Arsenal defeated a relatively tame AFC Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium today by a final score of 2-0, two days after a heavy defeat away against Southampton.
Goals from Gabriel (his first for the club) and Mesut Özil, one in each half, were enough to put away the Cherries, and although there were periods early on when Bournemouth looked to have something going on, in the end, they failed to trouble Petr Cech too much, and Arsenal had about seven or eight really good chances to score. The quick turnaround called for some squad rotation, and those coming into the XI today, Calum Chambers (for Mathieu Flamini), Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Gabriel, all did a pretty nice job. Ox struggled at times with his defensive positioning and Gibbs is showing signs of rust and neglect (and maybe not being super great compared to Nacho Monreal), but Chambers looked solid at defensive midfield and Gabriel scored and made a really nice sprinting recovery in the second half.
The first goal came from an Özil corner, which Bournemouth courteously decided not to try to defend, really, allowing Gabriel to run unaccosted across his defender to crush home a header into the top corner. It was about as simple as a goal from a corner gets. Arsenal piled up chances, including another Gabriel header from a corner that bounced off the post, then off of Per Mertesacker's face, then wide, and halftime arrived. The second half went much the same as the first, and 63 minutes in, Aaron Ramsey and Özil went Super Saiyan, combining up the middle, before the German fed Olivier Giroud, who pulled off one of his hilarious outside-of-the-foot flicks back to the German behind the defense, and it was two.
Arsenal saw out the rest of the match without too much trouble, and now can rest a bit again before Newcastle.