Out-battled for an hour by their modest south coast opponents, Arsenal belatedly sparked into life and Olivier Giroud’s glancing header two minutes into stoppage time completed their remarkable recovery from 3-0 down. Flimsy before halftime, fabulous by the end; Arsenal revealed the split personality that has undermined so many of their Premier League title attempts as they snatched an unforgettable 3-3 draw at Bournemouth on Tuesday.
It was the first time Arsene Wenger’s side had recovered from such a deficit to draw in the Premier League and while they remained fourth, eight points adrift of leaders Chelsea who have played a game less, it could yet prove to be pivotal moment in their season as defeat would have been a hammer blow.
Swansea City’s new manager Paul Clement was not officially in charge of his side’s match at Crystal Palace but his presence helped the Swans move off the bottom of the table with a 2-1 victory at fellow struggles Crystal Palace. They were second-best throughout the first half as Bournemouth moved 2-0 ahead after 20 minutes with a neat Charlie Daniels goal and a Callum Wilson penalty.
The packed schedule over the Christmas-New Year period seemed to catch up with Arsenal who were back in action just 48 hours after beating Palace on Sunday. Ryan Fraser made it 3-0 in the 58th minute before goals from Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Perez set up a barnstorming finale.
Bournemouth were hanging on grimly after skipper Simon Francis was sent off in the 82nd minute but were breached again by a rampaging Arsenal side in stoppage time as Giroud pounced to follow up on his “scorpion” volley against Palace on Sunday.
Palace have now failed to win in their three matches under new manager Sam Allardyce and sit just above the bottom three in 17th place, one point above Swansea and Sunderland. Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch scored either side of halftime for Stoke as they eased into mid-table.