Cherries outclassed by slick Arsenal at the Emirates
- Anthony Taylor
AFC Bournemouth were beaten by Arsenal as a Danny Welbeck brace sealed a home win in North London.
Welbeck gave the home side an early lead with a mistimed header, with strike partner Alexandre Lacazette making it two before half time.
Jermain Defoe hit the post for the Cherries after the break with a header before Welbeck netted the Gunners’ third with a crisp low finish.
There was a single change to the Cherries’ line up following the Manchester City loss, Ryan Fraser replacing Andrew Surman, with the captain’s armband being passed to defender Steve Cook.
A quiet start to the match was ended by home cheers, Welbeck putting Arsenal ahead in the sixth minute.
A ball into the box found the England striker, who had fortune on his side with his finish six yards out; heading the ball into his own shoulder to wrong-foot Asmir Begovic and give the hosts an early lead.
Granit Xhaka tested Begovic with a snap shot from 25 yards, before a slick home passing move set up a free-kick on the very edge of the Cherries’ box. Mesut Ozil took the set piece, Begovic making a stunning diving save to keep the shot out.
A searching ball over the top for Bournemouth nearly picked out Charlie Daniels’ run, last week’s scorer just unable to anticipate the bounce.
After 27 minutes Arsenal doubled their lead, Lacazette finishing off an attacking move that had involved Ozil and Welbeck with a crisp 20-yard finish into the top corner.
Ten minutes before the break a Tyrone Mings back pass put Begovic in danger, the ‘keeper’s clearance blocked by Welbeck before the Bosnian recovered rapidly to repel Lazazette’s effort.
A limping Fraser was replaced by Jordon Ibe before the interval, with Adam Smith soon needing to block Sead Kolasinac’s back-post volley.
Following a sunny start to proceedings, rainfall greeted the half time whistle with the Gunners holding a two-goal lead.
Simon Francis was introduced ahead of the second half, taking the skipper’s armband, with Bournemouth almost immediately pulling one back.
Ibe’s controlled centre was flicked towards goal by Defoe, the ball bouncing back off the face of the post, the striker falling as his follow up ricocheted wide.
Within 90 seconds Arsenal stretched their lead, Aaron Ramsey’s sliding through ball finished low and across goal by Welbeck.
Ozil snapped a volley wide for the still-threatening hosts while Begovic was alert to smartly block Ramsey’s shot, Arsenal confident and close to their intricate best in attack.
For the first time in the match, the Cherries were using their possession well with Ibe winning a free-kick for his side before placing his resulting shot wide of target.
However, the Gunners still had a thirst for more goals and Begovic was required to palm away substitute Olivier Giroud's shot at his near post.
Past the 80th minute and Ibe was driving his side forwards, a left-wing run pulled back but not reaching Joshua King. Substitute Lys Mousset then saw a low shot saved by Petr Cech.
Mousset then stretched to try and head a cross home, King then forcing Cech into a good tip over his bar - but the Cherries would head home from north London without a point or a goal.