CHERRIES succumbed to their first defeat in seven games at the hands of top-of-the league Arsenal.
The Gunners came out on top of a well contested battle with Cherries and eventually won the game 2-0 with goals from Gabriel and Özil on either side of the half.
Cherries had their fair share of chances, and started the game very brightly with Josh King having an early chance saved by Petr Cech after being played in by a clever Harry Arter pass.
However, an almost completely unchanged Bournemouth side from just two days ago began to show their fatigue, with Arsenal finding themselves 1-0 up midway through the first half.
Assist-king Mesut Özil’s long corner picked out Gabriel who powerfully headed past Cherries keeper Artur Boruc to give the hosts the lead.
Özil continued to be a constant menace for the Cherries back four, and five minutes later almost added another assist to his name after playing in Theo Walcott who’s low shot was blocked by Steve Cook.
Somewhat of a goal-mouth scramble occurred from the resulting corner, with Gabriel hitting the post and his defensive partner Per Metersacker unable to scramble the ball into an empty net from two yards.
Cherries looked more lively in the second half after the introduction of Junior Stanislas at half-time but it was Arsenal who doubled their lead after a clever counter attack.
It was Özil again causing problems, darting into the box and after a clever one-two with Olivier Giroud and finished into the bottom corner.
Ex-Saints defender Callum Chambers then almost added another but a great save by Boruc denied the Gunners a third.
Cherries dominated the last ten minutes or so in terms of possession but unfortunately couldn’t make it count.
Second-half substitute Eunan O’Kane curled an effort just over on 81 minutes after being played in by Charlie Daniels and Stanislas’ 84th minute shot was sent just wide of Cech’s goal.
It was a good performance by Cherries but ultimately Arsenal’s quality and strength in depth saw them walk away as comfortable winners on a cold Monday night in North London.
Full time: Arsenal 2 AFC Bournemouth 0