Arsenal swept aside Bournemouth with a ruthless performance to secure a 3-0 victory and maintain their 100% start to the Premier League season on Saturday.
Glorious sunshine covered the south coast, but the Gunners weren’t there to sunbathe. Arsenal started the match in electric fashion with captain Martin Odegaard netting a quick-fire brace, turning on the style as Mikel Arteta’s men clicked into cruise control for the opening 45 minutes. William Saliba added a superb third early in the second half to secure the victory on a good day at the office.
There is a newfound swagger about Arsenal who broke the deadlock after just four minutes when Odegaard finished from close-range after some lovely work from Gabriel Jesus in the build-up. The Norwegian seemingly had a taste for goals and added a second in the 10th minute, nipping ahead of Jesus and firing the ball past a helpless Mark Travers in the Bournemouth goal.
Bournemouth began the second half positively, but their hopes of a comeback were quashed when Saliba produced a striker’s finish to effectively seal the points on 53 minutes. Jesus thought he’d netted a fourth, but for VAR to deny him with an offside call. Arsenal were made to settle for three goals, but a job well done as the waves of optimism keep on rolling.
Arsenal return to Premier League action next Saturday 27th August when they welcome newly-promoted Fulham to the Emirates Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 17:30. As for Bournemouth, they face a tricky trip to Liverpool on the same day, with kick-off set for 15:00 at Anfield.
Rejuvenated Arsenal. After losing out on the top four at the final hurdle last season, Arsenal have returned looking like a different animal. In previous seasons, Crystal Palace or Bournemouth away are the types of games where the Gunners have been prone to slipping up. However, not this season. They are organised in defence, clinical in attack and rather than operating as individuals, they now look like a cohesive unit. There is youth and experience, creativity and physicality while the goals are coming from all over the pitch. They look like a well-oiled machine and while some might say, with no disrespect intended, that bigger challenges are to come, Arteta’s men could achieve great things if they can master the art of consistency this season.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – GABRIEL JESUS
Yes, Odegaard scored twice and yes, he played a very good game, but so did the entire Arsenal eleven so this is a difficult choice. However, Jesus just edges it. It’s his all-round centre forward play that is mesmerising to watch when he gets in the groove. He was influential in the build-up to the first goal, gliding past defenders as if they were not there. He almost grabbed a goal for himself, but for the pesky offside law and VAR. He dropped deep to receive the ball and bring others into play, he battled for every ball and well, that’s probably enough praise for one evening. Another classy showing from the Brazilian.
Bournemouth: Travers 6, Mepham 5, Lerma 5, Kelly 5, Smith 5, Tavernier 5, Moore 6, Pearson 5, Senesi 5, Billing 5, Zemura 5.
Subs: Cook 5, Christie 5, Anthony 5.
Arsenal: Ramsdale 7, White 7, Saliba 8, Gabriel 7, Zinchenko 7, Partey 7, Xhaka 7, Saka 7, Odegaard 8, Martinelli 7, Jesus 8.
Subs: Tomiyasu 5, Tierney 5, Lokonga 5, Smith-Rowe 5, Nketiah 5.
4’ GOAL! BOURNEMOUTH 0-1 ARSENAL (ODEGAARD)
Brilliant from Arsenal and they have broken the deadlock inside five minutes courtesy of club captain, Martin Odegaard. Jesus is instrumental in the build-up, a brilliant run forward before picking out Gabriel Martinelli whose shot is saved by Mark Travers, but falls to Odegaard who does the rest from close-range. First-blood to the Gunners!
10’ GOAL! BOURNEMOUTH 0-2 ARSENAL (ODEGAARD)
Well, they are not messing about, are they? Odegaard has bagged a brace in the tenth minute and doubled Arsenal’s lead! Jesus was about to pull the trigger after some nice build up play from Saka and White, but Odegaard nipped in and fired past Travers once more. Two to the good for Arsenal.
54’ GOAL! BOURNEMOUTH 0-3 ARSENAL (SALIBA)
The fans song for Saliba must have done the trick because the defender has picked out the top corner to give Arsenal a 3-0 lead! Xhaka pulls the ball back to the edge of the box and Saliba curls a delightful left-footed effort into the far postage stamp. That is surely game, set and match for the Gunners now.
75’ GOAL DISALLOWED FOR ARSENAL (JESUS)
A hush has fallen around the Vitality with Arsenal’s clinical display seemingly knocking the stuffing out of the home faithful. The visitors thought they had a fourth goal courtesy of Jesus, but after a fairly lengthy VAR check, the goal is ruled out for offside! It was a very tight one!