Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was seen sprinting down the touchline in wild celebrations after Reiss Nelson’s dramatic stoppage-time winner against Bournemouth. The Gunners looked as though they were staring down the barrel of an embarrassing defeat to Bournemouth from inside nine seconds of the match.
Philip Billing scored the opener for Bournemouth to stun the Premier League leaders and their lead was doubled shortly after the break through Marcos Senesi’s goal. Bournemouth’s second appeared to spark Arsenal into life with Thomas Partey halving the deficit just minutes later.
And the score was soon level with substitute Ben White popping up with his first goal for the club. With momentum on their side, Arsenal were pushing for a winner but Bournemouth were holding off the threat from the hosts.
That was until the very last kick of the game when a corner in the 97th minute fell to Nelson on the edge of the box, who connected beautifully with a half-volley to find the back of the net. The goal sparked wild celebrations all over the Emirates with players running around while fans were jumping out their seats.
And Arteta was unable to contain his euphorie with the Arsenla boss seen sprinting down the touchline in rapture. The Spaniard seemingly didn’t know which way to turn, with the Arsenal bench all running onto the pitch.
Arteta was able to calm himself down after the match to speak with the press, praising his players for never giving up until the very last minute. “I’m incredibly happy. It was just mad. Those feelings of happiness and joy,” he said.
“It was a really special way and it took until the last second to earn it. I am really proud of them [players]. They never gave up. There is nothing like sharing those great moments with your people. I’m so happy for him [Nelson].
“It’s just another game, another three points. To win three games in a week [Leicester, Everton, Bournemouth] is very important. We want to stay there [at the top] for as long as possible. There are still a lot of games to play but that’s the beauty of it.”
The win over Bournemouth helped Arsenal maintain their five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table with just 12 games remaining in the season. The Gunners are back in Europa League action next week as they travel to Sporting Lisbon for the first leg of their round-of-16 tie before facing Fulham at the weekend.
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