ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta believes Cherries have been "unlucky" this season and hopes Eddie Howe can keep the club in the Premier League.

Arteta's first game in management came on Boxing Day when his Gunners drew 1-1 at Vitality Stadium after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cancelled out Dan Gosling's opener.

Arsenal again visited Dorset last night for an FA Cup fourth-round tie and progressed through 2-1 with goals from Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah, before Sam Surridge's late consolation.

Howe's men are currently precariously placed in the Premier League, sitting 18th and in the relegation zone with 14 games to play.

But Arteta would like to see Cherries extend their top-flight stay into a sixth season.

The Spaniard told the Daily Echo: "I have great sympathy for the way they play, for the ground, for the manager. I hope they stay up because I think they deserve it.

"They’ve been very unlucky with some of the results this season as well I think and hopefully they can get out of it (the relegation zone)."

Cherries host fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday (3pm).