Arsenal smashed Bournemouth and did it with style, riding an earlier pair of Martin Odegaard goals to a 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
William Saliba also scored for the Gunners, while Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka collected assists to extend Mikel Arteta’s early-season run to 3-0 with nine goals scored and just a pair conceded (to Leicester last weekend).
Bournemouth’s opening weekend win over Aston Villa is a distant memory following back-to-back blowout losses and boss Scott Parker will note that the many of teams behind him on the table — Liverpool, Leicester, West Ham, and Manchester United — are not expected to be there long.
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What we learned from Bournemouth vs Arsenal
Arsenal has attack to go unbeaten for a while: Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and now Bournemouth have looked largely ill-fit to deal with the new-look Arsenal attack, and Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are looking like players sprung from their cages, chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected, and stepping out over the line (Zinchenko, to be fair, could’ve used with a bit less freedom at times on Saturday). Good, of course, as part of Man City’s system but given freer reign to show their style in space, the pair make the Gunners a candidate to be the last unbeaten team in the Premier League because goals need canceling out to put an ‘L’ on the board.
Perhaps scariest for many Premier League teams (and Bournemouth supporters)? The Gunners rarely looked like they had to shift into second gear.
Cherries won’t be getting their points from the big boys: There are newly-promoted sides who are ready to body up the opposition, soaking up pressure and daring them to find an incisive way into the 18. Bournemouth is not one of these teams, at least when it comes to the Premier League’s best. If Bournemouth is going to survive this Premier League campaign without major transfer injections, it’ll be taking points off fellow lower-half teams.
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had to make a terrific save with about a dozen minutes left to play but was otherwise untroubled as William Saliba, Ben White, and Gabriel Magalhaes did most of whatever grunt work Bournemouth asked of the Gunners.
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And that meant that Arsenal could attack with almost the entire team. Granit Xhaka and Zinchenko was surging forward, as was White. Saliba, of course, scored. The Gunners have now scored multiple goals in all three Premier League games this season as well as all five preseason matches (five vs Nurnberg, two vs Everton, three vs Orlando City, four vs Chelsea, and six against Sevilla).
This sample size isn’t so small, even if Bournemouth is going to struggle mightily this season.
Stars of the show
Gabriel Jesus: We kid you not, the ex-Man City man is looking like a slightly-smaller Kylian Mbappe through three matches in an Arsenal shirt. The other Gunners have more space because Jesus isn’t just a hold-up man nor is he simply a scorer: Gabby Jesus looks the total package.
Martin Odegaard: The broadcast rightly pointed out that Odegaard’s been a pro since he was 15 years old and that’s how a 23-year-old shows the attack general experience of a 30-year-old. What a shame that we won’t see Odegaard and Erling Haaland leading Norway into the World Cup.
Arsenal hosts Fulham at 12:30pm ET Saturday, 2.5 hours after Bournemouth goes to… checks notes… Liverpool. Woof.
How to watch Bournemouth vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET, Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (calf), Dominic Solanke (ankle)
📝 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 📝
🔺 Senesi makes first start
🔺 Moore leads the line
🔺 Lerma's 150th #afcb app
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) August 20, 2022
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Reiss Nelson (undisclosed)
📋 Same starting XI…
Let's get the same result! 👊#BOUARS
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 20, 2022