Giroud earns Arsenal a point after thrilling comebacka
Updated: 2017-01-04 10:42
Olivier Giroud of Arsenal controls the ball in the match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal of FA Premier League in UK on Jan 3, 2017. [Photo/IC]
Jan 3 - Olivier Giroud's stoppage-time header earned Arsenal an unlikely 3-3 draw at Bournemouth after they had looked down and out when trailing 3-0 after 70 minutes of a rivetting Premier League clash on the south coast on Tuesday.
Fourth-placed Arsenal's title challenge looked set for a massive dent when Ryan Fraser's breakaway goal put Bournemouth three up just before the hour mark after Charlie Daniels and Callum Wilson scored before the break.
Alexis Sanchez's diving header threw Arsene Wenger's side a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining though and when Lucas Perez volleyed in shortly afterwards the comeback looked on.
Dan Gosling went close to a fourth for a panicky Bournemouth and the home jitters increased when skipper Simon Francis was red-carded for a clumsy tackle on Aaron Ramsey after 82 minutes.
Bournemouth's creaking defence crumbled in the second of six minutes of stoppage time when Giroud stretched his neck muscles and to meet Granit Xhaka's cross and glance a header just inside Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc's post.
Arsenal sensed a remarkable victory but time ran out and they remained in fourth spot with 41 points from 20 games, eight behind leaders Chelsea who play at Tottenham on Wednesday.
Despite their remarkable revival, there was a sense of deflation for Arsenal's players as they trudged off.
"I'm pleased to help the team by scoring the equaliser but I'm still disappointed," France striker Giroud, who scored a wonderful "scorpion" goal in Arsenal's win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, told Sky Sports.
"It's nice to come back but the way we played at the end, that made me think we should have done better. At least we came back, showed great mental strength and I will take it."