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HomeSportsArsenal’s miraculous self-rescue from a self-induced drowning attempt

Arsenal’s miraculous self-rescue from a self-induced drowning attempt

There must be one of those long German words for what happened at the Emirates on Saturday. Cockitupsobadlythenfixthingstomakeitseemmiraculous. Or, Meingottmeingott.

Essentially, when this season’s Premier League leaders Arsenal kicked off against near-relegation Bournemouth, it was the north London side that was all kitted up to drown against the seaside town side. Inside 10 seconds of kick-off, to be precise – the second fastest goal in Premier League history — with the visiting side passing down the right flank and Philip Billings slipping it in as if stealing a handbag inside a train full of grannies.

Second half hopes for Arsenal were stamped and returned to sender in the 57th minute, with Bournemouth Argentine centre-back Marcos Senesi bulling the ball in from a nearside corner. By then, the shorter word German word Cockitupsobadly was in full play.

That Arsenal would pull one back was expected. That they would equalise was fervently hoped for by most believers in the stands. Thomas Parley did the first after a botched up fist clearance by Bournemouth keeper Neto five minutes after their second goal. The second Arsenal goal followed in the 70th minute with Ben White’s slinger shot off a cross was blocked by Neto on the wrong side of the goal line. 2-2.

At this point, Arsenal and their faithfully faithless were like ‘It’s okay, boss’ at the prospect of going home with 1 point, rather than with 1 point less than 1. Desperation is usually a funny thing – it can get that shrinking feeling turned into a Messiah complex. But with Arsenal in the last 20 minutes of regulation time, it seemed that their rescue operation was done. ‘2-2. It’s okay, boss.’

The funny thing about six minutes of extra time is that it is six minutes of extra time for sides. For the tabletoppers, it was really about not getting humiliated, a notion that every Arsenal supporter has been familiarised with the way young Spartan boys were taught to withstand pain. Then, with that completely amorphous, slippery part of extra time that exists where some species can hear the first note of the ref blowing the final whistle – officially, the 7th minute in a 6-minute extra time — Reiss Nelson gets the ball off a Bournemouth head from a corner, takes (irony alert) an aeon after taking it on the chest and shoots.

3-2.They’re already calling it the Comeback of the Ages. If averting a self-induced drowning attempt can be described as a miraculous rescue. ‘It’s just another game, another three points,’ said Mikel Arteta after the match.’ No it wasn’t.

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