Last-gasp Arsenal surge back from 2-0 down to beat Bournemouth
Arsenal secured a stunning comeback win as they were 2-0 down at home against Bournemouth but won 3-2 thanks to a Reiss Nelson goal with the last kick of the game.
This game will take some beating for drama and pure chaos and the Gunners have kept their five-point lead atop the table.
Philip Billing scored after just nine seconds (the second fastest goal in Premier League history) to give Bournemouth a dream start and Marcos Senesi made it 2-0 early in the season half as the Cherries were in dreamland.
But then Arsenal surged back as Thomas Partey and Ben White scored in quick succession to set up a grandstand finish.
It looked like Arsenal would have to settle for a draw but substitute Nelson smashed home a stunner to spark wild scenes at the Emirates.
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Mikel Arteta’s side keep their lead atop the Premier League to five points above second-place Manchester City as they sit on 63 points. Bournemouth remain on 21 points and in the relegation zone.
Destiny heavy in the air as Arsenal secure incredible comeback win
The way Arsenal’s players, fans and staff celebrated when Reiss Nelson’s thunderbolt flew in feels like a moment title-winning teams have. 2-0 down with 28 minutes to go to relegation-haunted Bournemouth, all signs pointed to this not being Arsenal’s day. But with 12 games to go there’s a feeling of destiny about this Gunners team. They fought back to win late on at Aston Villa recently and they have scored more winning goals (three) in the 90th minute than any other Premier League team this season. After falling behind with just nine seconds on the clock, they dominated the rest of this game and even though this was cruel on Bournemouth they can have no complaints about losing. Substitutions are working with Ben White and Reiss Nelson both scoring, everyone is chipping in (they have 14 different goalscorers which is more than any other PL team this season) and the reaction to losing to Man City in February has been incredible with four-straight wins in all coming in very different ways. Mikel Arteta and this young Arsenal side are both developing into a hungry, nasty, winning machine and the Gunners have an aura of destiny swirling around them right now.
Mikel Arteta: ‘When it’s ugly and when it’s difficult, that’s what big teams do’
“It was madness from the first second,” Arteta told the BBC’s Match of the Day. “We kept trying and dominating the game. We had a mountain to climb and we took it bit by bit. We had the hunger to go for the first goal. From then the atmosphere changed. Reiss Nelson hasn’t featured much because he has been injured. He comes on and puts in that performance. It was incredible to experience the emotion with the crowd. It’s going to stick with us. I am going to remember this day for a few things. I loved the initiative, the courage, their personality and the way they made things happen. When it’s ugly and when it’s difficult, that’s what big teams do. We have to make it easier for ourselves. But this is the Premier League. The opponents are good and they make it hard for you. Now we have the Europa League – many games coming up. We’re going to need everyone at their best.”
Arsenal’s hero Reiss Nelson ‘buzzing’ after superb goal
Stars of the show; Arsenal vs Bournemouth player ratings
Thomas Partey: Drove Arsenal on from midfield and popped up with a huge goal to start the comeback.
Philip Billing: Scored the early goal and drove Bournemouth on when they countered.
Oleksandr Zinchenko: So calm on the ball at key moments and never stopped trying to find a forward pass.
Arsenal head to Sporting Lisbon on Thursday to play in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last 16 tie and then head to Fulham on Sunday. Bournemouth host Liverpool on Saturday.
How to watch Arsenal vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, SaturdayTV Channel: PeacockOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
FULL TIME - Arsenal 3-2 Bournemouth: Amazing scenes at the Emirates. Everyone from an Arsenal perspective goes wild. That was cruel on Bournemouth but Arsenal were by far the better team. They found a way to get it done. Wow. Just wow.
GOALLLL! THEY HAVE DONE IT. Reiss Nelson smashes home with the lack kick of the game. They have done it. The fans, staff and players go wild. Arsenal 3-2 Bournemouth.
Gabriel Martinelli fires just over. Bournemouth have run out of steam here.
GOALLL! Ben White makes it 2-2. His shot is over the line. Chaos. Arsenal 2-2 Bournemouth. Loads of time for Arsenal to get a winner here.
GOALLLL! Thomas Partey pulls one back. It is 2-1. He pops up at the back post to finish after Emile Smith Rowe’s header. 28 minutes to go. Buckle up.
GOALLL! 2-0 to Bournemouth. Marcos Senesi finishes from a corner. Nightmare for Arsenal. Absolute scenes in the away end.
Bournemouth holding up well so far. Arsenal getting frustrated.
Second half is underway. Can Arsenal find a couple of goals to turn this around? Surely they will.
HALF TIME - Arsenal 0-1 Bournemouth: An incredible start to this game as Billing’s goal after nine seconds has the Cherries ahead. Arsenal have had plenty of the ball but have failed to carve out big chances and Bournemouth have almost scored again on the counter. What a huge team talk, and 45 minutes, coming up for Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal pushing hard for an equalizer before half time. Bournemouth holding on.
Handball shout and VAR checks for a possible Arsenal penalty, but the ball hit the upper arm and shoulder area of Chris Mepham as he missed his header in the box. A nervous moment for Bournemouth but no penalty kick given.
Leandro Trossard hobbles off and Emile Smith Rowe comes on. Great to see ESR back in action after such a long time out with injury. Trossard has been excellent in recent weeks so that’s a blow for Arsenal.
SAVE!!! What a huge stop by Aaron Ramsdale. Bournemouth were clean through after a brilliant counter but Ramsdale races off his line to block Ouattra’s shot. The Arsenal fans belt out Ramsdale’s name loud and proud.
A reminder, even though that goal was ridiculously quick that isn’t the fastest goal in Premier League history. Shane Long has that record from a few years again for Southampton against Watford. He scored just over seven seconds in.
SAVE! Brilliant double stop from Neto to deny Martin Odegaard and then Bukayo Saka’s rebound. Arsenal have responded well to that huge shock.
GOALLLL! UNBELIAVABLE. Bournemouth 1-0 up with just 9 (NINE) seconds on the clock. Billing sweeps home a cross and Arsenal can’t believe it. Arteta looks stunned. Bournemouth tried something very peculiar from the kick off with everyone lining up on one side and they played it to the other and scored. Wow. Who would’ve predicted this start?