London - Olivier
Giroud scored a stoppage-time equaliser as Arsenal fought back from 3-0
down to snatch a dramatic 3-3 draw at Bournemouth on Tuesday.
First-half efforts from Charlie Daniels and Callum Wilson, followed
by a third from Ryan Fraser just after the break, appeared to put
Bournemouth on course for their first victory over Arsenal.
But Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Perez were both on target before Giroud
headed home late on to complete a sensational blitz of three Arsenal
goals in the final 20 minutes.
Despite the thrilling revival Arsenal ultimately lost ground in the
title race and are now eight points behind leaders Chelsea, who play
their game in hand at Tottenham on Wednesday.
Arsenal were again missing Mesut Ozil due to illness, with boss
Arsene Wenger claiming the German had been in bed for the last week.
It was Bournemouth who created the early chances and Josh King’s
speculative effort went just wide before a powerful Junior Stanislas
shot from distance was straight at Petr Cech.
Bournemouth fans were upset when Wilson went down in the area under a
Cech challenge but television replays suggested the Arsenal goalkeeper
had got a touch on it.
However, Eddie Howe’s side were celebrating on 16 minutes as they
took the lead thanks to Daniels, who struck home left footed after
getting the better of Hector Bellerin following a Stanislas crossfield
It was 2-0 five minutes later as Bournemouth exposed more poor play at the back from Arsenal.
After a break from their own half, Granit Xhaka brought down Fraser
as he was going away from goal and this time referee Michael Oliver
awarded a penalty.
Wilson scored the spot-kick, his sixth of the season, despite
appearing to stumble and fail to make the connection he wanted on the
Arsenal responded with a
Sanchez curler that went just wide but things were not going Wenger’s
way with Francis Coquelin limping off injured.
Arsenal went close to pulling one back with a deflected Aaron Ramsey effort on the turn going wide.
The visitors had another chance late in the half as an Alex Iwobi
scuffed effort did not find the target, while at the other end a
Stanislas shot from the edge of the area went just wide of Cech’s post.
Arsenal came out in the second half with a real purpose but Bournemouth weathered the initial storm.
They were frustrated as Harry Arter’s powerful shot from range hit
Wilson but was ruled out for handball despite the Bournemouth striker
appearing to try and get out of the way of the drive.
But Bournemouth went on to take a 3-0 lead on 58 minutes as Bellerin
was beaten by Fraser from Daniels’ ball down the channel and the young
Bournemouth winger cut in before slotting past Cech.
It could still have got worse for Arsenal with a Stanislas free-kick kept out by Cech.
However, Arsenal got back in the game on 70 minutes as Giroud headed
on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross and Sanchez nodded home at the far
Wenger's side then set up an exciting finish as substitute Perez’s volley from another Giroud flick beat Artur Boruc.
Bournemouth were left to hang on when skipper Simon Francis was sent off for a lunge on Ramsey.
But they could not do that as Giroud headed home in the second minute of stoppage time from Xhaka’s cross.