus Dumped Out Of Coppa Italia By Atlanta

Below are results of some of the games played on Wednesday.

English Premier League results on Wednesday:

Bournemouth 4 (King 47, 75, Brooks 63, Daniels 90+5) Chelsea 0

Liverpool 1 (Mane 3) Leicester 1 (Maguire 45+2)

Southampton 1 (Ward-Prowse 77) Crystal Palace 1 (Zaha 41)

Tottenham 2 (Son 80, Llorente 87) Watford 1 (Cathcart 38)

Played Tuesday

Arsenal 2 (Aubameyang 66-pen, Lacazette 83) Cardiff 1 (Mendez-Laing 90+3)

Fulham 4 (Chambers 47, Mitrovic 58, 74, Vietto 79) Brighton 2 (Murray 3, 17)

Huddersfield 0 Everton 1 (Richarlison 3)

Manchester United 2 (Pogba 87-pen, Lindelof 90+2) Burnley 2 (Barnes 51, Wood 81)

Newcastle 2 (Rondon 66, Ritchie 80-pen) Manchester City 1 (Aguero 1)

Wolves 3 (Saiss 66, Jimenez 80, 86) West Ham 0

 

Bournemouth New Recruit Solanke Facing Delayed Debut

Liverpool’s English striker Dominic Solanke attends a training session and media day at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Dominic Solanke may have to wait until February to make his Bournemouth debut because of a hamstring problem, manager Eddie Howe said on Saturday.

Howe insisted the Cherries were well aware of the 21-year-old’s injury prior to signing the 21-year-old striker from Premier League rivals Liverpool for £19 million ($24 million) on Friday.

“Dominic will miss most of January I would say, because he’s got a bit of a hamstring issue,” said Howe, after Bournemouth lost 3-1 to fellow south coast top-flight side Brighton in the third round of the FA Cup at the Vitality Stadium.

“It will be more February before we’re likely to see him in action, but we knew about that because he’s been through all the medicals and checks.

“He adds a slightly different dynamic to our front line. He can hold the ball up in play, he’s technically gifted, has a good physical presence and all-round he’s a very good player.”

AFP

Pogba Bags Another Brace As Manchester United Bash Bournemouth

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (C) celebrates after scoring their second goal against Bournemouth at Old Trafford in Manchester… on December 30, 2018.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Paul Pogba scored twice for the second time in five days as Manchester United’s revival since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho continued unabated with a 4-1 thrashing of Bournemouth at Old Trafford.

A third consecutive victory since Solskjaer took caretaker charge until the end of the season keeps United eight points adrift of Chelsea in the fight for a top-four finish.

Marcus Rashford also shone as the England international’s stunning run and cross teed up Pogba’s opener before he scored United’s third.

Nathan Ake pulled a goal back for Bournemouth just before half-time, but Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to round off the scoring before Eric Bailly was shown a late red card to leave United to finish with 10 men.

The change in mood around United in the 12 days since Mourinho was sacked is palpable, no more so in the performances of Pogba who was discarded from the Portuguese’s starting line-up for his final three league games in charge.

The French World Cup winner played a part in four of United’s five goals at Cardiff last weekend to get Solskjaer off to a flying start before scoring twice against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.

Solskjaer has spoken of his desire to see Pogba break into the box more regularly and he had the simplest of tasks to prod the ball into an empty net after Rashford had bewildered the Bournemouth defence.

Ake and Diego Rico were left beaten by Rashford’s combination of fleet-footed dribbling and pace before his cross perfectly picked out Pogba’s run.

The roles were reversed 10 minutes later when this time Pogba’s header teed up Rashford for a powerful strike that was deflected just behind.

However, in stark contrast to the final days of Mourinho’s tenure, it seemed only a matter of time before United struck again and once more it was Pogba who provided the finish with a bullet header from Ander Herrera’s cross.

Unlike Pogba, Nemanja Matic was one of Mourinho’s most trusted lieutenants but the Serbian has also epitomised the change in tack orchestrated by Solskjaer with the former Chelsea midfielder much more willing to look for a forward rather than sideways pass.

And Matic began the move for United’s third when he picked out Anthony Martial’s run and the Frenchman’s cross with the outside of his boot was turned home by Rashford.

For all the improvements of late, though, Solskjaer is still waiting for a first clean sheet since November as Ake beat Matic to power home David Brooks’s cross.

Rashford should have added to his tally when put clean through by Pogba, but didn’t get enough elevation on his attempted chip over Asmir Begovic before making way for Lukaku 20 minutes from time.

And the Belgian netted almost instantly when he squeezed the ball past Begovic on his weaker right foot from another Pogba pass.

Only the post then denied Pogba a first ever hat-trick when his low strike from the edge of the box came off the woodwork.

But United had to see out the final 11 minutes a man light after Bailly needlessly lunged in on Ryan Fraser to see a straight red card.

AFP

Salah Hat-Trick Sends Liverpool Top Of Premier League

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (R) takes the ball around Bournemouth’s Bosnian-Herzegovinian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic (L) before scoring his third goal, Liverpool’s fourth, against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Liverpool delivered a clear sign they intend to push Manchester City all the way in the Premier League with an emphatic 4-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday that was capped by a hat-trick from Mohamed Salah.

This victory, the Reds’ fifth consecutive league win, secured with the additional help of a Steve Cook own-goal, extended Jurgen Klopp’s side’s unbeaten start to the league season.

It also moved them one point ahead of City at the top of the table, hours before Pep Guardiola’s side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Salah’s contribution was central to Liverpool’s success — the Egyptian has struggled to match his outstanding levels of last season but with 10 league goals to his name, he is now hitting his stride.

He may have benefited from a close offside decision for the 25th-minute opener that gave Liverpool a half-time lead, but the finishes for his two second-half goals were outstanding.

Overall, Liverpool manager Klopp could be satisfied with the manner in which his side eased their way to victory ahead of the midweek Champions League meeting with Napoli.

Liverpool had demonstrated resilience to win on Wednesday against a physical Burnley side whose approach drew an angry reaction from Klopp.

Joe Gomez was a casualty of the trip to Turf Moor, suffering a broken leg in a challenge with Clarets defender Ben Mee, and with a testing week ahead Klopp named Trent Alexander-Arnold among the substitutes and named James Milner at right-back.

Bournemouth’s hopes of halting Liverpool’s progress suffered a blow when Callum Wilson, the England international who has scored eight league goals this season, was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The home side certainly felt Wilson’s absence during the periods of the game when they pushed Liverpool onto the back foot.

Klopp embraces Salah (L) after the match.                                                           Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

Liverpool cruise

But defensive errors, combined with a dubious offside decision for the opening goal, meant they had little chance to impose themselves on a Liverpool side that never had to find top gear to secure three points.

The opening period suggested Klopp’s side would again have to work hard for victory. Salah and Roberto Firmino took time to make an impact, with the Egyptian spurning the first real chance of the game when he sliced wide from close range.

And had David Brooks shown more composure when he was sent clear on Liverpool’s goal in the 24th minute, the early momentum would have been in favour of the home side.

As it was, Liverpool responded immediately, taking control with some help from the assistant referee.

Salah and Firmino combined well 25 metres out, before the Brazilian fired in a shot at keeper Asmir Begovic. The Bosnia international should have done better than parry the ball into the middle of the penalty area, allowing Salah to react first and fire high into the net from close range.

Eddie Howe’s players pointed out that Salah had been in an offside position but their complaints were dismissed, although TV replays suggested they had a case.

From that point in the game, Liverpool tightened their grip, particularly after the restart.

It helped the Reds’ cause that Salah was gifted the chance to add a second three minutes after the restart when Steve Cook lost the ball near the halfway line. Firmino released the Egyptian, who ran 40 metres before placing the ball beyond Begovic.

A bad afternoon for Cook got worse when he diverted the ball past Begovic and into his own goal as he attempted to cut out a left-wing cross from Andy Robertson.

And Salah produced the best goal of the game to wrap up the victory in the 77th minute after collecting Adam Lallana’s through ball. The forward outpaced Cook and rounded Begovic twice to complete his treble.

AFP

Bournemouth Game Too ‘Demanding’ For Ozil, Says Emery

Arsenal Appoint Emery As Wenger's Successor
Paris Saint-Germain’s Spanish head coach Unai Emery.  CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Mesut Ozil’s relationship with Arsenal boss Unai Emery is again under scrutiny after the Spaniard appeared to suggest Sunday’s match at Bournemouth was too “demanding” for the German.

The 30-year-old German World Cup-winning midfielder had played in the Gunners’ previous three matches — all draw — but Emery decided his style did not fit with Bournemouth’s robust approach.

“We thought ‘how we can do better in the match’, a very demanding match with physicality and intensity,” Emery said following the 2-1 win for Arsenal when asked why Ozil had not started.

“Every player is important but today we tried with three center-backs and it was another possibility for us to improve and find our best performance as a team.”

Ozil, whose place in the team for Sunday’s North London derby with Tottenham could now be in doubt, did not even warm up for the match.

“It depends on how the match is going,” said Emery, replying to a question on why Ozil had not warmed up.

“I decided on another option. We knew this was a difficult stadium, a difficult team. Seventeen matches we haven’t lost but the last three we drew. That is not enough for us.”

Emery and Ozil have had a fractious relationship since the Spaniard replaced Arsene Wenger at the end of last season.

Ozil missed the 3-1 win over West Ham in August when it was reported he and Emery had argued at the training ground but the Arsenal boss said the player had been too ill to train.

Ozil also threw a tantrum at being substituted in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace — in which he captained the side in the absence of the injured Petr Cech — in late October.

He stomped past Emery and hurled his gloves to the turf in disgust before taking a seat on the bench.

Emery, though, did not take umbrage publicly, stating “I like the players like him who show the character when we are not playing well”.

AFP

Aubameyang Winner Extends Arsenal’s Unbeaten Run

Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (R) scores their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on November 25, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Unai Emery claimed Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Bournemouth was a big moment in their season after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extended the Gunners’ unbeaten run to 17 matches.

Emery’s side took the lead through Jefferson Lerma’s bizarre own goal before Josh King equalised on the stroke of half-time at Dean Court on Sunday.

Aubameyang netted his eighth league goal of the season midway through the second half to lift the fifth-placed Gunners within a point of the top four in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

“It is an important result. We knew this is a difficult stadium, a difficult team,” Emery said.

The north Londoners have been revitalised since Emery replaced Arsene Wenger in the close-season and the Spaniard passed another test with this victory.

After three successive home draws against Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon and Wolves, it was essential that Arsenal got back to winning ways.

“Today is 17 matches we haven’t lost, but the last three matches we drew,” Emery said.

“We know that is not enough for us, for our objectives. We were speaking during the week and above all in the two days before the match that it was very important.

“The three points is a big moment for us. The result is very important but also we spoke in the dressing room after the first half, when they scored, about the process in our mentality.”

Emery left German playmaker Mesut Ozil on the bench and was without French striker Alexandre Lacazette due to a groin injury.

But Arsenal were still strong enough to consign Bournemouth to a third successive defeat as Emery’s decision to switch to a back three for the first time paid dividends.

“We are finding our best performance with the system, with the players and with the combination,” Emery said.

“The most important thing for us is to find the balance consistently in defensive moments because we are conceding more goals than we want. We need to improve.”

Bournemouth thought they were ahead early on, but David Brooks was flagged offside as he slotted home King’s through ball.

Arsenal went up the other end and Lucas Torreira rattled the foot of the post with a fierce shot, with Alex Iwobi only able to lash the rebound high and wide.

Arsenal took the lead in the 30th minute when Lerma accidently volleyed Sead Kolasinac’s cross past Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as he stretched in a failed attempt to clear.

Iwobi drew a smart stop out of Begovic as the visitors looked to double their advantage before the break, but instead their run of not leading at half-time this season continued.

Cardiff are the only other top-flight side yet to hold a half-time lead in the league this season and King’s smart finish with the last meaningful kick of the opening 45 minutes ensured Bournemouth went in level.

When Aubameyang spurned a good chance after Henrikh Mkhitaryan had rolled in his team-mate, Arsenal fans began to call for the introduction of Ozil.

But the supporters who made the trip to the south coast were celebrating the lead in the 67th minute.

Aubameyang made amends for his earlier miss, sliding in to score from another Kolasinac cross.

Ryan Fraser shot straight at Bernd Leno as Bournemouth chased a second equaliser.

Lerma almost atoned for his own goal but struck a post before Leno had to be alert to push the ball behind from Sokratis’ deflection.

AFP

‘Defensively Awful’: Mourinho Relieved After Man United Fightback

Jose Mourinho was troubled by his side’s defensive display at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on November 3, 2018. Photo: Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho admitted he was the “luckiest manager in the Premier League” as Manchester United recovered from a disastrous defensive display to beat Bournemouth 2-1 on Saturday.

Mourinho was furious with United’s sloppy first half at Dean Court as Callum Wilson fired Bournemouth ahead.

United could have been even further behind before the break as Bournemouth wasted a host of chances to increase their lead.

But Anthony Martial equalised and Mourinho steered United back on course with a stern half-time team-talk and the 56th-minute introduction of Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera.

Mourinho (L) gestures as Paul Pogba prepares to take a throw-in during the frantic tie.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

The changes allowed United a measure of control in the second half and Rashford snatched the winner deep into stoppage-time.

“It was the whole first half. I said at half-time I was the luckiest manager in the Premier League in a half when the score should be like 6-2,” Mourinho said.

“We were defensively awful. As a team, we didn’t press or do any of the work we did in the week. People watching this game will not believe how hard we worked this week.

“The first half was a disaster. The second half was much better. We created lots of chances and deserved to score before the 92nd minute.”

Marcus Rashford (2R) celebrates scoring his United’s second goal.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

United have now won three of their last four Premier League games to get back on track after a dismal run piled pressure on Mourinho.

But Mourinho is still concerned by the lethargic manner in which his players are starting games.

“I can’t understand why we started slow. My coaches said it was the best warm-up of the season,” Mourinho said.

“I think a few mistakes create instability. I love the song, ‘attack, attack, attack’ but you need to have stability when you lose the ball.

“It happened again against a good team but we were prepared for everything.

“I really can’t understand the kind of mentality that brings me more white hair!”

AFP