AN EARLY header by David Luiz was all that separated Arsenal and battling Cherries at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners dominated the first-half and got in front courtesy of Luiz heading home from a Nicolas Pepe corner in just the ninth minute.

But Cherries showed a marked improvement after the restart with Callum Wilson and Steve Cook going close, but the hosts regrouped to triumph 1-0 and take all three points.

Eddie Howe named an unchanged XI from last weekend’s home draw with West Ham United, but did welcome Ryan Fraser and Lloyd Kelly to the bench with Jordon Ibe and the injured Chris Mepham dropping out.

Cherries arrived at Emirates Stadium having conceded inside the opening 13 minutes in each of their three most recent visits and they were soon on the back foot again.

The Gunners utilised their pace down both flanks with Jack Stacey and Nathan Ake doing well to get blocks in, but an early opener did arrive.

Shortly after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had curled wide, the deadlock was broken in the ninth minute when Nicolas Pepe’s corner was met by Luiz, who got in front of Callum Wilson to guide a header into the ground and cross to the bottom far corner of the net.

Cherries struggled to gain a foothold in the contest with Arsenal’s high press preventing them from passing out of defence. But the visitors did create one clear opening. Diego Rico’s pinpoint free-kick was met by Dominic Solanke from eight yards, but he headed wide.

Back came the Gunners, narrowly firing past the post through Pepe, who had been picked out by Bukayo Saka.

Matteo Guendouzi saw a shot blocked while Calum Chambers volleyed off target before the half was out.

The only response from Cherries came through Jefferson Lerma, who blazed high and wide from outside the box as Arsenal deservedly went into the break ahead.

While there were no changes of personnel at half-time, Cherries looked like a completely different side after the restart.

Solanke was teed up by King but opted against a shot and was crowded out, but an even clearer opportunity soon presented itself. Solanke found Callum Wilson, who broke beyond two Gunners challenges in the box and skipped around goalkeeper Bernd Leno, but his cutback towards Joshua King was intercepted by Chambers.

The shots continued with Stacey forcing Leno into tipping behind before Philip Billing curled low and wide from 25 yards.

Both managers turned to their bench shortly after the hour mark with Fraser replacing Solanke and Gabriel Martinelli coming on in place of Pepe.

And Fraser almost made an instant impact, looking to latch onto a low fizzing King cross, but Chambers was well placed to make a block.

Howe then introduced Arnaut Danjuma and Simon Francis as the game moved into its final 10 minutes, but still neither goalkeeper was being tested.

Martinelli went close to adding a second for the hosts, cutting inside and curling over the crossbar while at the other end Danjuma’s volley bounced past the post.

Cherries produced one final rally as the game moved into five additional minutes with Danjuma’s low cutback cleared by Guendouzi ahead of King before cook headed over the crossbar from the resulting corner.

Arsenal looked to sealed the win when Aubameyang latched onto a Chambers cross, but his effort from an offside position struck the post. Callum Wilson then struck from 20 yards for Cherries, but Leno was well placed to save as the Gunners held on to move up to third in the table.

Cherries: Ramsdale; Stacey (Francis, 79), S Cook, Ake, Rico; H Wilson (Danjuma, 79), Lerma, Billing, King; Solanke (Fraser, 63), C Wilson.

Unused subs: Kelly, Surman, L Cook, Boruc (g/k).

Booked: Billing, Stacey

Arsenal: Leno; Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Pepe (Martinelli, 63), Ceballos (Willock, 75), Saka (Torreira, 83); Aubameyang.

Unused subs: Holding, Tierney, Maitland-Niles, Martinez (g/k).

Booked: Martinelli.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 60,326