Arsenal had to settle for a point at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day as Mikel Arteta’s reign as Gunners boss began with a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth.
We looked far better than we have all season, with players pressing the opposition, but the final ball let us down time and time again, whilst our defence doesn’t appear to have improved immediately either.
The hosts opened the scoring on 35 minutes when Dan Gosling fired Bournemouth in front with their first shot on target following some sloppy play from us. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang eventually levelled 20 minutes from time but we failed to get a winner as Alexandre Lacazette wasted a great chance to give the new boss a winning start.
Here are my player ratings:
Bernd Leno 7 – It was good to see our goalkeeper wasn’t as busy as he has been for much of the season. Bernd Leno still made a couple of important saves and was confident at claiming crosses in and around his six yard box.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 6 – Solid defensively but rarely got forward to support the attack from right-back.
David Luiz 6 – A couple of shaky moments in defence as per usual. David Luiz did play one notable long ball to release Alexandre Lacazette, but otherwise his passing was all over the place.
Sokratis 7 – A steady performance from the Greek international. Sokratis made a couple of important blocks and a good clearance off the goalline.
Bukayo Saka 7 – Another solid defensive display from the teenager filling-in at left-back again. Bukayo Saka also got forward a lot too, but his delivery was woeful.
Lucas Torreira 7 – Played in his natural position in front of the back four today and was very good. Makes you wonder why Unai Emery ever played Lucas Torreira in a more advanced role. The Uruguayan covered every blade of grass and broke up play time and time again. Hopefully he won’t be tired for the visit of Chelsea on Sunday.
Granit Xhaka 5 – Granit Xhaka should have done a much better job in closing down the cross for Bournemouth’s opening goal. The former club captain played a nice pass in the build up to our equaliser though.
Reiss Nelson 6 – A hit and miss afternoon for the youngster. Reiss Nelson saw plenty of the ball and got into some promising positions, but his final pass was poor over and over again. Interesting decision from Mikel Arteta to start him over Nicolas Pepe.
Mesut Ozil 8 – The best performance of the season from Mesut Ozil. The playmaker was at the centre of everything, especially in the first half. He got into some dangerous positions between the lines and created a couple of opportunities. Even worked hard off the ball too.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8 – Didn’t make much of an impact down the left wing. Went close with a couple of efforts before he eventually scored.
Alexandre Lacazette 5 – Appears to be lacking confidence in front of goal these days. Alexandre Lacazette wasted numerous good opportunities to test the Bournemouth goalkeeper. The most notable was when he was clean through in the second half.
Joe Willock (16 mins) 5 – Missed a great chance to win it at the death.
Shkodran Mustafi (15 mins) N/A – The centre-back had little to do after replacing Sokratis.
Nicolas Pepe (9 mins) N/A – Too little time to make an impact as we pushed for a late winner.