FA CUP - Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal: Gunners through as improvement under Arteta continues
PUBLISHED: 22:01 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 22:02 27 January 2020
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Arsenal beat Bournemouth 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium on Monday night to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup, as they continue to improve under Mikel Arteta after a comfortable performance on the south coast.
Bukayo Saka gave the Gunners an early lead on five minutes as he smashed home inside the area, and he turned provider on 26 minutes as he crossed for Eddie Nketiah to stroke home and make it 2-0, sending Arsenal through to the fifth round.
Sam Surridge did get a late consolation in the 94th minute to set up a nervy ending, but the visitors managed to hold on for the win and advance.
Mikel Arteta made five changes from the side that drew at Chelsea last Tuesday, with Emiliano Martinez, Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock and Nketiah replacing Bernd Leno, David Luiz, Lucas Torreira, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette in the starting XI.
The Gunners made the perfect start as they went ahead inside five minutes, with the two 18-year-olds combining on the left as Gabriel Martinelli fed Saka on the overlap and the youngster smashed the ball off the crossbar beyond Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers.
Willock - who was involved in the move for the first goal - then had a great chance to double the lead on 20 minutes after a sharp turn inside the area, but Travers did well to smother the effort from close range.
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Another youngster given an opportunity by Arteta was Nketiah, and he took his chance when it arrived with 26 minutes gone to double Arsenal's lead.
Saka was involved again as he was found in acres of space on the left and although his cross was behind Martinelli at the front post, Nketiah was on hand to stroke the ball home from six-yards - his first goal since return from his loan spell at Leeds United.
Arteta's meThe one chance tn went into the break with a deserved lead and looked comfortable after the interval, although Bournemouth did go close through Jack Simpson when he headed just wide from a corner.
There was a big worry for Arsenal midway through the half when Shkdoran Mustafi was taken off on a stretcher after landing heavily on his ankle following a clash with Martinez.
A feisty second half with plenty of hefty challenges meant neither side could create a rhythm and open each other up.
The one chance that the home side did get got them back into the game and gave them hope deep into injury time, as substitute Surridge turned home Simon Francis' cross after poor defending from Arsenal.
The Gunners held on though as they advanced, setting up a fifth round tie away at League One Portsmouth.