by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Manager Eddie Howe admitted his disappointment after Arsenal edged past Cherries yesterday – and also urged record signing Jefferson Lerma to forget his error-strewn showing.
The Colombian midfielder had struck the woodwork late on as the visitors emerged narrow victors at Vitality Stadium, condemning Cherries to a third consecutive defeat.
A battling performance from the home side experienced a bizarre setback on the half hour mark, after Lerma had inadvertently flashed Sead Kolasinac’s delivery beyond Asmir Begovic on the stretch.
The in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then plundered his eighth of the season to cancel out Josh King’s sumptuous leveller, as Arsenal quickly capitalised on Lerma’s foul to carve apart Cherries’ backline and tee up the Gabonese ace.
When questioned about the result, Howe said: “We’re disappointed with it. We felt we were in the game all the way through and were on the wrong end of some decisions.
“In a game like this, you need every bit of luck you can find. Jefferson Lerma’s shot hit the post, so it’s fine margins between getting something out of the game and getting nothing. The players gave everything to the match but it wasn’t to be.
“We started the game brightly and had good moments, but Arsenal came back into it. Their first goal was bizarre but that’s the luck that was against us today. There was nothing Lerma could do about it and he was inches away from being a hero at the end. That’s football for you.
“I think it is one of those things and you move on quickly, don’t focus and dwell on it.
“There was nothing Jeff could do about it (the first goal). He just stuck his leg out and it went in – that was the type of luck which was against us.”
Howe also urged the importance of avoiding overreacting, as the Dorset side’s winless streak extended to three games after defeat against the Gunners.
“We took Manchester United to the limit and gave everything and came away beaten. It’s important the confidence levels aren’t affected by those defeats. Losing to Newcastle was disappointing as well, but we’ve had a very strong start to the season so it’s important we don’t overreact in these moments.
“We know we will win again soon. We don’t overreact whether we win or lose.”
Frontman King’s return from an ankle injury setback almost proved pivotal on a disappointing afternoon for Cherries, as the Norwegian fired Cherries level in the contest with a scorching drive on the stroke of half time.
“[Joshua] King did well physically today and added a different dimension to the front line, working well with Callum Wilson.” Howe admitted.
“I was very impressed, they were a threat in the opening period. They pinned the centre-backs back and gave them a problem in behind.
“The goal was great from my perspective, defending deep and transitioning into a clinical finish at the end of a counter attack, so it’s a shame for them we didn’t get anything from the match.”