Giroud leads Arsenal comeback to salvage draw at Bournemouth
BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Olivier Giroud headed a late equalizer after setting up two goals to complete Arsenal’s second-half fightback at Bournemouth, salvaging a 3-3 draw for his side in an engrossing Premier League game on Tuesday.
Bournemouth stunned Arsenal in an electric 20-minute opening, with Charlie Daniels netting and Callum Wilson scoring a penalty. Arsenal’s troubles on the south coast deepened in the 58th minute when Ryan Fraser put the ball through goalkeeper Petr Cech’s legs.
But Bournemouth capitulated in the final 20 minutes, helped by being reduced to 10 men, with Giroud setting up Alexis Sanchez with a header and then teeing up Lucas Perez’s volley in the 75th minute.
Bournemouth was a man down for the final 10 minutes following a red card for Simon Francis.
Giroud then spared Arsenal from a fourth loss of the campaign in the second minute of stoppage time after getting the slightest of touches on the end of Granit Xhaka’s cross to glance in a header.
“It’s a shame we conceded three goals like that,” Giroud said. “We should not have done these kinds of mistakes ... it’s very frustrating and hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes.”
Arsenal missed a chance to regain third place from Manchester City, staying fourth in the standings — eight points behind leader Chelsea, which is at Tottenham on Wednesday.
Bournemouth is ninth as it looks to secure a third season in the Premier League.
Bournemouth had quickly seized on Arsenal’s malaise from the kickoff, with the influential Junior Stanislas playing a key role in the opener.
Daniels latched onto Stanislas’ crossfield ball, cut inside defender Hector Bellerin and then buried a low shot past a stranded Cech.
Arsenal continued to freeze and Bournemouth struck again.
Stanislas and Wilson engineered a lightning break, sending Fraser into the box. Xhaka naively bundled over the Scotsman, and Wilson kept his composure to slide the Cherries into a 2-0 lead from the penalty spot.
Arsenal’s problems deepened when Francis Coquelin hobbled out with a suspected hamstring injury, forcing Aaron Ramsey to drop deeper with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain onto the right flank.
Harry Arter had a goal ruled out owing to a handball from Wilson at the start of the second half, but Bournemouth was soon 3-0 in front.
Fraser raced onto Daniels’ ball and outmuscled Bellerin, before slotting the ball between Cech’s legs.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was visibly-frustrated, and quickly remonstrating with fourth official Graham Scott.
Arsenal finally woke up, with Sanchez scoring with the Gunners’ first meaningful effort on goal. Giroud flicked on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s whipped right-wing cross, and the unmarked Sanchez completed the job at the far post.
Perez then volleyed home Giroud’s savvy flick over the defense. Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling spurned a fine chance to end the argument by blasting over the bar, before Francis saw red for a clumsy challenge on Ramsey.
And as Bournemouth’s defending became ever more fraught, Xhaka laid on a fine cross for Giroud to nod home the equalizer.
This story has been updated and corrected to show that the Bournemouth player’s name is Daniels, not Daniel.