Danny Murphy had praised Mikel Arteta for making two “ruthless” substitutions against Bournemouth on Saturday when Arsenal won 3-2. Arteta’s team overcame a two-goal deficit at the Emirates to defeat the Cherries and maintain their five-point lead over Manchester City. After 19 years, the Gunners are just 12 games away from winning the Premier League for the first time. When Philip Billing scored for Bournemouth in just 9.11 seconds, the second-fastest goal in the Premier League’s 31-year history, Arsenal was on the verge of a shocking defeat.
However, Arteta took decisive action by hooking Takehiro Tomiyasu at the half. After that, Marco Senesi’s header made it 2-0 for the visitors, and Thomas Partey’s goal cut the deficit in half. At that point, Arteta made another big decision when he substituted Reiss Nelson for substitute Emile Smith Rowe, who had been playing in place of the injured Leandro Trossard. After Ben White, Tomiyasu’s replacement scored an equalizer; Nelson scored a superb last-gasp goal to reward Arteta for his bravery.
On Saturday’s Match of the Day, former Liverpool midfielder Murphy praised the Arsenal manager. “Arteta deserves a lot of credit here,” Murphy said. He was brutal in his two substitutions today. Tomiyasu left the game at halftime because he was not playing very well. Ben White makes his debut, scoring a goal. He removes Emile Smith Rowe, who had already joined. He used a substitute to bring on Reiss Nelson without considering the player or how it would affect him. Congratulations, Arteta!
There was a question to the manager of Arsenal regarding his decision to suspend Smith Rowe. “We didn’t plan to throw him in so early in the game,” he told reporters. After five months off, we knew it would be hard for him to play 70 minutes, but he made a good impression. We ultimately decided to change because we needed something else, particularly on the left, where we were attracting more players.