Arsene Wenger handed Mathieu Debuchy a surprise recall for Arsenal's win over Bournemouth - and then admitted he thought the defender might get injured after he was forced off early in the contest.

Arsene Wenger handed Mathieu Debuchy a surprise recall for Arsenal's win over Bournemouth - and then admitted he thought the defender might get injured after he was forced off early in the contest.

The France international had not started a game for the Gunners in over a year and looked set to be leaving the club in January having fallen behind both Hector Bellerin and Carl Jenkinson in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium.

The superb Alexis Sanchez had already given the hosts the lead, profiting from a weak Steve Cook backpass, before Debuchy injured his hamstring, with Callum Wilson levelling for Bournemouth from the penalty spot soon after.

Theo Walcott toasted the birth of his second son by heading Arsenal back in front, with Sanchez rounding off an impressive display with a late third as the Gunners halted a run of three straight draws in November.

But it was the potentially serious injury to Debuchy, who was replaced by Gabriel, which marred an otherwise positive afternoon for Wenger, whose side remain unbeaten in all competitions since defeat to Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season.

"Debuchy, he thinks it's a severe one," he said.

"Don't go too far because I have to speak to medical people, but you can only assess it really after 48 hours. You have to let it bleed and after, usually they have an MRI scan 48 hours later to see how big the damage is.

"When I picked the squad I imagined that something could happen to Debuchy because he's had many setbacks."

Wenger had previously said the former Newcastle defender would need more under-23 games to improve his fitness after a number of niggling injuries, so it was a shock to see the 31-year-old start ahead of Jenkinson.

But it was not a surprise to see Sanchez bag a brace as the Chilean impressed having reverted back to the central striker's role he has taken up for much of this season.

"Even when he looks dead, he's still alive and always finds the resources to do something special," Wenger said of Sanchez.

"He has that conditioning which allows him to always find an extra gear to be dangerous."

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe had seen his side win at Stoke last weekend and he felt the Cherries deserved more in this outing.

"I thought it was harsh on us, I thought we were well in that game," he said.

"We gave them the first goal and got a number of chances we didn't take, the 3-1 scoreline is difficult for us to swallow.

"We have been unlucky, we feel there are a couple of incidents, I believe, have gone against us, I think every team will say that at the end of the season.

"I thought we were very good. It is always difficult when you go 1-0 down early on in the game, especially in that manner, an individual mistake."