Bournemouth hold Arteta’s Arsenal

LONDON. — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 12th Premier League goal of the season as Arsenal came from behind to draw 1-1 at Bournemouth in Mikel Arteta’s first match in charge of the Gunners yesterday.

Midfielder Dan Gosling gave the hosts the lead from close range after Jack Stacey’s cut back before Arsenal’s captain came to the rescue.

Aubameyang struck with a first-time shot after Reiss Nelson’s attempt from the edge of the penalty area deflected into the Gabon forward’s path.

The Gunners have won just one of their last 11 league games, and despite watching his side come back to earn a point Arteta has his work cut out. Arsenal reach the midway point closer to the relegation zone than the top four and have now dropped 24 points from the last 11 top-flight games, with home matches against Chelsea on Sunday and Manchester United on 1 January coming up.

As the Arsenal players went to applaud the away fans at the end of an entertaining game, there was a special cheer for Arteta.

The Spaniard saw his side create a host of chances in the opening 45 minutes yet Aubameyang’s goal, a sweeping instinctive finish, was their first attempt on target after a string of missed chances, mainly by Alexandre Lacazette. The Gunners once again made life hard for themselves, a careless pass allowing Gosling to put Bournemouth ahead towards the end of the first half — ending Arsenal’s chances of back-to-back clean sheets away in the Premier League for the first time since February 2016.

Meanwhile, Chelsea lost consecutive home league games for the first time since 2011 as Southampton earned a 2-0 key win in their fight against relegation at Stamford Bridge.

The home side never got going during the opening 45 minutes and Michael Obafemi’s superbly taken strike from 18 yards gave Saints a deserved lead. The introduction of Mason Mount for defender Kurt Zouma at the break threatened to inject energy into Frank Lampard’s side but only a vital Fikayo Tomori intervention prevented the away side a second.

And with 20 minutes remaining, a superb team move saw the ball break for Nathan Redmond and his simple finish from 10 yards wrapped up six points for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side from festive away games at Aston Villa and the Blues. Hasenhuttl was suitably impressed and raced on to the pitch with his fists clenched on the final whistle after a result which moved his side up to 14th in the Premier League — three points above the drop zone.

Southampton – on 21 points – are six better off than they were at the same halfway stage last season. Lampard can only dream of such progress with Chelsea fourth in the Premier League but eight points worse off than they were under Maurizio Sarri after 19 games last term. Elsewhere Tottenham renewed their pursuit of a place in the Premier League top four as they came from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 in north London.

The result lifts Spurs up to fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who lost 2-0 at home to Southampton yesterday. Adam Webster had given the visitors a richly deserved lead, heading in from Pascal Gross’ right-wing delivery towards the end of the first half. Harry Kane levelled matters with a right-foot shot into the bottom left corner after Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan had brilliantly parried his first effort.

EPL Results

Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 1Brighton and Hove Albion

Aston Villa 1 – 0Norwich City

Bournemouth 1 – 1Arsenal

Chelsea 0 – 2Southampton

Crystal Palace 2 – 1West Ham United

Everton 1 – 0Burnley

Sheffield United1 – 1Watford — BBC Sport.

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