Premier League leaders Arsenal maintained their five-point advantage over Manchester City after snatching an incredible victory from the jaws of defeat against Bournemouth this afternoon.
Mikel Arteta’s side trailed 0-2 on the hour mark before mounting a comeback worthy of champions. Philip Billing’s opener came after nine seconds, the second-fastest goal scored in Premier League history, with Marcos Sensei doubling their lead early into the second half.
Arsenal had 77 touches inside the opposition box against Bournemouth, the most by any side in a PL game since Man City had 87 vs. Norwich in July 2020.
They also had 31 shots, the most the Gunners have had in a PL match since Dec 2017 (33 vs. Man Utd).
Comeback complete. 💪 pic.twitter.com/V6kQEizOQl
— Squawka (@Squawka) March 4, 2023
Naturally, this led to joyous scenes at the Emirates as well as on the internet with Arsenal fans, and even rival supporters, digesting the events unfolding in north London.
Some, made a note to point out the mentality needed to pull off such a victory, while others basked in the Gunners‘ position heading into what Sir Alex Ferguson once described as squeaky-bum time.
There was even a cheeky dig at Chelsea forward Mykhaylo Mudryk who spurned the opportunity to join Arsenal instead opting for life at Stamford Bridge.
No Gabriel Jesus.
No Eddie Nketiah.
No Leandro Trossard.
No help from VAR.
Doesn’t matter. The Arsenal have found a way. pic.twitter.com/z5Xuyi8Ij7
— Max. ✍🏼 (@AFCMax9) March 4, 2023
What a happy moment for Arsenal,Coach,Nelson and all of us fans … Wow …😁😁!!!!
— Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) March 4, 2023
That’s all… pic.twitter.com/LfiNOFPhoX
— Alex Scott MBE (@AlexScott) March 4, 2023
Reiss Nelson, game changer!!! 😍🤩🙏🏾 @Arsenal
— Eddie Nketiah 📞 (@EddieNketiah9) March 4, 2023
Arsenal going 2-0 down to make it interesting pic.twitter.com/zqJu1jFBud
— C. (@ArsecaI) March 4, 2023
The fact that Arsenal can be 2-0 down and everyone knows not to write them off is so, so different from previous seasons. Winners mentality.
— Nicole Holliday (@NicoleHolliday) March 4, 2023
Rival fans witnessing that Arsenal comeback to take them back 5 points clear at the Top of the Premier League table 😂 pic.twitter.com/YNslaR1SVO
— Le African Gooner (@leafricangooner) March 4, 2023
Forget, Arsenal's mentality is m@d this season.
The mentality has rubbed off on all the players.
Even Nelson now balling.
— POOJA!!! (@PoojaMedia) March 4, 2023
Arsenal winning and Mudryk didn’t play😢 pic.twitter.com/tQsqOZgauk
— Sainai (@_Sainai) March 4, 2023
It was yet another remarkable turnaround, no side has won more points from a losing position in this season’s Premier League than Arsenal, who have accumulated 15 to date. This also proved to be the biggest hurdle they’ve climbed since February 2012 against Tottenham when they also fell behind by two goals before running out 5-2 winners.
Equally remarkable is the fact Arsenal have now scored more 90th-minute winners than any other side in the Premier League this season (3). It’s the joint-most 90th-minute winners the Gunners have scored in a single season in the competition.
“It’s getting a bit like the Leicester situation,” Paul Merson told Sky Sports ahead of today’s game. “‘Oh, don’t worry. They’ll fall in a minute and another game goes.'”
He’s obviously referring to Leiciester’s improbable run to becoming Premier League champions; much like this Arsenal team it was laced with players with no prior experience in title run-ins, Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale said as much before kick-off.
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“I wouldn’t say it’s easy but it’s definitely a pressure which is so much nicer to have than the opposite side,” he noted.
“It’s an enjoyment and because not a lot of us have been here before, we don’t really know how to handle it. So we’re just going out and playing the games as if we’re 10th, 12th, whatever.
“I found out the hard way that you can’t get too low or you can’t get too high. If you lose a game of football that can’t take over your whole life.
“Obviously I want to win every single game and do well, but it’s not the be all and end all at the minute.”
Earlier in the day Man City registered a 2-0 win over Newcastle to close the gap but with this response Pep Guardiola knows his defending champions are in for a real fight to keep hold of the Premier League trophy for another season.
Especially when they can call upon Nelson, the soon-to-be out-of-contract forward has been directly involved in more Premier League goals as a substitute than any other player this season (five – three goals and two assists).
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“It was madness from the first second. We kept trying and dominating the game. We had a mountain to climb and we took it bit by bit,” Arteta told BBC MOTD after the game.
“We had the hunger to go for the first goal. From then the atmosphere changed. Reiss Nelson hasn’t featured much because he has been injured. He comes on and puts in that performance. It was incredible to experience the emotion with the crowd. It’s going to stick with us.
“I am going to remember this day for a few things. I loved the initiative, the courage, their personality and the way they made things happen.
“When its ugly and when its difficult, that’s what big teams do. We have to make it easier for ourselves. But this is the Premier League.”