Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette
Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Iwobi, Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud
Arsenal got back to winning ways as two goals from Danny Welbeck a great Alexandre Lacazette strike gave them a convincing 3-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Emirates today.
Arsene Wenger brought his two summer signings, Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette back into the side, although there was no place in the starting XI for Alexis Sanchez who only returned from international duty on Thursday.
There was an air of nervousness around the stadium in the early stages, with plenty of empty seats on display, but an early goal helped settle the nerves as the Gunners went ahead in the 6th minute.
Ramsey and Kolasinac combined well down the left, the Bosnian stormed on, crossed it, and Danny Welbeck’s header went in off his own shoulder. 1-0.
Granit Xhaka forced Asmir Begovic into a save shortly afterwards, and the Bournemouth keeper had to be at his best to keep out a Mesut Ozil free kick that almost doubled the Arsenal advantage.
Lovely running from Ozil helped create a chance for Xhaka which he fired over, and in the 27th minute the lead was extended. Arsenal worked it forward through Ozil, Welbeck laid it off, and Lacazette curled it beautifully into the net from just outside the box. 2-0.
Begovic almost cost his team a goal when he cleared the ball into Welbeck, but he showed good reactions to race out to smother the ball as it fell for Lacazette just 10 yards out. In the process the ball actually burst, something you don’t see very often these days.
A lovely flowing move saw Bellerin cross to the back post where Kolasinac’s shot deflected over via the hand of a defender, although it could hardly have been intentional, and Arsenal took a well deserved two goal lead into the break.
The visitors made a change at the break, bringing on Simon Francis for Tyrone Mings, and they had the first opportunity of the second period when Jermaine Defoe headed an Ibe cross onto the post, and then poked the rebound wide while falling over.
It was a warning for Arsenal not to become complacent, and it worked because they reacted by scoring again. Bournemouth gave the ball away, Ramsey picked it up, drove on, slipped the ball down the inside left channel for Welbeck who finished first time with his left foot into the far side of the net. 3-0.
Ozil, set up by Bellerin, fired wide with his right foot as the Gunners continued to dominate the game, and Ramsey’s clever running saw him presented with a point-blank chance but he couldn’t quite make the right connection with the ball.
A confident Welbeck almost got his hat-trick after a run into the box and a chip which curled agonisingly wide.
Arsene Wenger made his first change in the 67th minute, introducing Francis Coquelin for Ramsey, and with a three goal lead Arsenal sat off a bit allowing Bournemouth a rare spell of possession. A free kick just outside the box presented a good chance to get one back but Ibe’s shot went harmlessly wide.
Eddie How made his final change, bringing on Lys Mousset for Defoe in the 71st minute, but it was Arsenal who almost scored again. Ozil set up Coquelin, still looking for his first goal in red and white, but his goal-bound effort was deflected just wide.
Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud came on for Lacazette and Welbeck in the 75th minute, and the reception for the Chilean wasn’t uniformly positive with a few jeers from sections of the crowd.
He was involved quickly though, showing skills with a lovely flick and then a run and pass which created a chance for Giroud which Begovic saved at his near post.
Arsenal were reduced to 10 men for the last 10 minutes when Coquelin’s hamstring went pop and he was forced off. There were chances to find space in behind as Bournemouth pressed forward, but the final ball just wasn’t quite right.
Alexis had a shot blocked, Cech made an excellent save to keep his clean sheet intact when he palmed a looping header over the bar, Begovic saved again from Alexis, but in the end the Gunners were good value for the win, and there were plenty of positives from the performance.