London - Unai Emery urged Arsenal
to take the chance to chase down Tottenham in the north London derby on
Saturday after sweeping aside Bournemouth 5-1 on Wednesday to close to
within four points of Spurs.
Mesut Ozil made the most of being
handed a rare start by Emery as the German and Henrikh Mkhitaryan
masterminded an excellent performance from the Gunners to remain a point
clear of Manchester United in fourth.
Chelsea's 2-0 win over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge means
the gap between third and sixth is now down to seven points in the
battle for two Champions League places next season.
"Yes, it's a big motivation," said Emery of the chance to further close the gap on Spurs in third.
"We have a great opportunity on Saturday, they are at the moment better than us in the table."
now has a welcome selection headache for the visit to Wembley as Ozil
and Mkhitaryan starred on their first start together in the league since
Emery has been reluctant to use Arsenal's highest
earner in his debut season in charge as Ozil was making just his second
league start of the year.
Yet, the former Real Madrid midfielder
showed why Arsenal handed him a contract worth a reported £350,000 a
week last January by rolling back the years in a freer role alongside
Arsenal were helped along the way by some feeble
Bournemouth defending as the Cherries succumbed to a 10 consecutive away
"It was a difficult night for us, epitomised by the start
of the match and we never truly recovered," said Bournemouth boss Eddie
"We weren't good in any aspect of the game, with or without the ball or mentally. We have to reflect on that honestly."
Boruc should have got a stronger hand to Ozil's shot that bounced over
the Polish goalkeeper to give the hosts a perfect start after just four
Bournemouth caused their own problems again in the
build-up to Arsenal's second as Adam Smith gifted possession to
Mkhitaryan, but it was still brilliantly pounced upon as the Armenian
exchanged passes with Ozil before slotting into an empty net.
hint of complacency cost Arsenal moments later when Matteo Guendouzi was
caught in possession on the edge of his own box by Dan Gosling and he
squared for Lys Mousset to roll into an empty net.
However, Arsenal clicked through the gears after the break and put the game to bed before the hour mark.
Ozil-Mkhitaryan connection again opened up Bournemouth down Arsenal's
right and Mkhitaryan picked out Laurent Koscielny, whose shot deflected
in off Nathan Ake.
Emery also has a big decision over who to start
up front on Saturday as both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre
Lacazette are also in top form.
Mkhitaryan was the creator again
for the fourth when his through ball freed Aubameyang in behind the
Bournemouth defence and the Gabon striker stayed cool to round Boruc and
slot home his 19th goal of the season.
A start for Aubameyang
meant Lacazette had to settle for a place on the bench, but the French
international still had time to add his 14th of the campaign with a
brilliant free-kick 12 minutes from time.