• by Yann Tear at Emirates Stadium

David Luiz earns off-key Arsenal all three points against Bournemouth


Arsenal 1 Bournemouth 0

David Luiz’s first goal for Arsenal was just enough to take the Gunners up to third in the Premier League.

But Unai Emery’s men were far from convincing and but for a bit more composure and luck in the final third, the Cherries would have made them pay.

The former Chelsea man's goal came after just nine minutes when he headed in a Nicolas Pepe corner.

He has endured a difficult first few months since moving to north London – guilty of a number of blunders which have contributed to continuing fragility at the back for the Gunners - so he was grateful for Bournemouth’s inattentiveness at the set piece which allowed him a free header, which he glanced into the bottom corner.

Disappearing under a pile of celebrating bodies showed how popular the defender is at the club but the Brazilian perhaps needed that goal.

Already, the Cherries defence had come close to being breached by a cracking curling effort from outside the area by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which flashed narrowly wide, while the livewire Pepe did the same.

But the defensive vulnerability is still there, for all the apparent potency going forward, and Dominic Solanke should have scored with a header from a free-kick.

At the start of the second half, Callum Wilson burst into the box between two players and rounded Bernd Leno – only defeated by a tight angle which forced the striker to square the ball rather than shoot.

Then Jack Stacey almost squeezed a rising near post shot past Leno as the visitors grew in confidence and there was another volley from sub Arnaut Danjuma and low strike from Wilson which had some fans fretting.

Aubameyang struck a post late on but 2-0 would have been flattering in the extreme.

Arsenal are in a good place heading into the international break, but will surely need to up their game if they are to become serious contenders for anything this season.

Line up: Leno – Chambers, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac – Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ceballos (Willock 75) – Pepe (Martinelli 63), Saka (Torreira 84), Aubameyang. Subs not used: Martinez, Tierney, Maitland-Niles, Holding.

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