With a new manager at the helm, Arsenal travelled to the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day looking to secure their first win under Mikel Arteta. However, Mikel Arteta was provided with a sharp reminder of the magnitude of the rebuilding task on his hands as his Arsenal side found themselves on the back foot as early as 35 minutes. While Arsenal did recover in the second half to equalise, the Gunners travelled back home lamenting missed chances on the night.
In his first game in charge of the club, Mikel Arteta chose to field a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lucas Torreira returning to his preferred role as a defensive midfielder in a pivot. Former captain Granit Xhaka joined the diminutive Uruguayan in the midfield pivot with Mesut Ozil, top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reiss Nelson operating in front of the two. Alexandre Lacazette started as the focal point of the Arsenal attack. Interestingly, two players who found themselves marginalised under former manager Unai Emery excelled for Arsenal against Bournemouth - Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira.
No Arsenal player made more tackles, more interceptions or made more recoveries vs. Bournemouth than Lucas Torreira.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 26, 2019
A big positive for Mikel Arteta. 🧉 pic.twitter.com/dZmFpzHCl9
Mesut Ozil was incisive in his passes, whereas Lucas Torreira did a good job tidying up in midfield. However, Aubameyang and Lacazette were both guilty of missing chances against Bournemouth. Lacazette, in particular, had a glorious opportunity to settle the contest when David Luiz played a defence-splitting pass through to the Frenchman. That opportunity was thwarted by the Bournemouth defence just in time, with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale also playing his part in rushing at Lacazette.
It may not have been the most convincing display from the Gunners, but there were still some positives for Mikel Arteta at the Vitality Stadium. Arsenal's passing, albeit in moments, was quick, clever and sharp. They also had the majority of the possession during the game. With the points shared between the two sides, Arsenal are now 11th on the Premier League table. Bournemouth, on the other hand, are in the unenvious position of 16th. Arsenal's next two games will see them host Chelsea and Manchester United at the Emirates. With Chelsea succumbing to a shock 2-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Southampton, Mikel Arteta's Arsenal could very well register their first win under their new manager this weekend.