Arsenal were able to add gloss to an underwhelming start to the season with a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.
A brace from Danny Welbeck and a second consecutive goal at home from Alexandre Lacazette sentenced ‘The Cherries’ to their fourth loss of the Premier League season, with Arséne Wenger’s men bringing a run of two straight defeats to an end.
Alexis Sanchez led the high-profile absentees in the dugout, with Welbeck making full use of his opportunity on the pitch with a goal in the 6th minute.
New recruit Sead Kolasinac marauded forward to find the Englishman with a left-footed cross, who was then on hand to nod the ball in at the near-post and give Arsenal the start they had hoped for.
Granit Xhaka threatened Asmir Begovic’s goal with an instinctively combed shot from outside the box in the 12th minute, as the Gunners began to affirm their dominance on proceedings.
Mesut Özil then took the chance to test the former Chelsea goalkeeper from a well-positioned free-kick in the 16th minute, but Begovic found enough reach behind his save to palm it away.
Arsenal’s monopolisation of goal-scoring opportunities continued to lead the narrative of the afternoon, as Xhaka latched onto another opportunity to hit the target from Lacazette’s lay-off before firing over the bar from the edge of the box.
Soon enough, the Emirates was celebrating its second goal after Lacazette was able to retain possession on the turn and receive the return ball from Welbeck, leaving the ex-Olympique Lyonnais man with the time to finish emphatically with a strike into the top corner in the 28th minute.
Arsenal’s record signing came close to nicking a third for his personal account following good pressure applied by Welbeck on the goalkeeper, but Begovic was then able to make amends by blocking the Frenchman’s first-time effort.
A volleyed strike by Kolasinac at the back-post had the former Schalke man calling for a penalty in the 40th minute, as Adam Smith appeared to block the attempt with an outstretched arm before the referee’s call for half-time.
Bournemouth were able to burst onto the scene in second half through Jermain Defoe’s header onto the post in the 48th minute, prolonging the striker’s lengthy wait for a career goal at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners would make good use of their fortunes by stinging Eddie Howe’s side at the other end, as Aaron Ramsey pinched the ball off Dan Gosling before setting Welbeck through and assisting the forward’s left-footed strike across goal in the 50th minute.
Welbeck came close to a hat-trick on the hour mark, dinking an effort past Begovic that would also end up passing the Bosnian’s far-post.
Off the bench, Olivier Giroud couldn’t quite take his shot away from the Bournemouth shot-stopper in the 78th minute before an injury to Francis Coquelin left Arsenal down to 10 men in the final minutes of the game.
The Gunners weren’t to be bettered, however, as they held onto a 3-0 score and, most importantly, their second set of three points of the season.
By Patrick Ribeiro