Nelson may have spared Odegaard from rollocking after Arsenal heroics

Arsenal V Bournemouth: Pictures

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Reiss Nelson proved to be the saviour for Arsenal after his stoppage-time strike completed an incredible 3-2 comeback win over Bournemouth. The winger came off the bench to supply an assist before his last-gasp effort found the back of the net, and Martin Odegaard will be relieved that he came up with the goods after a rare off day for the club captain.

Nelson’s 98th-minute strike earned a crucial victory at the Emirates after Arteta’s side had gone two goals down to the Cherries. Phillip Billing’s goal inside 10 seconds, the second-fastest in Premier League history, put them ahead before Marcos Senesi doubled their lead after the interval.

But goals from Thomas Partey and Ben White put the Premier League leaders back on level terms before Nelson stepped up to the plate and fired home a winner, sparking incredible scenes of celebration in north London.

And perhaps the most relieved man on the pitch was Odegaard, who had wasted several chances to score in the game as Arsenal went searching for a winner – much to Arteta’s dismay.

Odegaard had to day to forget in front of goal as the profligate Norwegian fired an incredible 11 shots towards goal without finding the back of the net, with Arsenal having 31 attempts in total. As a contrast, Bournemouth attempted only four in the entire game and scored from two of them.

That should not understate Odegaard’s impact for the club this season after scoring nine goals and supplying six assists as the club push for their first Premier League title triumph in 19 years. But the midfielder’s return of two goals and one assist in his last 10 appearances points to a slight dip in form.

Nelson, on the other hand, was making his first appearance in the league since October 30 and made an immediate impact with a goal and assist. He has now contributed to five goals in just 85 minutes of action despite not starting a game and surely, there will be a clamour for Arteta to hand him some more minutes.

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A beaming Arteta, who saw his side maintain their five-point gap over Manchester City in the title race, praised his side and the crowd for coming back from the defeat of defeat, with Nelson singled out for his performance.

“It was madness from the first second. We kept trying and dominating the game. We had a mountain to climb and we took it bit by bit,” he told Sky Sports.

“We had the hunger to go for the first goal. From then the atmosphere changed. Reiss Nelson hasn’t featured much because he has been injured. He comes on and puts in that performance.

“It was incredible to experience the emotion with the crowd. It’s going to stick with us.

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