Arsenal cruise past Bournemouth to stay top

4 May 2024
Bukayo Saka has scored six penalties in the Premier League this season

Arsenal cruised past Bournemouth to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League before Saturday's later games.

Arsenal - Figure 1
Photo BBC Sport

The Gunners dominated the opening 45 minutes and took the lead just before half-time from the penalty spot.

Kai Havertz was brought down by Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers and Bukayo Saka coolly rolled the ball into the net from the resulting spot-kick.

Arsenal doubled their lead in the 70th minute when Declan Rice won the ball on the edge of the box and teed up Leandro Trossard, who curled the ball home from inside the area, before Rice scored in added time to boost the Gunners' goal difference.

Bournemouth threatened a lot more in the second period and Dominic Solanke forced David Raya into a save in the second half before Justin Kluivert flashed a shot wide.

The Cherries thought they had pulled a goal back through Antoine Semenyo but his strike was ruled out for a foul on David Raya by Solanke in the build up.

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel also had a goal ruled out late on for offside after he smashed a volley into the top corner.

The victory means Arsenal are clear at the top but their four-point lead may only last a few hours as title rivals Manchester City play later this afternoon.

During the match, Arsenal and their fans paid tribute to 14-year-old supporter Daniel Anjorin, who was killed in a sword attack on Tuesday.

How did you rate Arsenal's performance? Have your say hereWhat did you make of Bournemouth's display? Send us your views hereFollow live coverage of Saturday's Premier League actionArsenal keep pressure on City in title race

The Gunners started the game extremely quickly and had Bournemouth under pressure for the majority of the first half.

Mikel Arteta's side had 11 shots in the opening 20 minutes of the match - the joint-most by a Premier League side this season - but for a while it looked as though it might not be their day.

William Saliba had a shot well saved by Travers after he exchanged passes with Saka, before the England winger himself had an effort saved by the Bournemouth keeper.

Rice had a good chance to open the scoring in the first half but he shot just wide from a Havertz knock down.

Trossard, Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu all had further opportunities before Saka finally made the breakthrough from the spot.

The tension eased when Trossard finished well to double the lead, and Rice's strike in added time added further gloss to the scoreline.

The victory is Arsenal's fourth win on the bounce as they keep the pressure on Manchester City and hope the champions drop points in the title race.​

Bournemouth second half shows why they are improving

The Cherries are having their best ever season in the top flight and their points tally of 48 is a club record.

However, they were pinned back for most of the first half as they struggled to deal with Arsenal's quality and had only one shot before the break, which came in the opening minute of the match from Dango Ouattara.

Eighteen-goal striker Solanke was well marshalled by the Arsenal defence and will be disappointed he did not take full advantage when Gabriel stepped on the ball in the 17th minute, but Saliba prevented him from getting a shot off.

But manager Andoni Iraola will be pleased with how his side improved in the second half and they gave Arsenal a scare before the second and third goals went in.

The visitors will feel they should have had a goal through Semenyo, but VAR Peter Bankes agreed with on-field referee David Coote that Raya was pushed in the build-up to the goal.

Bournemouth can still finish in the top half of the table but they did not come too close to picking up any more points in this match.

Player of the match

ØdegaardMartin Ødegaard

with an average of 7.98

Squad number8Player nameØdegaard

Squad number41Player nameRice

Squad number19Player nameTrossard

Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus

Squad number7Player nameSaka

Squad number29Player nameHavertz

Squad number2Player nameSaliba

Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães

Squad number4Player nameWhite

Squad number18Player nameTomiyasu

Squad number5Player namePartey

Squad number11Player nameGabriel Martinelli

Squad number22Player nameRaya

AFC Bournemouth

Squad number42Player nameTravers

Squad number24Player nameSemenyo

Squad number19Player nameKluivert

Squad number9Player nameSolanke

Squad number27Player nameZabarnyi

Squad number29Player nameBilling

Squad number25Player nameSenesi

Squad number11Player nameOuattara

Squad number14Player nameScott

Squad number10Player nameChristie

Squad number15Player nameA Smith

Squad number4Player nameL Cook

Squad number8Player nameFaivre

Squad number26Player nameÜnal

Squad number37Player nameAarons


Formation 4-3-3

22Raya4White2Saliba6Gabriel18Tomiyasu8Ødegaard5ParteyBooked at 59mins41Rice7SakaSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 86'minutes29HavertzBooked at 60mins19TrossardSubstituted forMartinelliat 81'minutesSubstitutes1Ramsdale9Gabriel Jesus10Smith Rowe11Martinelli14Nketiah15Kiwior20Jorginho21Fábio Vieira35Zinchenko

Formation 4-2-3-1

42Travers15A SmithBooked at 84minsSubstituted forAaronsat 89'minutes27Zabarnyi25SenesiSubstituted forÜnalat 80'minutes11Ouattara4L Cook10ChristieBooked at 90mins24Semenyo14ScottBooked at 21minsSubstituted forBillingat 71'minutes19KluivertSubstituted forFaivreat 89'minutes9SolankeSubstitutes1Neto8Faivre23Hill26Ünal29Billing37Aarons46McKenna48Kinsey49Sadi

Referee:David Coote


Match Stats
Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 3, Bournemouth 0.

Second Half ends, Arsenal 3, Bournemouth 0.

Goal! Arsenal 3, Bournemouth 0. Declan Rice (Arsenal) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus following a fast break.

Ryan Christie (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Christie (Bournemouth).

Foul by William Saliba (Arsenal).

Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Philip Billing (Bournemouth).

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Ben White.

Foul by Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal).

Romain Faivre (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Bournemouth. Romain Faivre replaces Justin Kluivert.

Substitution, Bournemouth. Max Aarons replaces Adam Smith.

Foul by Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal).

Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

Offside, Arsenal. Kai Havertz is caught offside.

Substitution, Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus replaces Bukayo Saka.

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