Red hot Arsenal fry the Cherries
Written By: Robert Halter
After three successive home wins over Bournemouth, it took six minutes for Arsenal to open the scoring as Aaron Ramsey and Sead Kolasinac ran the channels down the left and from a cross by Kolasinac, the ball bobbled off the head of Danny Welbeck and past a flapping Asmir Begovic, into the bottom left corner. In the twelfth minute, Granit Xhaka drilled in a curling strike which was kept out by Begovic, low down at the left post. On quarter of the hour, referee Anthony Taylor stopped an Arsenal threat as Welbeck won a free kick after being fouled by the Cherries captain, Steve Cook and the dead ball was curled over the wall by Mesut Ozil and with his outstretched arm, Begovic leapt over to turn the ball away from the left post. Three minutes later, Xhaka started and ended the move, as his long ball found Ozil on the left, who played the ball back to Alexandre Lacazette, before a bending strike rose above the crossbar from Xhaka. Midway through the first half a lunging tackle by Hector Bellerin resulted in a break of play as Ryan Fraser required treatment. In the twenty seventh minute, Arsenal doubled their advantage from a low pass forward by Ozil and after a one two combination with Welbeck, the ball was bent into the top right corner by Lacazette, from outside the box. The Cherries were half asleep when Tyrone Mings rolled the ball back to Begovic, who lost his footing while challenged by Welbeck and then Begovic had to react with a strong block to keep out Lacazette’s strike, as the ball burst which angered Begovic as he then argued with Mings over his back pass, after thirty seven minutes. The Cherries then replaced Fraser following his earlier injury with his replacement Jordan Ibe. In the fortieth minute, Arsenal had a claim for a penalty, after a first time volley by Kolasinac was blocked by Adam Smith as he threw himself at the ball, with the Arsenal players claiming it was handball following an assist from Hector Bellerin. Before the start of the second half, the Cherries replaced Mings with Simon Francis. But two minutes after the restart, Bournemouth went close from a bullet header by Jermain Defoe which struck the foot of the right post, as Petr Cech fell onto the woodwork, before Defoe tumbled the ball wide, following a measured cross by Ibe. It was inevitable that Arsenal should get a third after Dan Gosling got caught in possession by Ramsey, who raced forward before the ball was struck by Welbeck, with a low drive across goal into the bottom right corner, as Bournemouth were gone in sixty seconds. On fifty six minutes, from a chip by Bellerin, a volley by Ozil soared out of play and behind the goal. A minute later Ozil turned provider but a strike from Ramsey was fired directly at Begovic. On the hour, Welbeck closed in on a hat trick but narrowly lobbed the ball over the bar after latching onto a headed pass from Ramsey. Arsenal later replaced Ramsey with Francis Coquelin. On sixty nine minutes, after Ibe was fouled by Ozil, he was unable to find the target with his free kick. The Cherries then took off Defoe for Lys Mousset, but the Gunners pressed again as Ozil supplied Coquelin, and a last ditch stop from Nathan Ake, deflected the ball wide. The Gunners made further substitutions of Olivier Giroud for Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez on for Welbeck. In the seventy ninth minute, Kolasinac and Sanchez ran the show down the left channel, before Giroud’s rising effort was blocked by the agility of Begovic. But after Coquelin turned over on the turf, he could not continue so the Gunners had to see out the match with ten men having used up all their subs. In the eighty fifth minute, Cech had to smother a strike by Mousset at his near left post. A minute from normal time, Cech was at his best to tip over a goal bound header from Joshua King, as the ball was swung over from Ibe on the right. In stoppage time, Kolasinac played the ball through to Sanchez, whose spearing strike required Begovic to make a full length save to his right as Arsenal ended on the front foot for a comfortable afternoon at the Emirates with a 3-0 victory.