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Published: 15:33 | 7/2/16

Clinical Arsenal see off Bournemouth

Quickfire first-half goals earn vital win for Gunners

Arsenal have moved up to third place in the Premier League after beating Bournemouth by 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.

Two goals in the space of two minutes midway through the first half saw the Gunners take a control of the game they never really looked like relinquishing.

Mesut Ozil - quiet in recent weeks as Arsene Wenger’s side failed to win any of their last four league matches, scoreless in the last three – opened the scoring when he smashed home from close range before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s clinical finish made it 2-0.

Eddie Howe’s men performed well throughout but found Petr Cech in fine form in the Arsenal goal.

The defeat leaves the Cherries in 15th place five points above the relegation zone while Arsenal are again five points off the pace at the top but they could reduce the deficit further when they welcome leaders Leicester City to the Emirates next Sunday.

The hosts started well but the first chance fell to Arsenal on 14 minutes when the ball made its way to Alexis Sanchez but from a narrow angle the Chilean fired over the bar.

Bournemouth continued to give as good as they got but in the space of 90 seconds the game was turned completely on its head, Olivier Giroud laying the ball off to Ozil who slammed the ball into the roof of the net for the opener. Arsenal then doubled their lead when the ball was worked to Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right and the England international drilled a pinpoint effort in off the far post.

The home side were stunned but continued to try to find a way back into the game with Cech saving well from Harry Arter before minutes later Hector Bellerin did brilliantly to sprint back and get a toe on the ball just as Mark Pugh was about to pick his spot from eight yards.

Cech again came to the rescue in first half stoppage time, thwarting Adam Smith at the back post after Nacho Monreal’s ball-watching left him free to run on goal.

Bournemouth had a couple of chances soon after the break to halve the deficit but Matt Ritchie’s effort flew over the bar before Smith’s drive went into the side-netting.

Arsenal continued to be a threat on the break and Artur Boruc was called into action, parrying Alexis Sanchez’s low shot.

Bournemouth had another couple of chances in the latter stages of the game but in truth Arsenal remained relatively comfortable and closed out the win which could get their title bid back on course.

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