Monday, 28 November 2016

Cherries only manage temporary recovery at Emirates 3-1

Match Report
Arsenal 3 v 1 AFCB 
27 November 2016
Attendance: 59,978 
We arrive at the Emirates stadium.
Getting off to a good start against top sides like Arsenal is crucial and while Steve Cook looked back horrified at his dreadful back pass on 11 minutes that Alexis Sanchez gratefully accepted to put Arsenal ahead, the Cherries rallied well. Indeed, Callum Wilson's well won penalty on 22 minutes put the Cherries level beating Petr Cech from the spot. Yet, everything fell apart in the second half when AFCB failed to get to grips with Sanchez and Ozil and it was Theo Walcott that headed the Gunners back in front. While Michael Jones will look red faced on his huge error not to award a second AFCB penalty for Nacho Monreal's excellent catch, like a quarter-back, in the box, the Cherries were up against it all game with the yellow cards being handed out in their direction and it was only a surprise that it took Arsenal as long at the 90th minute to put the game away.
The Cherries in their blue away kit.
Charlie Daniels was the surprise omission from the squad so Brad Smith made his Premier League debut for the Cherries and Adam Smith returned to the team on the right wing. Meanwhile, Federici retained his goalkeeper position and Jordan Ibe returned to the bench.
AFCB await handshakes from Arsenal players.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery
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Arsenal started fastest with an early shot from Ozil that was blocked before Adam Smith went up the other end and shot wide from a Simon Francis pass. The speed of the game was not suiting AFCB though who soon found both Steve Cook and then Simon Francis booked for fouls on Sanchez and Oxlaide-Chamberlain, respectively. From the second free kick, Sanchez picked out Elneny, on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked.

Still AFCB were finding it difficult to clear their lines and the real heart breaker came when Steve Cook decided to play a ball back to Federici without looking at the whereabouts of Sanchez who had a simply job of beating the keeper to the ball and rounding him to shoot into an empty net - 1-0 to the Arsenal on 11 minutes.

That was bad enough but a challenge by Nathan Aké on Sanchez in the box saw some worried faces among the AFCB crowd, but no foul was committed.

Arsenal had a problem with Debuchy who was subbed on 15 minutes for Gabriel to come on. AFCB started to get their game together then and won a few corners. An attempt by Nathan Aké to get on the end of one drew a few gasps, but the ball soon returned through Gosling to Wilson and when he went down the referee pointed to the spot. Callum Wilson steered the ball low and to Petr Cech's right - we were all square 1-1!

Harry Arter was then the recipient of a heavy stamp of a challenge from Monreal who was carded. Adam Smith put a header over from the free kick, as AFCB started to grow in confidence. Debutant Brad Smith was also getting forward and found himself in a good position to shot on 27 minutes but his shot was saved low down on the angle of the near post by Cech.

While AFCB played some great possession football they were not finding it easy to get in positions to shoot and Wilshere's craft was certainly missing. Steve Cook again misdirected a pass that Eleny luckily could strike cleanly. Arsenal were looking strong now with Oxlaide-Chamberlain and Sanchez linking up well only for Sanchez to shoot narrowly over the near post. AFCB were hanging on slightly as the first half came to a close and after a couple of corners Sanchez struck a shot from the right that cannoned off the cross bar.
AFCB recovered well to be level at half time.
Second half
Josh King was quick to win AFCB a corner in the second half. But it was Arsenal who were soon forcing the play. A cross from Ozil to the left side found Monreal, after Aké's half headed clearance, and Monreal who fired it back across the box to find Theo Walcott in space to head home and make it 2-1 with Nathan Aké unable to clear the ball off the line. 

There was still 35 minutes to go, but AFCB were second best at this point. They did not give up the fight easily though. AFCB kept the corners coming and Josh King whipped in a ball that flew right across the box. 

Sanchez was carded having caught Harry Arter and then Callum Wilson was subbed for Benik Afobe to make his return to Arsenal in a Bournemouth shirt. It would have been poetic if he could score I thought. Junior Stanislas also left the field with 20 minutes to go and Jordan Ibe replaced him. 

The curse of poor refereeing was the to hit AFCB for the second game in a row as Monreal and Adam Smith challenged for the ball with Monreal cradling the ball like he was rocking a young born baby off to sleep! He might as well of been holding the ball still and painting a face on it - the ref still would have let him off! Arter was so incensed that he over stepped the mark and was another one finding himself yellow carded.

As Oxlaide-Camberlain made way for Ramsey and Walcott was subbed for Olivier Giroud, Arsenal became a bit sloppy. Francis won a corner and the cross landed right at Benike Afobe's feet. This was his moment only, he didn't seem switched on and side-footed a weak shot straight at Cech!

The yellow cards were still mounting up for AFCB as Brad Smith became the latest recipient just leaving Nathan Akee in the back four to avoid a booking. Lys Mousset replaced Brad Smith straight away.

Time was not on AFCB's side and the ball was still up the wrong end. Federici was punching clear under pressure. Meanwhile, Gosling was also now yellow carded. As Lys Mousset put a header wide, AFCB's last effort disappeared. It was punished by a swift counter-attack. Ozil unravelled the last vestiges of AFCB's defence only to sweep the ball to Giroud who glanced across the box to give Sanchez a simple walk in goal on 90 minutes -3-1.

Added time saw a yellow card for Gabriel on Adam Smith, but AFCB had already been broken by then.
Simon Francis and Dan Gosling applaud the supporters. 
Lys Mousset with Eddie walking behind.
Summary
The flurry of early yellow cards put AFCB on the back foot from the start and while Steve Cook made a bad mistake, the team struggled to cope with Sanchez all game. Had they nailed him early on it could have been a different scoreline. Arsenal played everything threw Sanchez and AFCB's midfield did not get close to him as he wondered just about where he wanted to go. Still, there were positives in Brad Smith not looking out of place and there was game time for Afobe, Mousset and Ibe to bring them more into the fold. Federici will wonder how three goals got passed him as he had little to do, but when Arsenal had chances they took them. It's something AFCB need to add to their game and we've been saying that for a while.
Arsenal just had the edge on AFCB this time.

AFCB
Federici Francis, S Cook, Aké, B Smith, A Smith, Stanislas, Arter, Gosling, King, Wilson

AFCB Subs
Allsop, Mings, Fraser, Pugh, Ibe, Mousset, Afobe

AFCB Ratings
Federici 5, Francis 6, S Cook 3, Aké 7, B Smith 5, A Smith 8, Stanislas 5, Arter 6, Gosling 5, King 5, Wilson 6

Arsenal
Cech, Debuchy, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Wacott, Elneny, Ozil, Xhaha, Oxlaide-Chambaerlain, Sanchez

Arsenal Subs
Gibbs, Gabriel Pauliston, Ramsey, Giroud, Ospina, Iwobi, Coquelin

Refreee: Michael Jones: -10 awful bias on yellow cards, missed penalty - I'd better stop there!!

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