Mesut Ozil was the star of the show for Arsenal on Sunday as Arsene Wenger's men snapped a four-match winless streak with a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth.

With Leicester City beating Manchester United and increasing their lead over the Gunners to eight points, Wenger knew his team had to get the three points against Eddie Howe's men, and Ozil led from the front, scoring the opening goal, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck his first ever Premier League away goal to pretty much kill off the game midway through the first half.

"He has become a very important player," Wenger was quoted as saying of Ozil by the club's official website. "He has added a fighting attitude. It was a top, top, top performance from him."

The match might have gone completely another way, though, had referee Kevin Friend decided to hand Mathieu Flamini a straight red card, instead of just a yellow for a two-footed tackle. While the midfielder went in with two feet, he got to the ball first, and barely made contact with Dan Gosling, which saved him from an early shower.

"I felt it was a red card," Bournemouth manager Howe was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "I had a very good view and I felt it was two-footed. That type of tackle has been outlawed. You can't do it.

"For me, it was a pretty simple decision. It was a straight red card and it would have had a huge bearing on the game. I was surprised when the ref only produced the yellow.

"I've only seen it once and that was live but it was two-footed and Dan could have been seriously injured on another occasion. So that's why it should have been a straight red. It didn't look like he was in control."

Wenger, of course, differed in his opinion of the Flamini tackle. "I didn't see it like that," the Arsenal manager added. "I'm fairly sure at the start it was a freekick to us because Flamini was there first and I didn't see how high he was.

"He was first on the ball, I don't even think he needed to tackle. It was maybe both. Maybe it was a foul from Flamini because he had high feet, I have to look at it again. I still feel that he was first on the ball and went for the ball and didn't go for the player. It would have been harsh."

Red card or no red card, the fact of the matter is Arsenal got the three points against Bournemouth and the gap to Leicester City is now five. With the Foxes playing Arsenal next Sunday, that match at the Emirates could be title-defining.

Despite Leicester's brilliant form – and they were brilliant against Manchester City at the Etihad at the weekend – and Arsenal's iffy one, Wenger is confident of gaining all three points against Claudio Ranieri's high-fliers.

"[Beating Bournemouth] is very good for the future as we now have a very big game at home against Leicester, who are now the favourites for the Premier League," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "[A win] can maybe prepare you in a better condition for the next game.

"We have a week to prepare for that and I have to think about it. Leicester is a strong side but we are also a strong side. At home with our fans and support, we can do it.

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