Arsenal “overwhelmed” by epic catch-up: Arteta

LONDON: Mikel Arteta admitted Premier League leaders Arsenal were “overwhelmed” by their emotionally draining 3-2 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Arteta’s side fell back by two goals against weak Bournemouth before fighting back to secure a thrilling win that keeps them five points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

It’s the first time the Gunners have recovered from a two-goal deficit and won a league game in over a decade.

Thomas Partey and Ben White scored to make it 2-2 before substitute Reiss Nelson netted deep into injury time.

“Everyone is overwhelmed. It was amazing from the first seconds with this routine and we defended so badly,” said Arteta.

“Then we had to climb a mountain against 10 men behind the ball. We tried everything, we didn’t score and suddenly we’re 2-0 down after a set piece game.”

Bournemouth led through Philip Billing, who scored the second fastest goal in Premier League history as he turned home with just 9.11 seconds on the clock.

Marcos Senesi doubled the lead after the break at the Emirates Stadium but Arsenal showed the champions’ attitude to secure a win that could prove a pivotal moment in the title race.

Nelson, 23, is out of contract this summer and came on from the bench in his first appearance since November 12 after also being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“It’s been a tough couple of months for me, I’ve just come back from injury and when that goal came it was a great moment for me,” Nelson told Sky Sports News.

“I’ve been here my whole life. It means a lot to me. It was a great strike. I’m happy about the goal and I hope it’s the first of many.”

Nelson set up White’s equalizer before scoring a superb 20-yard winner with the contest’s last significant kick as Arteta revealed he now has a selection headache.

“I’ve always seen the potential (of Nelson). The talent and the desire to do it, but he’s on a different level right now. I think emotionally, the experiences that helped him,” Arteta said.

“Football-wise it was my decision in the last two games not to play against him because we had other options.

“But he knocked on the door. He’s been training really well and it’s a good lesson for me and the coaches that we need him and that he can be really important to the team.” -AFP Arsenal “overwhelmed” by epic catch-up: Arteta

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