Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches across all competitions as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured a 2-1 victory at gutsy Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday.
Unai Emery was dealt the blow of losing Alexandre Lacazette to a groin injury before the game and for a while Arsenal appeared to miss him, looking wasteful in attack, but they dug deep to claim a deserved triumph.
A spectacular Jefferson Lerma own goal spoiled a decent start from the hosts, but Bournemouth brilliantly restored parity just before the break through Josh King's stunning strike.
But Eddie Howe's side were unable to maintain their first-half performance and Arsenal upped the ante, ultimately sealing victory with Aubameyang's eighth Premier League goal of the season.
Bournemouth thought they had an early opener when David Brooks tucked in from 12 yards in the eighth minute, but he appeared to stray just offside.
Arsenal nearly capitalised less than 60 seconds later, as Lucas Torreira's 25-yard strike came back off the left-hand post.
The breakthrough did arrive in the 30th minute – Lerma meeting Sead Kolasinac's low cross with an unstoppable volley which he calamitously fired into his own net.
But King levelled stylishly on the stroke of half-time, picking out the top-left corner after being released into the right side of the area by Brooks at the end of a devastating break.
Arsenal stepped things up after the interval and became increasingly dominant, but Aubameyang blasted a presentable chance over when fed towards the penalty area by the otherwise ineffective Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Aubameyang did not waste his next chance 23 minutes from time, however, tapping in from close range after Kolasinac played the ball across the face of goal on another marauding run.
Lerma almost rescued Bournemouth to make amends for his own goal, but his 30-yard drive late on was denied by the post as Arsenal held firm.
What does it mean? Gunners show grit and style
This was by no means a straightforward win. At times in the first half, Arsenal looked shaky at the back and Bournemouth showed plenty of promise. But the visitors retained focus in the second period, playing some fine football in the process.
Brooks catches the eye
The slight winger may have struggled in some physical duels, but he was a real handful in attack, having an early goal controversially disallowed and then setting up King's equaliser. At 21 years old, he looks a real talent.
Mkhitaryan impact minimal
For all of the possession Arsenal had in their periods on the front foot, Mkhitaryan was disappointing, often failing to make the most of good positions.
Key Opta Facts
- After losing just two of their opening 10 games in the Premier League this season (W6 D2), Bournemouth have lost their last three in a row.
- Arsenal have already won as many Premier League away games this season (four of six) as they did in the whole of the 2017-18 campaign (four of 19).
- Arsenal are one of only two teams still yet to lead at half-time in a Premier League game this term (alongside Cardiff City), however they’ve gone on to win eight of those 13 fixtures (D3 L2).
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 14 goals in his 16 Premier League matches played on Sunday, accounting for 78 per cent of his total strikes in the competition (14/18).
Things do not get much easier for Bournemouth, as their next game sees them travel to champions Manchester City on Saturday. Arsenal host bitter rivals Tottenham on Sunday, three days after returning to Europa League action against Vorskla.