Bournemouth 3 - 3 Arsenal: Gunners fight back for point
Alexis Sanchez headed his 13th Premier League goal after 70 minutes to kick-start Arsenal’s comeback, with Lucas Perez firing home a fine volley five minutes later.
Charlie Daniels, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser had put Bournemouth into a commanding lead, only for Simon Francis’ late red card to let the Gunners back into the clash.
Arsenal still wasted the chance to move third in the table and cut their deficit with Chelsea to six points however, in an entertaining south-coast encounter.
Giroud met his third goal in as many games with sheer elation, adding his header here to the stunning “scorpion kick” strike in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Arsenal were hugely fortunate to escape with any points however, after a horrendous 60-minute showing.
Bournemouth quickly seized on Arsenal’s malaise, Wilson denied a penalty when Petr Cech diverted the ball before upending the Cherries striker.
The visitors failed to heed that early warning though, with the influential Junior Stanislas laying on the opener.
The hosts had gained huge traction on the right flank, and so caught Arsenal cold with Stanislas’ raking crossfield ball. Daniels latched on to the inch-perfect switch, cut inside a bemused Hector Bellerin and then buried a low shot past a stranded Cech.
As a palpably-shaken Arsenal continued to freeze, Stanislas and Wilson engineered a lightning break, sending Ryan Fraser into the box. Granit Xhaka naively bundled over the Scot, and referee Michael Oliver had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Wilson appeared nervy but kept enough composure to slide the Cherries into a 2-0 lead – all inside 20 minutes.
Finally Arsenal produced a fluent move, only for Aaron Ramsey’s effort to be deflected wide.
Alex Iwobi then scuffed wide from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cutback, but that proved Arsenal’s paltry lot for the half.
Arsenal were quickly on the back foot again in the second half.
Harry Arter had a goal ruled out after his drilled shot wound up in the net via the unwitting Wilson’s arm.
But moments later Bournemouth finally did claim their third. Fraser raced on to Daniels’ ball and outmuscled the all-too frail Bellerin, before slotting the ball between Cech’s legs.
Arsenal finally woke up with 20 minutes to play, Sanchez scoring after Giroud flicked on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s whipped right-wing cross.Arsenal raised hopes of a late comeback still further when Perez volleyed home Giroud’s savvy flick over the defence.
Dan Gosling spurned a fine chance to end the argument by blasting over the bar, before Francis saw red for a clumsy challenge on Ramsey.
And, as Bournemouth’s defending became ever more fraught, Granit Xhaka laid on a fine cross for Giroud to nod home the equaliser.