BOURNEMOUTH, England — Arsenal ended a four-game winless run by scoring quick-fire goals to beat Bournemouth, 2-0, on Sunday, rising to third in the Premier League.
Mesut Ozil tucked away the opener in the 23rd minute for his first goal since netting in December's reverse fixture against Bournemouth. And only 88 seconds later, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck to end a 17-month wait for a Premier League goal.
When the Gunners beat Bournemouth on Dec. 28 they had moved to the summit but they have fallen off the pace during a poor run since.
Leicester is now in front with Tottenham and Arsenal five points behind and only separated by goal difference. Manchester City dropped to fourth after losing to Leicester on Saturday.
Next Sunday sees City host Tottenham and Arsenal take on Leicester.
"In one week Leicester has beaten Liverpool and Man City," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "So that means suddenly they become the favorite in the league. That makes our game on Sunday a very big one.
"I think we needed to win the game (against Bournemouth). I do not want to be too dramatic with making statements. A football game away from home in the Premier League for anybody is difficult to win. We had to win. We won."
Bournemouth's task is survival. In its first season in the top flight, the south-coast club is five points above the relegation zone.
"We were slow out the blocks today," Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said. "That's unlike us and when you give players of their quality that time on the ball they will punish you.
"The quality of the goals, especially the second one from a tight angle, made it difficult for us. After that we were unable to find a goal that would get us back into it and put them under pressure."