Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Is Eddie untouchable?

It's the question I hoped AFCB fans wouldn't ever have to consider but with Manuel Pellegrini being sacked this week at West Ham, when they are in a similar position to AFCB, outsiders will be looking at Eddie Howe and wondering how he manages to be so safe in his position, when his team are on the verge of slipping into the bottom three.
Eddie Howe has to find a way to get results.
I don't want any manager to lose their job and Eddie Howe has done so much for the club it is unthinkable to most AFCB fans to even contemplate a change at the top. We want continued success with Eddie and Jason, but perhaps thin have become stale and the ideas have run out even for Eddie.


We can blame the injuries and a constantly changing team selection for the main reason why the team is not competing well, but if this is the best squad that Eddie has ever had then they have under performed hugely and the players must take responsibility for the league position. The players are the ones that can also do something about it. If they want to keep their manager they need to play for him now.


Eddie may have made some mistakes but he has shown over many years that he always wants the best for the club. The players need to show they want the best for the club now. They haven't played with confidence or enough pride to win enough games. Eddie is not untouchable and we could lose him if things don't turnaround soon. Some fans will want change and will hope for a manager that can give the team a bounce. Personally, I feel Eddie Howe and AFCB are now an item that should not be parted and if we do go down, we can rebuild with Eddie. But things have gone wrong and it remains to be seen if the direction of the club will see a change in terms of its league position and or leadership.

There is a mood of the team feeling sorry for itself that has to be removed. We have to be proud to be AFCB playing in the top league and that we fight harder than any team to keep that story going. The players, fans and management have to give it their all now and get behind each other to turn this around. This is the biggest challenge the club has had in recent years and we have to embrace the challenge and rise to it. That is the only way we'll definitely save Eddie.

VAR couldn't even save AFCB at Brighton

There was a crazy incident in the Brighton game which is probably going to be covered over, because in the end it didn't effect the result. It was the goal that never was, because of the thinnest of offside decisions against Dan Burn. VAR saved Bournemouth on this one occasion, but it was the manner of the defending that showed everything that is wrong about how Bournemouth are defending at the moment.
Too many bad days at the office.
It was pandemonium in Bournemouth's box. Steve Cook was falling over having lost a header. Philip Billing was not putting any power in his clearance and the ball was bouncing around in the box with no Bournemouth player able to get a solid clearance away. Then Burn turned his big frame and managed to get the ball down and under control to hammer it in past Ramsdale. The goal was struck off but really it was a good example of how poorly Bournemouth are thinking when trying to clear their box and it was almost an injustice to Brighton that the goal did not stand.
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Bournemouth were lucky in that instance and I'd hoped that they would get a grip of the game from then, knowing that they were fortunate not to be 2-0 down and still had a good chance of getting something from the game. While the substitutions came with Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser coming on, they did nothing to change the flow of the game when the team needed a stronger central midfield.


Before long all three subs were used up and Jack Stacey got injured and had nobody to replace him. It was poor decision making over the subs and the let off from VAR had not been taken advantage of. VAR had given Bournemouth a lifeline and I have to say Eddie and Jason got it wrong with their choices after that. The original team selection is also likely to have been insufficient to deal with Brighton's game, but the way Bournemouth are playing, I wonder if there were any 11 players that Eddie could have put out to do much better with the way the players as a whole are playing.


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Monday, 30 December 2019

Was it simply too many changes against Brighton?

Eddie Howe made five changes against Brighton. It is perhaps too many as the team was disjointed and unable to compete in midfield with a dominant Aaron Mooy who had the central area to himself for most of the game to direct Brighton to their victory.
Did Eddie make bad choices for Brighton game or did he have no choice?
While Eddie didn't tinker with the back four too much with only Jack Simpson coming out of the starting eleven, the defence was not solid enough to deal with the dynamism of Trossard, Maupay and Jahanbakhsh, who blazed past Bournemouth's defenders. But the defence had little protection without Jefferson Lerma on the pitch. Gosling, who has done so much running in the last few weeks looked a spent force and Billing continues to jog around the middle, like a spectator more than a committed midfielder who wants to impose his game on the opposition.

It is just as difficult to see where the goals are going to come from. Callum Wilson is so out of form it is hard to know how he is going to find a goal. Josh King keeps trying to get around players and get into great positions, but he can't buy a finish. Then there is Ryan Fraser who is running faster and trying to remember how he played so well last season, but in front of goal he's lost his confidence.
The sum of all parts are simply not up to it. For the first time, I am even doubting if Eddie Howe is capable of turning things around. It's injury after injury and without a settled team there is little hope of Bournemouth beating the drop. Eddie's choices now are absolutely critical. He has to pick the fit players and the players that are full of energy. It's time to drop a lacklustre Philip Billing and give Lewis Cook game time, leave Lerma in the middle with him and put Harry Wilson behind King up the middle.

If Eddie can make the spine of the team strong again, he might get away with a close shave with relegation, but if the team remains weak right down the middle then AFCB are soon gong to be in that bottom three. We can't have four or five changes every game now. It's time to choose the players who are going to get AFCB through this rough patch.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Bournemouth are relegation candidates

I expected a reaction after the Burnley defeat and we saw some improvement against Arsenal, but Bournemouth have not played with the desire to be a team that want to survive in the Premier League. It is one thing to say you know you are in a dog fight and quite another to get out of it.
Back to the drawing board.
I am now looking to see how AFCB are going to get themselves out of this mess. And a mess is what it is. There is no reason why AFCB needed to be in this position if they had played sensibly against the likes for Crystal Palace, Burnley and Brighton. But they didn't grab opportunities and the constant changing of the team has left Eddie Howe short of ideas as to how to turn it around now.

The bad news is that I don't see AFCB splashing the cash in January to bring in any saviours. Bournemouth are likely to limp along with the same players and the next month is crucial to them trying to save their Premier league status. If they lose the next four or five it is game over.

We are not seeing passion or heart, it is more of a turn up and let's hope the opposition are worse than us. The problem is the opposition teams are fighting and scrapping for everything, and if Bournemouth don't show that same fight as a minimum they will be brushed aside. The energy has gone missing and some rejuvenation needs to take place for the team to thrive again.
Whether it will mean making the unsettled players leave in January, I'm not sure. But this season has been underpinned by rumours of departures for Nathan Aké, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson. If they need to go, let them go and bring in players that want to do their very best for AFCB. Holding together something that is broken simply won't do. AFCB's management and players need to be honest with each other now. Do they want to be at the club and do they want success here or are they better off elsewhere?

The whole club has to get behind each other now to survive or inactivity will result will cause more division and almost certain relegation. Changes have to come now before it is too late. Carry on like this and there is only one outcome.

AFCB crash at Brighton 2-0

Match Report
Brighton & Hove Albion  2 v 0 AFCB
28 December 2019
Attendance: 30,441
Bournemouth have become awful. Where do we go from here?
Brighton got the best start they could hope for with Alireza Jahanbakhsh snatching a third minute goal, his first for Brighton. Bournemouth always looked a man short in midfield and were not creating clear chances, even if they did get King and Stacey in behind on occasion. Bournemouth had to change it, but there were no changes from Eddie Howe at half-time. It needed a disallowed goal from Burn to get Eddie to make a change. With VAR coming to Bournemouth's aid, a double substitution of Fraser and Callum Wilson was Bournemouth's attempt to get back in the game. But it didn't happen for Bournemouth, Aaron Mooy compounded the misery with a second goal to see Brighton win comfortably 2-0.
Bournemouth made five changes for the game. In came Junior Stanislas, Dominic Solanke, Diego Rico, Harry Wilson and Philip Billing. Out went Lewis Cook, Callum Wilson, Jack Simpson, Ryan Fraser and Jefferson Lerma. To me Bournemouth always look a weaker team without Jefferson Lerma, but the team selection also showed Callum Wilson is no longer undroppable, even when his replacement has never scored in the league for AFCB. Was Eddie clutching at straws or did he know something we didn't?

Match description Brighton won the first corner and King breaks away. On the counter Maupay pulls it back to  Jahanbakhsh who has fired Brighton into the lead on three minutes.

Brighton have a second corner. Ramsdale doesn't get it and has to push a shot from Jahanbakhsh behind. Josh King with a great chance but the keeper saves low to his left.

Billing does well to win possession. Maupay fires wide from just outside the box on 10 minutes. Maupay again picks the ball up in space and shoots wide. It's all Brighton.

Stanislas over hits a pass to Harry Wilson. Stanislas works back to get a tackle in. Rico concedes a free kick. Ramsdale punches.

Another corner to Brighton. Dunk wins the header but its easy for Ramsdale.


Some 20 minutes gone and Bournemouth haven't strung many passes together yet. Gosling has won a free kick. Billing loses control and Steve Cook is booked for fouling Maupay.

Bournemouth have another free kick and Gosling is caught. Solanke can't turn to get a shot in. Stacey wins a corner. King battles to win possession but has fouled.

Bournemouth are being pressed at the back. Rico gives the ball away. Mooy wins a corner off Mepham. Jahanbakhsh shoots over.

Solanke has a shot blocked very central. Another corner to Brighton, after Ramsdale had to come out. Bournemouth look disorganised. Gosling gets the ball away.

King on the break finds Harry Wilson but it's blocked. King gets in behind and Dunk concedes the corner. Steve Cook volley's over from the corner.

Stacey to Stanislas who can't get his shot away. Stacey across to Stanislas and it's deflected to the keeper. Stacey runs in behind but his shot is wild. Maupay can't beat his man after Brighton try a long ball.

Mooy to Jahanbakhsh who is blocked. Just one minute of added time. This has been a poor half by Bournemouth. Brighton have overrun them in midfield and they have the goal lead.


Second half
Rico wins a free kick in his own half. Burn fouls Harry Wilson. King now fouls Duffy.

Maupay ribs Steve Cook of the ball on half way and Gosling has to chase back. Brighton win the free kick though. Ramdale has to claim from Jahanbakhsh's cross. Gosling catches Pröpper.

Great run through by Harry Wilson, Solanke and he's down in the box, but no penalty - Dunk got across. Free kick to Brighton and the ball is bouncing around in Bournemouth's box, Burn has hammered it in 2-0. Three  or four attempts by Billing and Steve Cook to clear and they didn't do it well enough, 58 minutes gone.

VAR is checking offside. Burn's arm looks offside from the initial free kick. It's disallowed, the score remains at 1-0.

AFCB are subbing two players for Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser to come on. Harry Wilson and Stanislas make way.

A shot goes wide from Mooy with Ramsdale stretching. Bissouma shoots and it's come off the right post. Another cross and it goes out for a goal kick.

Mooy makes some space for a shot but it's high over the bar. Billing gets a yellow card for taking out  Jahanbakhsh on half-way.

Bournemouth have 20 minutes to get something from the game. King is subbed for Lewis Cook on 73 minutes. Brighton have a corner. Stacey has a hamstring problem. VAR check on handball not given.

Trossard on the left into Mooy who makes it 2-0 on 78 minutes. He fired it into the back right corner having beaten Mepham.

Stacey is coming off, down to 10 men. Lewis Cook hits a shot well over. Fraser has gone to right back. Ramsdale saves well from Maupay who was looking for a third.

A double substitution for Brighton Maupay and Mooy come off. Stevens and Alzate come on after 83 minutes. Fraser to Callum Wilson who is quickly blocked.

Solanke goes for goal but is blocked. Glenn Murray is coming on for Bissouma on 88 minutes.

Billing has to head out for a corner. Three minutes of added time. Ramsdale saves from Murray's header.
Bournemouth are relegation contenders. The passing is not good enough, there is no bite in midfield without Lerma and the forwards are not even looking to score. Eddie Howe has to get into these players now and grab their attention or it will be all over. We could be seeing the demise of AFCB if they keep these lacklustre performances going against the teams in the lower half. The body language is all wrong and Eddie needs to find some answers asap. It's even worse news that Stacey and King are now joining the long list of those that are injured.

AFCB Ratings
Ramsdale 3, Stacey 4, S Cook 3, Mepham 3,  Rico 4, Stanislas 3, Gosling 3, Billing 2,
H Wilson 3, King 3, Solanke 3

AFCB Subs: Boruc, Simpson, Surman, Lerma, L Cook, Fraser, C Wilson

Cherry Chimes MoM: None of them!

    Ref Watch: Paul Tierney 8/10 had a clean game.
    1 Ryan, 22 Montoya, 5 Dunk, 4 Duffy, 33 Burn, 24 Pröpper, 8 Bissouma, (Murray88), 18 Mooy (Stephens 84), 16 Jahanbakhsh (Alzate 84), 7 Maupay, 11 Trossard
      Brighton Subs27 Button, 6 Stephens, 13 Groß, 15 Webster, 17 Murray, 30 Bernardo, 46Alzate

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Rival Lines: 'We have only ever managed one league win over Eddie Howe,' says We Are Brighton

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion v AFCB
Blogger Interview: We are Brighton
Twitter @wearebrighton

Despite the hectic Christmas period I managed to get a few words with We Are Brighton blogger Scott. With virtually nothing between the teams as they go into this fixture I wanted to know if Brighton fans were pleased with the season so far and if they were better placed at avoiding the drop than they have been in the past.

CC: Is Graham Potter a better manager than Chris Hughton?

WAB: The jury is still out on that one. Statistically, we're no better off at the minute than we were in our two Premier League seasons under Hughton. The football under Potter however is worlds away from what we saw under Hughton. Gone is the Brighton that would consider a 1-0 win to be the perfect result and in it's place, Potter has brought an attacking, possession based style which is extremely pleasing to watch.

We won't know if changing managers has paid off until the end of the season, and if we do end up being relegated there would be a debate to be had about whether you'd rather bore your way to top flight safety or go down, but do so playing expansive football that justifies the extortionate cost of a matchday ticket at the Amex. But at the moment, the signs look good.

CC: Do you feel the team is better equipped to do better in the Premier League this season, and where are you stronger/weaker?

WAB: One glaring weakness we now have is at the back. Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy were one of the best partnerships outside of the top six, but Potter has dropped Duffy in favour of our £18m signing from Bristol City Adam Webster. That decision has been made on the basis that Webster is a better footballer and while he can certainly play a pass better than Duffy, he cannot defend as well and looks like a rabbit in the headlights anytime he is confronted with a ball in the air.

In terms of strengths, we're no longer reliant on Glenn Murray to score all our goals. Over the previous two seasons, Murray was responsible for 36 per cent of our output, no team in the history of the Premier League had even been so reliant on one player. We've now got goals coming from Neal Maupay, Leandro Trossard and Aaron Connolly and Aaron Mooy's arrival has eased the creative burden which fell on Pascal Gross. We may be weaker defensively, but we're a lot more capable going forward.

CC: Is there a position where Brighton really must bring someone in during the January window?

WAB: We desperately need a left back. Potter has been using 6'7 centre half Dan Burn there this season which very much looks like a square peg in a round hole. Going forward, Burn is fine - which is astonishing really when you consider his height and his natural position. Defensively though, he's struggled whenever a side has pushed a half decent winger against him. Not helped by the fact that we play 4-2-2-2 most of the time, so he doesn't have any help from a covering winger either. If you're going to use such a narrow formation, you need to have specialist full backs who can cope.


Young Aaron Connolly reminds me of a youthful Wayne Rooney. Do you think he has the talent to score such a variety of goals as Rooney in time?

WAB: Definitely, yes. The similarities between Rooney and Connolly are glaring really - they're both powerfully built for their age, both have an astonishing work rate and both hold no fear. Connolly's second goal on his full debut against Spurs was very Rooney-esque in the way that he latched onto a through ball and caught the opposition goalkeeper by surprise by having the confidence to take a shot on early. He's an exciting prospect and one we're very lucky to have.

CC: Neal Maupay has been among the goals. Have you been shocked at quite how well he has done since signing last summer - well worth the price-tag?

WAB: Maupay took a bit of time to get going, but now he's up and running you can see what a quality addition he is. I'm always very dubious when Brighton spend big money on a player as normally, they turn out to be rubbish. Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Jurgen Locadia were nearly £40m worth of attacking talent who managed three goals between them last season.

Maupay though is worlds apart from those two. He's always in the right place at the right time - as is shown by the number of easy chances he misses as well as scored - he never stops running and he loves to wind opposition fans up. He's proving to be quite the fan favourite.

Eddie Had a Dream eBook version -available now!

CC: What was Brighton's best game this season so far for you?

WAB: Spurs at home wasn't just our best game of the season, it was probably our best game in the Premier League to date. Mauricio Pochettino was on his last legs and they were terribly out of form, but even so to win 3-0 and be totally dominant with Maty Ryan not having a save to make against a side who reached the Champions League final four months previously was superb.

CC: And the worst game?

WAB: Sheffield United at home last week. We had no answer to their overlapping centre backs and every Brighton player was a three out of 10 at best. Hopefully, that was a one-off.

CC: Any really bad VAR decisions or good for Brighton?

WAB: We've been quite lucky with VAR. It gave us a penalty in our 3-2 win against Everton when Michael Keane accidentally trod on Aaron Connolly's toe when challenging for a high ball in the box. It was never a spot kick in a million years and I believe that it was one of the rare instances so far where even the FA had to say that VAR got it wrong. Sheffield United also had two goals ruled out against us last week which stopped our 1-0 defeat to them becoming an embarrassment.


CC: Why hasn't Lewis Dunk been called up again to the England squad yet - is it that Brighton aren't fashionable enough or has his form dropped?

WAB: I just don't think he's a Gareth Southgate type of player. Southgate wants to promote young players who've been through the England system and Dunk was never capped below senior level. He's also 28-years-old, so it's understandable that Southgate would want to look at the likes of Fikayo Tomori who is going to be around for the next 10-15 years rather than Dunk. I don't think our style of football under Hughton helped either. England are obviously wanting to play out from the back which is something we never did previously. Potter's appointment could help Dunk's England chances in that regard, but sadly I think the boat has sailed for him barring an unbelievable run of form in the New Year or a load of injuries to the players ahead of him in the pecking order.

CC: What is your favourite Brighton & Hove Albion v Bournemouth match from the past?

WAB: Well, we've not beaten you in the league since New Year's Day 2008, so it's slim pickings! In fact, I can't recall ever seeing us win at Dean Court in my lifetime as I didn't bother with the FA Cup game last season. That most reason league win came with Alex Revell scoring his only hat-trick for Brighton, which he was promptly awarded for by being sold to Southend United a few weeks later. His replacement though was a certain Glenn Murray, so that hasn't worked out too badly for us.


CC: What injuries have you got before the Bournemouth game?

WAB: Only two long-term absentees at the time of writing - Solly March and Jose Izquierdo.

CC: How do you think Brighton & Hove Albion will line up?

WAB: Genuinely, no idea. Trying to predict a Potter lineup is like knowing what the lottery numbers are going to be. This season we've gone into one game with four centre backs on the pitch, another with five central midfielders and another with three wingers - and we don't actually use any wingers. Saturday is obviously complicated as well by the fact that it is our second game in the space of 48 hours, so there will definitely be players rested. We're away at Spurs on Boxing Day, a game we probably won't win so Potter could well sacrifice that game by naming a weakened line up in favour of having a full strength side fit and firing for the more 'winnable' Bournemouth game. The only player I could say with any certainty that will start is Ryan in goal.

CC: What is your score prediction?

WAB: We never beat Bournemouth and we've only ever managed one league win over Eddie Howe when he was at Burnley. I'm going for a 2-2 draw, which will be a significant improvement on our last meeting at the Amex!

Thanks to Scott who has some excellent coverage of Brighton & Hove Albion We are Brighton. The Seagulls look much improved to me over the past times when we have played them and the FA Cup win last year they had is an indication that they are now very capable of beating the Cherries, so this is going to be a tough one with both teams knowing any loser could be sitting in the bottom three by the end of the afternoon.

Cherry Chimes also answers some questions for We are BrightonOpposition view. Remember it's a 12.30 kick off today!

Brighton Home Form

AFCB Away Form
Possible AFCB line up

Premier Talk - Wolves 3-2 Man City, best game for the neutral?

Friday, 27 December 2019

Wins are what Bournemouth need now

Bournemouth should be pleased about the point that they took off Arsenal at Dean Court. The big games are coming up in their next six games. These are the very winnable matches and if Bournemouth don't pick up points in the first month of the new year, it will be hard not to keep out of the bottom three.
Every point helps.
The signs that I see are that the Cherries are ready for the fight. It was good to see Steve Cook return to the team and not seem hampered by his wrist injury. Harry Wilson was also available again, and the team had a stronger bench than they have done in the last few weeks.

The defence has been holding up well despite changing members yet again with Simpson playing out of position on the left. Diego Rico will be back for the next game against Brighton & Hove Albion and the team was close to getting a clean sheet against Arsenal.

Where I still feel Bournemouth are struggling is in the goals department. Dan Gosling is not going to pop up with a goal every game, and he needs others to be anticipating as well as he does when he is in the box. More gambling and incisive play in the opposition box is required and as it is Brighton up next perhaps Eddie Howe will show the team how well they did that last year at Brighton with the 0-5 away win. 

Three points are going to be extremely valuable now and a couple of wins would push Bournemouth back ahead of several teams that have recently past them. The points have to come now though. Fall behind at this stage and the Cherries might find it very hard to recover and they don't need to give any incentive to Aston Villa and West Ham who are just behind the Cherries now.

Bournemouth take a point against Arteta's Arsenal

Match Report
AFCB 1 v 1 Arsenal
26 December 2019
Attendance: 10,234
Dan Gosling can't stop scoring.
Goals have been hard to come by for Bournemouth, and with an out of form Arsenal visiting Dean Court hopes were high that Bournemouth could take the win after Gosling's 35 minute opener. But in a rainy second-half Lacazette and Aubameyang looked more likely to snatch something, and Aubameyang did find himself free in space, at the far post, to equalise on 63 minutes after a deflected pass. Both teams might have hoped to grab a late winner, but the keepers had few shots on target to save and 1-1 was about right. It's a point that could be more important for Bournemouth with many teams below them also picking up points.
Bournemouth named a team with a returning Steve Cook as captain, in the back four, along with Jack Simpson, while Callum Wilson would start up front. Simon Francis was injured and Harry Wilson returned to the bench. Philip Billing was also dropped to the bench, because of illness in the week, with Junior Stanislas still not able to win a wing position and Diego Rico being suspended. A 4-3-3 formation we hoped was designed for AFCB to give more attacking play than they had had against Burnley.

Arsenal started confidently with Lerma giving the first free kick away.  Gosling did well to win possession but Fraser's cross was right at Leno.

Gosling again won the ball and Bournemouth won a free kick. Lewis Cook crossed to Callum Wilson and Fraser was free, and his shot went right at Leno and Sokratis. that was a good chance for Fraser. But Bournemouth had a corner.

Lacazette was on his own but Stacey got back to tackle him. It just didn't run for the Arsenal forward. Ozil is free, a cross to Saka and his shot is taken by Ramsdale. Ozil to Lacazette who turns and shoots, but its too high.

Callum Wilson has a one-two with Fraser. Wilson's volley goes just over the bar. Simpson gives the ball to Lacazette but Mepham gets his foot in and Ramsdale comes out to smother the ball.

Quarter of an hour gone. Lewis Cook wins a corner. Sokratis heads out for another Bournemouth corner. Steve Cook heads it before Lerma volleys very high over.


Arsenal win their first corner with Lerma blocking Aubameyang's cross, 18 minutes gone. Mepham heads clear. Maitland-Niles and Aubameyang have shots blocked by Steve Cook and Jack Stacey, before Toreirra is blocked by Gosling.

Maitland-Niles' cross is too deep, but Arsenal are having more of the play. Davis Luiz shoots from 25 yards out, but gets underneath it. Lacazette has a shot but Lerma blocks it for an Arsenal corner.

Callum Wilson gives the ball away looking for Fraser who has swapped wings. Aubameyang goes for a long shot, but is wide and over the goal.

Stacey stops Saka well in the box. A ball across the box from Saka and luckily there is no Arsenal player there to tap it in. Lewis Cook to Callum, and Sokratis gets his foot in first. Aubameyang puts a cross in. Arsenal are getting to much space down the left wing, Bournemouth's right side.

Lewis Cook loses the ball but Arsenal can't make the most of it. Lerma plays a great diagonal pass to King and Gosling plays it back for King's cross to be deflected off Sokratis for a corner.

Lerma beats Ozil to the ball. Fraser crosses. Now Stacey crosses but Leno has it. Wilson and Stacey back to Gosling who scores, near post, on 35 minutes.

Lewis Cook is in quickly. Lacazette is blocked by Mepham. Arsenal lose it playing out from the back. A break Gosling to King. Fraser can't quite get there before Leno. Gosling is winning the tackles and trying to get the rest of the team at it.

Stacey to King but the flick goes to Leno. Arsenal are struggling as they play out from the back. Saka again gets down in behind on the left wing.

King is away beats Maitland-Niles and Sokratis and he takes on the keeper but he can't beat him, Corner. Leno just got an arm out to divert the shot. Callum Wilson was yelling for the ball to be pulled back to him. Mepham heads wide.

AFCB possession 40%, Shots 6, shots on target 3, corners 5, fouls 2
Arsenal possession 60%, Shots 9, shots on target 0, corners 2, fouls 2


Second Half
The rain is coming down now. King pressures Luiz at the back. Ozil across to Aubameyang and the shot bends just over the top right post.

King hits the side netting. Fraser wins a corner after good work from Gosling and Lewis Cook. Lerma is booked for stopping Aubameyang. Lacazette is blocked and Torreira is booked for fouling Lewis Cook.

King is away and Maitland-Niles is booked. The free kick to Bournemouth is punched away by Leno. Pull back by Lacazette doesn't fall to an Arsenal player.

Saka to Aubameyang and his cross is blocked by Steve Cook. The hour has passed. Ozil to Aubameyang but Stacey is there and Ramsdale saves. 

Lerma into Wilson who turns well but the shot is low and not powerful enough to beat Leno to his left. 

Ozil, Maitland-Niles back across to Aubameyang - it's a goal. Some 64 minutes and Arsenal are back in this. Steve Cook lost his man. Harry Wilson comes on for Josh King on 66 minutes.

Aubameyang is away but Steve Cook forces him wide. Ball through the middle to Lacazette and Mepham gets a vital foot in. Corner to Arsenal.

Billing replaces Gosling on 69 minutes. Bournemouth have just lost their way a bit. Steve Cook is fouled by Lacazette. Billing crosses to Callum Wilson, but it is held up by Arsenal. Harry Wilson heads on to Stacey but it's wide for a goal kick.

Ozil is subbed for Willock. Sokratis is subbed for Mustafi on 77 minutes. Lacazete to Nelson who has lost it. Harry Wilson to Stacey, The cross is too high for Callum but Bournemouth have a corner. Harry Wilson shoots it's saved before Callum knocks it on, offside.

Nelson is subbed for Pepe on 81 minutes. Billing pinches the ball but Callum can't keep hold of it. Stacey breaks. 

Callum Wilson breaks, but runs into Xhaka. Mepham has been booked. Pepe is caught by Lewis Cook who is booked.

Saka loops a cross over, but it's out of play. Lerma and Stacey clear. Saka shoots across goal. Four additional minutes. Billing goes for a long throw. Arsenal clear Lacazette to Willock and Ramsdale saves a weak shot. 

Callum Wilson is fouled. Stacey wins a corner. Harry Wilson is fouled by Lacazette, free kick. Harry Wilson is lining it up. It's at the keeper. Callum Wilson is booked.

A better performance for Bournemouth, but the three points is still not bagged. Arsenal wasted many chances, but Bournemouth were not quite organised enough to get the clean sheet. The energy was better though and Fraser and King were more active and the defence looked stronger with Steve Cook back in the team. It should be seen as a good point despite Arsenal coming back as every point now takes AFCB closer to safety.

AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Surman, Solanke, Billing, Stanislas, Kilkenny, H Wilson
1 Leno, 15 Maitland-Niles, 23 David Luiz, 5 Sokratis (Mustafi 77), 77 Saka, 34 Xhaka
11 Torreira, 24 Nelson (Pepe), 10 Özil (Willock 76), 14 Aubameyang, 9 Lacazette

Arsenal Subs
19 Pépé, 20 Mustafi, 26 Martínez, 27 Mavropanos, 28 Willock, 29 Guendouzi, 32 Smith Rowe

Ref Watch: Stuart Attwell 6/10 no complaints

AFCB Ratings
Ramsdale 6, Stacey 8, S Cook 7, Mepham 7, Simpson 6, L Cook 6, Lerma 7, Gosling 8, Fraser 7, King 7, C Wilson 6

Chimes MoM: Jack Stacey