Bournemouth 0-4 Arsenal: Player ratings as Kai Havertz nets first goal in comfortable victory

Arsenal continued their impressive unbeaten run with a convincing 4-0 win over struggling Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners took the lead after just 16 minutes when Bukayo Saka tapped home from a couple of yards after Gabriel Jesus’ header bounced back off the woodwork and into his path. They doubled their lead just before the break after Eddie Nketiah was felled in the penalty area, with Martin Odegaard stroking the penalty home to make it 2-0.

It didn’t take long for Arsenal to grab a third, Odegaard fouled in the penalty area on this occasion and Kai Havertz slotting home from 12 yards. Arsenal waltzed to the finishing line, even grabbing a fourth when Ben White headed home a late Odegaard free-kick to make it 4-0, securing a fifth league win of the season in the process.

How the game unfolded

Despite entering the game without a win in the Premier League this season, Bournemouth made a confident start against an unbeaten Arsenal side. That good early work was undone, however, when Jesus’ far-post header struck the woodwork, with Saka reacting quickest to tap into an empty net with 16 minutes on the clock.

Arsenal were beginning to purr with Odegaard and Declan Rice helping control proceedings and dictate the tempo. It was Oleksandr Zinchenko with the Gunners’ next effort, stinging the palms of Neto with a fierce drive from the edge of the area.

It was the increasingly influential Odegaard who doubled Arsenal’s advantage a minute before half-time, calmly slotting his penalty into the bottom corner following Max Aarons’ late tackle on Nketiah in the 18-yard box.

Given Bournemouth’s struggles this season, there was little hope of them ever overcoming a two-goal deficit, especially against a side with Arsenal’s quality.

It took Arsenal just 90 seconds to pick up from where they left off, with Neto smothering Saka’s effort before Zinchenko saw his close-range shot blocked well by Marcos Senesi to deny the Gunners a third.

However, several minutes later Arsenal would have their third. This time Ryan Christie scythed down Odegaard in the penalty box, with Havertz stepping up to score his first goal for the Gunners, sending Neto the wrong way and rolling it into the bottom left-hand corner.

White put the final nail in Bournemouth’s coffin when he redirected an Odegaard free-kick in stoppage time to grab Arsenal’s fourth, capping an impressive performance from the Gunners.

Ryan ChristieRyan Christie

Bournemouth struggled in defence, midfield and attack / Christopher Lee/GettyImages

GK: Neto – 5/10 – Unconvincing to say the least for Arsenal’s opener, reacting poorly to Jesus’ header. Made a few good saves to stop the scoreline looking worse.

RB: Max Aarons – 4/10 – His late challenge led to Arsenal’s second just before the break, fouling Nketiah in the penalty area. Not his best outing.

CB: Illia Zabarnyi – 5/10 – Struggled to cope with Arsenal’s forward line, with Nketiah stretching him throughout.

CB: Marcos Senesi – 5/10 – Good in possession, but still part of a pretty absent Bournemouth backline.

LB: Milos Kerkez – 3/10 – Struggled, as many full-backs do, with Saka’s pace, trickery and persistence. The youngster will certainly benefit from such experiences in the long-term, but wasn’t able to stop the Arsenal winger today.

DM: Philip Billing – 5/10 – Not managing to take games by the scruff of the neck this season, with the Cherries missing his contributions in midfield.

DM: Lewis Cook – 4/10 – Bournemouth never stood a chance of winning the midfield battle, especially with Rice’s performance, but Cook was incredibly quiet.

RM: Marcus Tavernier – 4/10 – Very muted performance from Tavernier on both the left and right-hand side. Got no change out of Zinchenko and Ben White.

AM: Ryan Christie – 5/10 – Made a poor challenge on Odegaard to gift Arsenal a second penalty. Produced a couple of good passes, but struggled to make an impact.

LM: Justin Kluivert – 6/10 – The liveliest of a pretty quiet Bournemouth attacking line, showing glimpses of his quality on the ball and confidence in possession.

ST: Dominic Solanke – 5/10 – Offered very little going forward and snatched at the few half-chances created for him.


SUB: Luis Sinisterra (59′ for Tavernier) – 5/10

SUB: Dango Ouattara (59′ for Kluivert) – 6/10

SUB: Joe Rothwell (75′ for Billing) – 5/10

SUB: Adam Smith (83′ for Kerkez) – N/A

SUB: Antoine Semenyo (83′ for Christie) – N/A

Subs not used: Ionut Radu (GK), David Brooks, Hamed Traore, Kieffer Moore


Andoni Iraola – 3/10 – He needs a win in the Premier League desperately. Set up his team to press in the opening few minutes, but they never tested Arsenal’s backline. Perhaps a more conservative approach may have yielded better results.

Declan Rice, Marcus TavernierDeclan Rice, Marcus Tavernier

Rice was fantastic in central midfield for the Gunners / Christopher Lee/GettyImages

GK: David Raya – 6/10 – The goalkeeping debate rages on, with Raya doing nothing to undermine his position in the Arsenal goal. Other than one decent save in the first half, he was pretty much a bystander.

RB: Ben White – 8/10 – Gave Tavernier and Kluivert very little joy on the right-hand side. Solid performance from the defender and grabbed a goal at the death.

CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – Made one crucial intervention in the first half, but wasn’t asked to do an awful lot defensively. Still managed to look graceful in the heart of the Arsenal backline.

CB: Gabriel Magalhaes – 7/10 – Made a strong block late in the first half, but, similar to Saliba, he didn’t have much work to do in his own half.

LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 8/10 – Brilliant from start to finish, both defensively and going forward. Spent the majority of the game in midfield, showcasing his quality and passing range.

DM: Declan Rice – 9/10 – Imperious in the centre of the park, winning every 50-50 challenge and mopping up any danger. Makes everything look so simple, which is the greatest compliment you can pay a defensive midfielder.

CM: Martin Odegaard – 9/10 – Had the freedom of the final third and used it brilliantly. A joy to watch, yet again.

CM: Kai Havertz – 7/10 – Picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Billing, but got his goal from the penalty spot. Perhaps the boost he needs to take his game to the next level.

RW: Bukayo Saka – 8/10 – Typically beautiful to watch down the Arsenal right, offering Kerkez little relief. His goal may have been a tap-in, but, as the old saying goes, you have to be there to finish it.

ST: Eddie Nketiah – 7/10 – Won the first penalty with a good burst of pace and made some intelligent runs. Another good showing from Nketiah.

LW: Gabriel Jesus – 7/10 – A slightly frustrating performance in terms of his final shot or pass, but still contributed effectively to the Arsenal front line.


SUB: Reiss Nelson (69′ for Nketiah) – 6/10

SUB: Takehiro Tomiyasu (69′ for Zinchenko) – 6/10

SUB: Fabio Vieira (76′ for Saka) – 6/10

SUB: Emile Smith-Rowe (80′ for Havertz) – N/A

SUB: Jorginho (80′ for Rice) – N/A

Subs not used: Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Jakub Kiwior, Mohamed Elneny, Leandro Trossard


Mikel Arteta – 8/10 – Very comfortable win for Arsenal, with Arteta’s offensive lineup paying dividends.

Player of the match: Declan Rice (Arsenal)


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