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Mikel Arteta's jubilant reaction as Arsenal seal dramatic win against Bournemouth

Arsenal come from 2-0 down to keep title challenge on track.

Arsenal's Reiss Nelson is mobbed by team mates as he celebrates scoring his sides third goal: John Walton/PA Wire.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Have we witnessed the moment that decided this season's Premier League title?

As Reiss Nelson collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area at Emirates Stadium, the clock showed that this match was about to enter its eighth minute of added on time.

After coming back from 2-0 down, this was the final throw of the dice for Mikel Arteta's title favourites on a day when that tag was tested to breaking point.

There couldn't have been more resting on the left-footed effort of Arsenal Academy graduate Nelson.

Sometimes fate plays a role in significant sporting moments and maybe it decided that one of Arsenal's own was cast for this moment of destiny as what happened next was comic book stuff.

As Nelson fizzed an unstoppable shot past Bournemouth keeper Neto, the roar that erupted around Emirates Stadium was different to anything this stadium had witnessed.

Arsenal have not won a title since moving to this venue, but Nelson's moment in time felt like the shot that could just end that wait after a day of high drama in north London.

With Manchester City beating Newcastle earlier in the day, this dramatic win kept Arsenal fans dreaming and it didn't seem likely until that final late twist.

The struggling Cherries had only won away at Nottingham Forest and Wolves this season but raced into an early lead as Philip Billing scored the second-fastest goal in Premier League history.

They doubled their advantage as Marcos Senesi headed home after the interval before the Gunners finally rallied.

Fit-again Thomas Partey got one back before Ben White’s maiden goal for Arsenal – and his first in 955 days – had them level with 20 minutes to go.

They would need all of that time, and more, as Nelson – on his first league appearance since November 12 – struck with almost the last kick of six minutes of stoppage time to break Bournemouth hearts and lift the roof off the Emirates Stadium.

“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.," declared Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

“Those feelings of happiness and joy. It was a really special way and it took until the last second to earn it. I am really proud of them.

“They never gave up. There is nothing like sharing those great moments with your people. I'm so happy for him (Nelson).

"I am going to remember this day for a few things. I loved the initiative, the courage, their personality and the way they made things happen.

“When it’s ugly and when it's difficult, that’s what big teams do. We have to make it easier for ourselves.

“It's just another game, another three points. To win three games in a week (Leicester, Everton, Bournemouth) is very important.”

No one believes Arteta's claim that this was "just another game" as it became much more than than as Bournemouth stormed into a 2-0 lead.

The home fans had been stunned into silence with just 9.11 seconds on the clock, turning in a Dango Ouattara cross with the home defence caught cold.

Despite dominating the game after that setback, Arteta’s men were made to pay for their lack of cutting edge as Bournemouth went 2-0 ahead when Senesi broke free from Partey to head home a corner.

Partey made amends soon after, tucking home from a Smith Rowe header after Bournemouth failed to deal with a corner.

Bournemouth were causing Arsenal issues every time they managed to launch an attack and Gunners keeper Aaron Ramsdale had to be alert to save from Dominic Solanke moments after the lead had been halved.

But the Gunners were level shortly after, White finishing a centre from fellow substitute Nelson which Neto could not prevent from crossing the line.

It looked like a point is all Arsenal would get, but that was before Nelson's dramatic, magical moment.

“When the ball came out to me I was thinking 'please give me one chance," said Nelson.

"I'm buzzing, really happy. I controlled it with my right foot and it came onto my left.

"We need moments like this if we want to go all the way.

"We are focusing on ourselves. As an Arsenal fan, I'm just delighted with the result.”

If Arsenal win the Premier League title this season, Nelson's goal will be cast into history as one of the golden moments in this new Arsenal era.

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