Arsenal scored three goals in the last 20 minutes to draw 3-3 with ten men Bournemouth on Tuesday night in a pulsating encounter.
Bournemouth had the first effort of the game on seven minutes, as Joshua King dragged a shot wide of Petr Cech’s goal from long-range. The home side continued to press and Junior Stanislas fired an effort straight at Cech on ten minutes.
The Cherries had a penalty claim on 12 minutes, as King went down under a challenge from Arsenal goalkeeper Cech. However, referee Michael Oliver waved appeals for a penalty kick.
Eddie Howe’s side did take the lead on 16 minutes. Stanislas found Charlie Daniels with a lovely floated ball and the full-back knocked the ball past Hector Bellerin and fired from eight yards out.
The home side were awarded a penalty kick on 20 minutes. Granit Xhaka was clumsy as he brought winger Ryan Fraser on the left corner of the penalty area. Cherries striker Callum Wilson stepped up and coolly rolled the ball past Cech.
Arsenal first real shot on goal arrived on 23 minutes, as Alexis Sanchez fired well over the bar from long-range. The Gunners came close to halving the deficit on the half-hour mark. Sanchez found Aaron Ramsey in the box with his back to goal and the Welshman turned and fired narrowly wide of goal.
On 36 minutes Shkodran Mustafi made a last-gasp challenge to prevent Wilson adding to the Cherries lead. A minute later and Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter sliced an effort wide of goal.
On 41 minutes Arsenal had a chance to get back into the game. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did well to pull a cross back to Iwobi in the area and the Nigerian winger poked wide of goal under pressure from Simon Francis.
The Cherries came agonisingly close to making it three in first-half stoppage-time. Stanislas picked up the ball up 20 yards out, took a touch and fired just a few yards wide of Cech’s post.
Arsenal came out brighter in the second half, but it was the Cherries who looked to have scored the third goal of the game Arter struck a powerful effort from the edge of the area that hit Wilson on the arm and found the net. However, referee Olivier ruled the goal out for offside.
The Cherries made it three on 58 minutes. Daniels fired a ball forward for Fraser to chase, the winger outmuscled Bellerin before firing a tame effort through the legs of Cech and into the goal. The ball was soon up the other end, as Sanchez saw a powerful effort from 12 yards out well blocked by Arter.
The home continued to attack at will and Fraser saw an effort deflect into the side-netting on 62 minutes. Arsenal got a goal back on 70 minutes. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross was nodded on by Giroud and Sanchez stooped to head home unmarked from close range.
The Gunners scored a second on 75 minutes. Xhaka find’s Giroud who loops a pass to Lucas Perez 15 yards out and from a tight angle the Spaniard smashes a powerful effort past Artur Boruc in the Cherries goal.
The home side should have wrapped up the three points on 83 minutes. Midfielder Dan Gosling found himself in oceans of space inside the area but fired well wide of goal. The home side were reduced to ten men on 84 minutes.
Simon Francis went over the ball on Ramsey and Oliver adjudged the foul to be bad enough for the defender to be dismissed. On 86 minutes Ramsey shinned an effort wide of goal from inside in Bournemouth area from a Sanchez lofted pass.
The Gunners equalised in the first minute of stoppage-time. Xhaka lofted a cross into the penalty area and Giroud glanced the ball past Boruc. There was still time for Arter to drawn a superb save from Cech.
However, in the end, Arsenal will be glad to have rescued a point from three goals down, but it means the Gunners may lose ground on league leaders Chelsea, who play Spurs on Wednesday night.
Was a draw a good result at Bournemouth in the end?