You couldn’t script it better than that. Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth, without getting out of second gear. The Gunners extended their unbeaten run to start the Premier League to seven matches and nine in all competitions. The Cherries, on the other hand, are still looking for their first win of the season.
Laudably (and foolishly) Bournemouth tried to play their heavy pressing style against Arsenal, which the Gunners passed through and around with ease. The Arsenal defenders and midfield had no problem breaking the press, and once the ball got into the middle third, there were plenty of gaps for Martin Ødegaard and Kai Havertz to exploit to get the ball to Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus in dangerous areas.
Arsenal opened the scoring when Ødegaard found one of those spaces and played a ball to Gabriel Jesus at the back post. Honestly, he overcooked the cross a little bit, and the Brazilian did really well to get to it. Jesus headed it off the frame of the goal, which threw Neto well off, and it fell to Bukayo Saka, who headed home.
The Gunners doubled their lead when Max Aarons took down Eddie Nketiah, who was quite good on the afternoon after a weak showing last weekend, in the box. It was an incredibly naive challenge from the Bournemouth defender, I really don’t know what he was thinking sliding through like he did. Bukayo Saka held the ball for the penalty but handed it off the Ødegaard, who slotted the penalty home.
Arsenal profited from another foolish Bournemouth challenge in the box in the second half. Ryan Christie slid in from behind on Martin Ødegaard, another decision that just left me scratching my head. You just can’t do what both Aarons and Christie did and come in like that in the penalty area. Ødegaard handed the ball to Kai Havertz for the penalty, to loud applause from the traveling support, and the German opened his Arsenal account.
It remains to be seen whether Kai Havertz will ultimately justify his £65M price tag, and Chelsea fans have given Arsenal quite a bit of stick for the transfer and bantered Kai relentlessly. But only one of Havertz and Chelsea scored a Premier League goal in the month of September.
Ben White added a fourth in added time, heading home an Ødegaard free kick. The scoreline would have been even uglier for Bournemouth but for Neto’s heroics. The Cherries’ keeper had an excellent match, stopping two good chances from Emile Smith Rowe and being quick off his line to snuff out the danger from Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka on multiple occasions.
A special shout out to the Arsenal traveling support — they were excellent on the day, signing and making noise throughout the entire match. They were so raucous that the announcer observed it was the loudest away end that he’d heard in the Premier League.
The only blemish on the day was Bukayo Saka limping off the pitch after a collision left him holding his ankle. You have to wonder why he was even still on the field at that point — he came into the match with an injury and Arsenal were up 3-0. As soon as the third goal went in (and perhaps earlier than that), Mikel Arteta should have been readying his replacement. Instead, Eddie Nketiah and Alex Zinchenko came off first.
The Gunners are a point off Manchester City for first place in the Premier League, pending the result of the Tottenham-Liverpool match. It’s been a slow start to the season for Mikel Arteta’s side, marred by injuries. And yet Arsenal are unbeaten and picking up points. It’s going to be fun when this side get healthy and put it all together. We’ve got a really good team, y’all.