Nelson sends Arsenal into euphoria with last-gasp winner

James OlleySenior Writer, ESPN FC6 Minute Read

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LONDON — Reiss Nelson scored a dramatic 97th-minute winner as Arsenal got here from two objectives right down to beat AFC Bournemouth 3-2 on Saturday to reestablish a five-point lead on the high of the Premier League.

Philip Billing scored the second-fastest aim within the division’s historical past, after simply 9.11 seconds, to offer the relegation-threatened guests a shock lead on the break earlier than Marcos Senesi transformed a 57th-mimnute nook to increase their benefit. However, Thomas Partey halved the deficit with a close-range end on 62 minutes earlier than two substitutes mixed as Nelson crossed for Ben White to side-foot residence a Seventieth-minute equaliser.

Just because it appeared Arsenal would drop two valuable factors within the title race, Bournemouth might solely clear a Martin Odegaard nook to the sting of the field, the place Nelson took intention to attain his first Premier League aim since October, sparking jubilant scenes at Emirates Stadium.

Rapid response

1. Arsenal depart it late once more

If final month’s stoppage-time win at Aston Villa proves a pivotal second in Arsenal’s season, then Saturday’s gorgeous comeback can be its equal on the very least. The environment inside Emirates Stadium at full-time was nothing in need of euphoric, securing the win so many anticipated earlier than kick-off however in a way no person might have predicted: a last-gasp aim from a participant on the periphery all season all of the sudden taking centre stage.

Mikel Arteta has repeatedly spoken about Arsenal growing a successful mentality to final the tempo within the title race by overcoming troublesome experiences, and Bournemouth made this more durable than most anticipated, main 2-0 with an hour performed. Yet simply as they recovered at Villa Park, the Gunners stored enjoying right here — ending the afternoon with 31 photographs, the best quantity by any Premier League staff this season — and located a option to recover from the road, Nelson’s aim sparking an explosion of aid and pleasure as Arsenal’s backroom workers flooded the pitch and followers stared on the pitch after the ultimate whistle in sheer disbelief at what that they had seen.

On the face of it, beating Nineteenth-placed Bournemouth at house is routine, however the best way they achieved it can set off a surge in self-belief that this might but be their 12 months. Saturday was the primary time they’ve received a recreation during which they trailed by two or extra objectives at half-time since February 2012, spanning 65 matches.

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2. Gunners’ squad gamers step up

Before Saturday, Nelson had performed 64 minutes of Premier League soccer all season. The 23-year-old was essentially the most unlikely hero on a day when Arteta shuffled the pack, partly by means of necessity and partly design, as they confronted their third recreation in eight days.

Not all his choices paid off.

Takehiro Tomiyasu was substituted at half-time instead of White after a disappointing displaying, whereas Fabio Vieira didn’t profit from a uncommon begin in midfield. Emile Smith Rowe, making simply his eighth outing of the season following groin surgical procedure, was launched early on for the injured Leandro Trossard and he lasted 47 minutes in a subdued show. But Smith Rowe did present the help for Partey’s aim, which proved the catalyst for Arsenal’s comeback earlier than Nelson crossed for White to equalise.

Nelson’s winner was reward for the his dedication to his method, opting to not thrash on the ball however set himself earlier than drilling an excellent shot previous Neto. There continues to be a substantial distance to journey, however Arsenal’s title hopes can be aided significantly if the perimeter gamers could make such game-changing contributions; it is usually indicative of the togetherness Arteta has created that a number of gamers are capable of are available from the chilly and carry out like this.

3. Arsenal must rediscover their defensive resilience

Dominic Solanke has scored simply three Premier League objectives all season but he was capable of profit from Bournemouth’s sporadic counterattacking menace to trigger common concern in Arsenal’s defence. Solanke’s title is added to the checklist of strikers containing Ivan Toney, Erling Haaland and Ollie Watkins, all of whom have made Gabriel and William Saliba look extra unsure than at every other level within the marketing campaign to date.

Only Newcastle United (17) have conceded fewer objectives than Arsenal within the league this season with their defending offering the muse of their unbelievable title challenger. They had been caught out from kickoff right here, although, a intelligent Bournemouth transfer from the outset as they lined as much as overload on the left however moved the ball proper, crossing for Billing to complete. Only Shane Long (for Southampton towards Watford in 7.69 seconds in April 2019) has scored a faster aim in Premier League historical past.

The residence facet’s determined pursuit of parity maybe led them to take extra dangers on the again than in any other case deliberate for, however however, it was absolutely alarming for Arteta {that a} staff as restricted as Bournemouth precipitated them so many issues on the break.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Reiss Nelson, Arsenal. Came off the bench to help the equaliser and rating the winner: a exceptional substitute cameo.

BEST: Marcos Senesi, Bournemouth. More clearances (11) than every other Bournemouth participant and was on the coronary heart of the guests’ rearguard motion whereas additionally scoring on the different finish.

BEST: Thomas Partey, Arsenal. Scored the aim that began the comeback and made certain Arsenal stored probing for a winner.

WORST: Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal. Substituted at half-time and produced one of many worst crosses in Premier League historical past, knocking it straight out of play.

WORST: Lewis Cook, Bournemouth. Unable to stem the tide as a second-half substitute as Bournemouth had been pushed again.

WORST: Fabio Vieira, Arsenal. Struggled to impose himself in a recreation performed a excessive tempo, successful simply 38.5% of his duels.

Highlights and notable moments

Fighting again from two objectives down to attract stage, just for Nelson to ship a winner with virtually the ultimate kick of the sport? It was a script author’s dream in north London on Saturday.

After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned

Nelson: “It’s superb. When the ball got here out to me I eyed it up. Everyone went loopy when it went in. It’s an amazing second for me. I’ve been right here all my life and it means lots to me. I’m simply completely satisfied. I’m delighted.”

Arteta: “I’m extremely completely satisfied. It was simply mad. Those emotions of happiness and pleasure. It was a extremely particular manner and it took till the final second to earn it. I’m actually pleased with [the players]. They by no means gave up. There is nothing like sharing these nice moments along with your individuals. I’m so completely satisfied for [Nelson].

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)

– Bournemouth’s aim was 9.11 seconds into the match. It is the Cherries’ third aim all time within the Premier League throughout the first minute, and the second-fastest aim scored in league historical past.

– That aim was Arsenal’s eighth allowed all time within the first minute of a Premier League match. Only Everton (10) and Newcastle United (9) have allowed extra within the competitors’s historical past.

– Arsenal’s three stoppage-time objectives are tied for many by any staff this season within the Premier League (Manchester United, Brentford).

– This win was the primary time Arsenal had come again from two objectives down to say all three factors within the Premier League since Feb. 26, 2012 towards Tottenham Hotspur.

– Arsenal’s recreation winner was the 119th stoppage-time aim they’ve scored within the Premier League, 11 greater than every other staff (Man United).

Up subsequent

Arsenal: The Gunners start their Europa League marketing campaign within the spherical of 16 on Thursday, after they journey to Lisbon to tackle Sporting CP.

Bournemouth: The Cherries return to Premier League play on Saturday, after they welcome Liverpool to the South Coast.

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