Arsenal have been left searching for their first win in 2018 after a 2-1 fight-back from Bournemouth saw the Cherries claim three valuable points at the Vitality Stadium, this afternoon.

A 74th minute strike from Jordon Ibe settled the Premier League clash after Arsenal had initially taken the lead early in the second period through Héctor Bellerín.

Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson then equalised for his point-hungry side in the 69th minute before assisting Ibe for the winner, as the Gunners drifted further away from their top four objectives.

With rumours concerning Alexis Sanchez’s future intensifying, the Chilean was again left out of Arsenal’s XI, alongside Mesut Özil, as the Gunners called on Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi to fill up the attack.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was the first to set his sights on goal in a positive start for the visitors, as a cross from the right left the youngster twisting and turning for space inside the box before firing onto the top of the bar in the 8th minute.

Arsenal maintained their foothold of possession, but it would take them until the 34th minute to have another crack at Asmir Begovic’s goal when Alexandre Lacazette’s weighted pass was well-received by Welbeck before the Englishman could hit his finish into the former Stoke City goalkeeper.

The Cherries perked up towards the end of the first half, with a couple of Ryan Fraser efforts carrying some danger at Arsenal’s end before the interval, as a big penalty shout for Eddie Howe’s men also went begging.

With goals in the first half when playing away from home proving to be a difficult feat for Arsenal this season, the North Londoners responded in perfect fashion coming into the second-half, as Iwobi set Bellerín free down the right channel before the Spaniard could squeeze his finish past Begovic and into the back of the net.

Comfort began to set in for Arsenal when Bournemouth injected a new lease of life back into the game in the 69th minute through Callum Wilson’s equaliser, with the English striker nicking in front of the backline and poking Adam Smith’s cross past an indecisive Čech.

Bournemouth completed the turnaround in the 74th minute, as Wilson’s movement inside the box left the Arsenal defence again at sixes and sevens before Jordon Ibe  thrashed home on the volley.

The ex-Liverpool man’s goal turned out to be the decider, as 6th-placed Arsenal picked up their first defeat ever against Bournemouth.

By Patrick Ribeiro

(@P_SRibeiro)

Player Ratings:

Petr Čech (6) – Calum Chambers (5), Shkodran Mustafi (5), Rob Holding (5) – Héctor Bellerín (6), Granit Xhaka (6), Jack Wilshere (7), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (6) – Alex Iwobi (6), Danny Welbeck (5), Alexandre Lacazette (5)

Subs: Aaron Ramsey (-), Theo Walcott (-)

Written by Patrick Ribeiro

Freelance journalist. @P_SRibeiro

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