Gary O'Neil names the 'best team in England' and reacts to Arsenal celebrations

Gary O’Neil hailed Arsenal as the ‘best team in the Premier League’ after his Bournemouth side suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the Emirates Stadium and insists he has no problem with the Gunners’ jubilant celebrations.

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Relegation-battlers Bournemouth looked set to stun Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday after going 2-0 up with around 35 minutes remaining.

The visitors scored the second fastest goal in Premier League history to take the lead after just nine seconds through Philip Billing, and doubled their advantage after the break through Marco Senesi.

It could have been a dream afternoon for the Bournemouth fans in north London but Arsenal soon levelled the match as Thomas Partey and Ben White scored two goals in eight minutes.

Despite the fightback, it still appeared as though Bournemouth would secure a potentially valuable point until Reiss Nelson rifled home a dramatic winner in the 97th minute.

The result leaves Arsenal five points clear of second-placed Manchester City, while Bournemouth remain second from bottom, one point from safety.

O’Neil admitted it was a ‘devastating’ outcome for his team but said the Cherries could take heart from the fact they almost produced an upset against the ‘best team in the Premier League’.

‘It’s devastating to lose in that way,’ he said. ‘The way the boys went about it and the effort they put in was superb.

‘It’s a tough one to take but Arsenal are the best team in the league. I don’t think many people would have expected us to come here and trouble Arsenal but we did and we came up just short.

‘We performed well above what you might expect and deserved something from the game.’

A number of Arsenal substitutes and members of Mikel Arteta’s backroom staff ran on the pitch to celebrate the dramatic winner, but O’Neil was not fussed by the scenes after the goal.

He added: ‘I’ve no comment to make on what Arsenal did. I shook hands with Mikel, it was a game he needed to win and I needed something from it too.

‘We went to battle and he came out on top. They scored the goal, so they can celebrate however they like.’

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