Arsenal squeezed through in a tight encounter with Bournemouth, earning a 1-0 home win thanks to a first goal in Arsenal colours for David Luiz.

Unai Emery again opted for Luiz and Sokratis in central defence, and there was no place for the impressive Kieran Tierney, with Sead Kolasinac taking the left-back spot.

In attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took the sole striking spot, with Pepe and Saka able deputies. In the centre, it was a trio of Dani Ceballos, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka.

Normally, matches against the Cherries are goal-friendly affairs, but this game bucked the trend. A solitary goal won it for the home side, but there were plenty of chances for both to alter the scoreline further.

We had the better of the first half, and we were on the front foot early, Aubameyang going inches wide with a well struck shot.  Just a minute later, we had the lead.

Pepe swung in a fine cross from a corner, and it was met by Luiz with a glancing header into the far corner that Ramsdale could do nothing about.

Pepe nearly doubled the advantage with a shot from outside the box, but his effort cleared the bar by centimetres. We were looking full of intent.

There were a few fouls flying in and inside the first half hour, two Bournemouth players had been booked. It did nothing to stop us, as Auba went close again, saved by Ramsdale from a good Chamber cross.

The game began to slow as half time approached, and we were fully in control. We had limited Eddie Howe’s side to potshots and they had very little territory in our area. The game was secure, even if the scoreline wasn’t.

And that was that for the first half. The second half began and within five minutes, the away team threatened. Calum Wilson got in between our centre-halves and rounded Leno, but he had gone too far wide and the chance had gone.

Bournemouth were starting to come out of their shell and it prompted a change for the Gunners, with midweek goal hero Gabriel Martinelli coming on for Nicolas Pepe.

Both sides were huffing and puffing but there was nothing clear cut, so Emery made another change, with Jo Willock coming on for Ceballos, who had been tidy but carried very little impact that he is capable of.

The two subs combined in the 83rd minute, as Willock fed the young Brazilian, who cut inside and fired over the bar, but the shot was very close to troubling Ramsdale.Emery made his final change just after, with Lucas Torreira coming on for Bukayo Saka, Emery keen to close down the game and keep the points.

There was time for one more moment for Bournemouth, who rallied up front on the counter, but it was Chambers who stymied them with an excellent tackle – and not for the first time in this game.

We had grabbed the points thanks to a measured performance  and some level heads, but what can we take from our 90 minutes?


Pepe Improving

The Ivorian has confessed to low confidence so far, which has contributed to a sub-par early season for our record purchase. This game though, saw some dangerous touches and a couple of efforts that perhaps highlighted to fans what he capable of. He is still some way to go, but this could be a real indicator that he isn’t far away.


Defence Have Heart

Bournemouth had chances but Luiz, Sokratis and especially Chambers were at the races. We held the line when necessary and some excellent tackling allowed us to break up some of their counters. Plenty of work but nice not to have to write about another mistake!


Saka at Home

The youngster is still a teenager but he really has found his feet quickly as a pro. Yet again, Saka was unafraid to take on his man, and his cutting in left Bournemouth’s defence very worried about his next moves. His years don’t have any bearing.