'Bedlam - utter chaos!' - Inside Arsenal's greatest ever Emirates moment as Gunners complete UNBELIEVABLE Premier League comeback against Bournemouth

Arsenal Bournemouth 2022-23
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GOAL'S Arsenal corespondent Charles Watts describes what it was like to be in Emirates Stadium for Reiss Nelson's dramatic winner against Bournemouth

“I started to run, but I didn’t really know what I was running to.”

Those were the words of Mikel Arteta as he tried to describe his emotions following Reiss Nelson’s dramatic stoppage time winner for Arsenal against Bournemouth.

And every single Arsenal fan inside Emirates Stadium on Saturday will understand exactly what their manager was talking about.

Those 60 seconds after Nelson’s sweet half volley had found the far corner were as chaotic as they come.

It was pure bedlam. Utter chaos.

That surely has to be the greatest moment and the greatest celebration in the 17 years that Arsenal have called the Emirates Stadium their home.

The fact that as Arteta made his way back down the touchline towards his technical area he ran into a child, who must have been no older than five, summed it all up. 

Where on earth had the boy come from? How had he got onto the pitch? Arteta had no idea.

“I suddenly saw this kid next to me that I had to give to security,” he laughed. 

  1. A calamitous start

    A calamitous start

    For so long it looked like Arsenal’s title hopes were going to suffer a major blow at the hands of relegation threatened Bournemouth.

    1-0 down inside 10 seconds. Calamitous. 2-0 down with half an hour remaining. Catastrophe.

    Time and time again this season, Arteta’s side have managed to surprise us with the way they have been able to find a way back from difficult positions.

    But this felt different. Everything that could have gone wrong in the game, had gone wrong.

    From conceding the second fastest Premier League goal of all time (9.11 seconds), to losing their only fit centre forward to injury before the half-hour mark, Arsenal were staring into the abyss at half-time.

    And when Marcos Senesi headed home unmarked from a corner just before the hour, you felt that was it. Arsenal looked out on their feet.

    But you just can’t write this team off.

  2. 'The loudest and the most emotional moment we have lived together'

    After goals from Thomas Partey and Ben White had levelled things up, you just waited for a winner to arrive. 

    But, for 20 agonising minutes and then a further six of stoppage time, it didn’t come. Until that last-gasp, breathtaking moment.

    Time seemed to stand still when the ball dropped for Nelson on the edge of the box. Shoooooooooot! Cried the Emirates. The 23-year-old obliged.

    What followed will go down in Arsenal folklore.

    There have been several truly memorable moments since the move to the Emirates in 2006. 

    Thierry Henry’s homecoming against Leeds, Andrey Arshavin’s winner against Barcelona, Danny Welbeck’s header against Leicester to name but a few.

    But given the context of the season and what Arsenal are going for, nothing has felt as monumental as what we witnessed on Saturday.

    Never has a goal been celebrated quite so passionately. 

    “It’s probably the loudest and the most emotional moment we have lived together,” Arteta said afterwards.

    “The journey we have been on together and how the supporters and the team are together, it added to that moment we had today. It was really special.”

  3. A moment worth more than just three points

    A moment worth more than just three points

    Saturday was not a vintage Arsenal performance by any means.

    In fact, when the dust settles and emotions calm down, Arteta will be far from happy with what he saw from his side for large periods against Bournemouth.

    The start was shambolic and the gaps in the defence throughout the contest were alarming.

    But Arteta knows what moments like Nelson’s winner can give you in football. 

    It’s not just about the three points. It’s about belief, confidence and momentum. 

    And it’s about yet another layer of connection being built with the supporters through the scenes that greeted the ball rippling down the back of the net in front of a delirious North Bank.

    “Looking at the faces of the supporters, the smiles and joy in their eyes. It’s just great to live,” Arteta beamed.

    “It was an extraordinary day, a beautiful experience at the end. Very dramatic, but worth living because it was a great end.”

  4. 'When you go through moments like this, you have to enjoy it'

    'When you go through moments like this, you have to enjoy it'

    There are of course 12 games still to go this season.

    Arsenal have not won anything yet and they still have Manchester City breathing down their neck at the top of the table.

    And if they are going to win their first Premier League title since 2004 then they are going to have to play a lot better between now and the end of the season than they did on Saturday.

    But Arteta summed it up perfectly as he left his post-match press conference. 

    “When you go through moments like this, you have to enjoy it,” he smiled. “Because there aren’t a lot in football.”

    “Tomorrow we’ll go back to work.”

    Arsenal do now have to calm themselves down and focus on what is to come, starting with Thursday night’s trip to Sporting CP in the Europa League.

    But those scenes on Saturday will live long in the memory of everyone who was inside that stadium.

    There was Henry, Arshavin and Welbeck. You can now add Nelson to that list and quite possibly put him at the very front of it.