By Mac Izu Nelson
In a match that was billed as the dawn of a flow of relatively easy fixtures for Arsenal, the Gunners failed to live up to expectations.
The most self destructive team in the universe were 2-0 down to Bournemouth after just 20 minutes of football.
Questions would surely be asked about Arsenal’s appetency to win the Premier league.
Or to at least challenge.
Arsenal’s horrifying performance in the first half was summed up when as early as the 16th minute, a long ball found Charlie Daniels in acres of space. He cut inside Hector Bellerin too easily, before finishing well past Petre Cech.
Just four minutes later, Granit Xhaka, in what was a rather puerile challenge, brought down Callum Wilson in the box. A penalty was ruled and Callum Wilson dispatched his second penalty in as many games against Arsenal.
Bournemouth, who had more games to recover than Arsenal, played with pace and it was no surprise when in the second half, Fraser easily shoved Bellerin away to latch on to the long ball and then score a third for Howe’s Bournemouth.
Game set and match?
The Scorpion King, Olivier Giroud, that lumbering beauty, had other ideas.
He sparked up a revival when his headed effort across the goal teed up Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal’s first goal, and first shot on target.
If Lucas Perez’s goal was a thing of immaculate beauty, then Giroud’s pass which set it up was just as exquisite.
It was a one time flick over the napping Bournemouth defence which Lucas caught on the half volley. 3-2 then, and all to play for.
The stadium grew alive, chants revved up a gear.
In injury time, Olivier Giroud’s headed effort salvaged a point for a side whose first half showing was quite ludicrous and surely their worst of this campaign.
It sparked jubilant scenes all across the stadium. Hugs were shared and exalting memes went up all across social media platforms.
Granted, Arsenal who in years past would have gone out with a whimper after being 3-0 down, showed a lot of resilience by fighting back for a point.
But with Chelsea now 8 points clear off Arsenal and with the game against Tottenham at hand, this result, the two dropped points, might mean that once again the kings of self destruction have imploded.