Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth: Welbeck brace and Lacazette fire Gunners
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal beat Bournemouth 3-0 through a Danny Welbeck brace and one from Alexander Lacazette.
It has been a difficult few weeks for Arsene Wenger and the club following their poor start to the season and difficulties in the transfer window but the win against Eddie Howe’s disappointing team was the first step towards banishing those troubles.
Wenger chose not to pick Jack Wilshere against the club he spent the majority of last season at before breaking his leg. Despite the Hitchin player’s insistence he is fit and raring to go – most on social media – the long-serving Frenchman declined to include him in the squad.
It didn’t seem to matter in the opening stages as Arsenal went 1-0 up on six minutes through Welbeck after a surging run down the left flank by Sead Kolasinac.
The powerful Bosnian signed in the summer from Schalke 04 lifted an inviting cross into the box for Welbeck to head home.
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It wasn’t the cleanest of headers but it still managed to ease past Asmir Begovic’s right hand and fall into the net.
Ten minutes later Asmir Begovic pulled off a good save from Mesut Ozil’s flighted left-footed free kick that dipped and curled up and over the wall before being tipped away.
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Granit Xhaka then followed up two minutes later with a curling effort that flew over after a strike from outside the box.
It wasn’t a particularly high-tempo game but Arsenal were most certainly in charge in the early stages.
They doubled their lead on 27n minutes with a wonderful goal by Alexander Lacazette. The record signing fired a precise right-footed curler into the net that gave Begovic no chance as the former Lyon man showed great technique and composure.
The former Chelsea man then made a double save from first Welbeck then emphatically blocking the lurking Lacazette to keep the score at 2-0 at the break.
Eddie Howe’s men nearly pulled one back just after the interval after substitute Jordon Ibe, on for the injured Ryan Fraser, whipped a low cross into the box.
Jermain Defoe showed his predatory instincts by nipping in between Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi to head the ball towards Petr Cech’s goal.
Unfortunately for Bournemouth and their 3,000 travelling fans the ball hit the post. Defoe then showed his anticipation to be as sharp as ever after the ball rebounded back to him by firing a shot back in which flew narrowly wide.
It was to be a pivotal moment as Arsenal drove forward from the resulting move, with Aaron Ramsey powering to the edge of the away team’s area before releasing Welbeck.
The former Manchester United man finished well by firing the ball low, across Begovic’s left to finish in the far corner. With barely 50 minutes played it was 3-0 to Arsenal.
With the game effectively won – despite memories of that crazy 3-3 in the south coast at the start of the new year - the rest of the second half was played at a slower pace.
And as the game petered out it was time for the controversial Alexis Sanchez to enter the fray, along with Olivier Giroud. There is no doubt the Chilean will play his heart out for the club over the next few months – but whether he is interested in a long term future at the club is another matter entirely.
But for Saturday at least the cheers he received upon entering the field of play were as warm as they were expected – although it was interesting to note it was Giroud’s name that was sung first by the fans as the pair waited to come on.
For Arsenal Football Club and its players and fans it was a good day.
But then, as Tony Adams told this correspondent this week: ‘It’s only Bournemouth’.
Cech, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey (Coquelin), Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Welbeck (Sanchez), Lacazette (Giroud)
Begovic, Cook, Aké, Mings (Francis), Smith, Fraser (Ibe), Gosling, Arter, Daniels, King, Defoe (Mousset)
Referee: Anthony Taylor