83 touches, 8 recoveries: Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista superb in victory over Bournemouth

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Arsenal’s Gabriel Paulista had an excellent game on Monday.

Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt as his side defeated Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners headed into the encounter coming off the back of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Southampton, a result which further questioned their title credentials.

Still, with Leicester City losing at Liverpool, Arsene Wenger’s side knew that three points against the Cherries would lift them above the Foxes to the Premier League summit, if only momentarily.

German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil was the standout player, rightfully earning all the plaudits as he created one and scored another in a simply astonishing individual performance.

But one other who stood out was Gabriel Paulista, stepping in for star defender Laurent Koscielny.

  TacklesInterceptionsDef Duels WonAerial Duels WonBall RecoveriesTouchesShotsMins Played
Gabriel Paulista 2 6 5 3 8 83 3 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Villarreal man contributed greatly in a number of key areas and helped his side preserve a well-deserved clean sheet.

Gabriel posted two tackles, three aerial duels won, six interceptions, five defensive duels won and eight ball recoveries though his standout moment was handing his side a first-half lead.

The Brazilian rose highest to meet Ozil’s corner, planting a header beyond Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc.

Ozil grabbed Arsenal’s second just after the hour mark, sealing the points following a slick one-two with striker Olivier Giroud before Boruc denied the Gunners more goals with a number of good saves.

It was a satisfying evening for Arsene Wenger, and one aspect which would have delighted the Frenchman is how Gabriel stepped in for Koscielny with such confidence and assurance.

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