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Premier League: Bournemouth register first-ever win over Arsenal

An abject performance from the Gunners, but a brilliant one from the Cherries!

SNS | New Delhi |

A remarkable second-half comeback from relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Sunday saw the Cherries edge Arsenal 2-1 to register their first-ever victory over the North Londoners in a game that was fraught with controversy before it even started.

Alexis Sanchez’s omission from the matchday squad had sparked rumours of an impending move to Manchester United and Arsene Wenger admitted as much in his pre-match press conference as the Chilean winger inched toward the end of a six-month-long saga.

Must read: Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United confirmed?

On the pitch, however, the Gunners could not lift the gloom that has surrounded the club in recent weeks, despite Hector Bellerin’s cross-shot somewhat fortuitously giving the visitors a lead in the 52nd minute.

Last time the sides met at the Vitality Stadium, they had exchanged six goals in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Arsenal roaring back to claim a valuable point but this time the Cherries managed to score a quick-fire double to ease the pressure on beleaguered manager Eddie Howe.

Callum Wilson nicked in ahead of Petr Cech to score the equaliser in the 70th minute and four minutes later the stirker turned provider to set up Jordon Ibe for the winner. The former Liverpool winger sent in a fierce first-time shot that went under Cech to get the home crowd roaring.

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Arsene Wenger, bereft of the services of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, threw on Aaron Ramsey in a bid to find an equaliser but with Alexandre Lacazette continuing to misfire, the Gunners struggled to really test Asmir Begovic in the Bournemouth in goal and the hosts held on for a win that saw them shoot to 13th from 17th in the league table.

Arsenal’s title hopes had effectively been over in 2017 but their latest loss seems to have sounded the death knell for their top-four hopes as the sixth-placed Gunners trail fourth-ranked Liverpool by five points.

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The Reds host Manchester City later on Sunday and could extend the gap between themselves and Wenger’s men if they were to beat the runaway leaders.

With Mesut Ozil hesitant to sign a new contract and Sanchez on the verge of moving to arch-rivals Manchester United, the Gunners faithful best be braced for a tough January.