Reiss Nelson scored a stunning 97th-minute winner as Premier League leaders Arsenal came from two goals down to beat Bournemouth.
Bournemouth had taken the lead after just 9.11 seconds through Philip Billing, and went 2-0 up via a Marco Senesi header.
However Arsenal pulled level with goals by Thomas Partey and Ben White, before Nelson struck.
The winger, making his first appearance since 12 November, slammed in from 25 yards in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Arsenal’s Premier League lead is restored to five points, after they had seemed certain to cede ground to Manchester City, winners over Newcastle in the early kick-off.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone after threatening a major upset – and beginning at top speed.
Billing’s goal was the second-quickest in Premier League history – only Shane Long, who scored for Southampton after 7.69 seconds at Watford in April 2019, has netted faster.
Nelson colossal as Arsenal snatch victory
Nelson had played just 64 minutes of Premier League football this season – having struggled with thigh problems – before being thrown on as a second-half substitute by Mikel Arteta here.
Yet the homegrown talent was the unexpected hero, collecting a half-cleared corner outside the area and bending a superb strike beyond Bournemouth keeper Neto.
The outpouring of emotion that followed was immense; the Arsenal bench cleared as virtually every player and member of staff rushed to celebrate with the match-winner.
Nelson had earlier, with practically his first Premier League touch of 2023, provided the assist for White to equalise with his first Arsenal goal.
White, brought on as a half-time substitute after Takehiro Tomiyasu endured a torrid 45 minutes, struck Nelson’s deep cross first time and his shot was palmed away from behind the line by Neto, with referee Christopher Kavanagh giving it via goalline technology.
What is remarkable is that Nelson, had everything gone to plan for Arsenal, would have been very unlikely to reach the pitch. He replaced Emile Smith Rowe, himself a sub for Leandro Trossard, who suffered a first half injury.
However it is with unexpected twists, remarkable moments and incredible goals that titles are often won.
More to follow.
- 18TomiyasuSubstituted forWhiteat 45′minutes
- 21Fábio VieiraSubstituted forXhakaat 84′minutes
- 19TrossardSubstituted forSmith Roweat 22′minutesSubstituted forNelsonat 69′minutes
- 10Smith Rowe
- 13NetoBooked at 64mins
- 15A Smith
- 6MephamBooked at 86mins
- 33ZemuraSubstituted forFredericksat 64′minutes
- 11OuattaraSubstituted forChristieat 82′minutes
- 14RothwellSubstituted forL Cookat 70′minutes
- 24SemenyoSubstituted forAnthonyat 64′minutes
- 4L Cook
- Chris Kavanagh
Match ends, Arsenal 3, Bournemouth 2.
Second Half ends, Arsenal 3, Bournemouth 2.
Goal! Arsenal 3, Bournemouth 2. Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ryan Christie.
Attempt missed. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Reiss Nelson.
Attempt blocked. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by William Saliba.
Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ryan Christie (Bournemouth).
Attempt saved. Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Adam Smith (Bournemouth).
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ryan Fredericks.
Foul by Reiss Nelson (Arsenal).
Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben White.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ryan Fredericks.
Chris Mepham (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Chris Mepham (Bournemouth).
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Squad number4Player nameWhite
Squad number10Player nameSmith Rowe
Squad number24Player nameNelson
Squad number34Player nameXhaka
Squad number13Player nameNeto
Squad number15Player nameA Smith
Squad number6Player nameMepham
Squad number3Player nameStephens
Squad number25Player nameSenesi
Squad number33Player nameZemura
Squad number11Player nameOuattara
Squad number14Player nameRothwell
Squad number29Player nameBilling
Squad number24Player nameSemenyo
Squad number9Player nameSolanke
Squad number2Player nameFredericks
Squad number4Player nameL Cook
Squad number10Player nameChristie
Squad number32Player nameAnthony
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