Mikel Arteta 'pleased' after Arsenal debut ends with draw at Bournemouth

Mikel Arteta 'pleased' after Arsenal debut ends with draw at Bournemouth
Mikel Arteta 'pleased' after Arsenal debut ends with draw at Bournemouth

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he was "pleased" with many aspects of his team's performance against Bournemouth on Thursday after the Spaniard witnessed a 1-1 draw at the Vitality Stadium in his first game in charge.

Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued a point for Arsenal in the 63rd minute after Dan Gosling had fired the hosts ahead 10 minuted before half-time.

The two sides came into the game in poor form, with Bournemouth having lost six of their last seven and Arsenal only winning once since beating Bournemouth 1-0 at the Emirates on October 6.

"I am pleased with a lot of things I have seen today and a lot of things we practiced that happened today," Arteta said. "I am not happy we have not won the game but it's part of the process to learn. In terms of attitude, desire and commitment it was better than I expected. They are not used to playing at this rhythm."

Arteta restored Mesut Ozil to the starting line-up and the German midfielder looked sharp in the opening exchanges, but despite the Spaniard energetically encouraging his team from the sidelines, they failed to create many chances.

"I think he played really well," Arteta said of Ozil. "He worked and could have been the difference, we could have scored three or four goals from his balls through. The final product wasn’t what we wanted."

Arsenal's sloppiness was punished when they gave the ball away cheaply on the left wing and Bournemouth sliced through them quickly, midfielder Gosling stabbing home Jack Stacey's centre from close range to give the home side the lead.

The Gunners equalised in the 63rd minute as Reiss Nelson's shot deflected into the path of Aubameyang, and he swivelled to rifle the ball home before a wild celebration with the traveling fans that earned him a yellow card.

Both sides created opportunities in the pouring rain, but neither could grab a winner and the draw left Arsenal in 10th place on 24 points, with Bournemouth four points further back in 15th.

"We missed a lot of chances in the second half," Arsenal striker Aubameyang said. "We should get the three points today but that can happen. I think the attitude of the boys was great but we have to improve our chances.

"[Arteta] told us to continue in the same way [at half-time], to try to play, respect our plan, that was working and that was it. Everybody was working hard, we were aggressive and trying to play as he likes.

"Hopefully we will try to improve. We know the next games [against Chelsea and Manchester United] are quite hard but we are confident."

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe praised the attitude of his players following the draw, but believes his team sat too deep in trying to protect their one-goal lead.

"We tried to be proactive and we tried to take the game to them, which was evident in the first half, I thought we were good and scored a lovely goal," Howe told BBC Radio.

"With the 1-0 lead we sat too deep and allowed Arsenal to come back into the game, but for the main we defended very well. The attitude of the players was very good.

"It was one of those games we could have won. You never want to draw but I think a draw was a fair reflection for both teams."

Updated: December 26, 2019 09:51 PM

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