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Arteta delighted as Arsenal march on

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta hailed the “maturity and courage” of his Arsenal side after they swept past Bournemouth 3-0 this afternoon.

A contentious penalty on the stroke of half-time set them on their way, referee David Coote adjudging Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers brought down Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka made no mistake from the spot.

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Leandro Trossard made it 2-0 with 20 minutes to go and Declan Rice added a third deep into injury time.

The win moved the Gunners four points clear of Manchester City, who have two games in hand.

Arteta told Match of the Day: “I’m very happy. The quality and composure from the beginning really impressed me. It should have been three, four or five in the first half.

“Bournemouth caused some issues but we brought it back to where we wanted it and I’m really happy.

“We are showing a lot of maturity and courage. The team had a positive mindset and they took risk and initiative. We’ve done it for months so we had to do it again.”

Rice hailed the impact of midfield partner Thomas Partey, who is fit again after a season ruined by injury.

“The prospect of playing with Thomas, he’s been injured all season, I’ve been so excited,” he said.

“Now he’s back you can see the difference he makes. He’s so calm on the ball and does these body feints that create so much space.

“With him sitting there it allows me to go forward more. You can see that with my goal and assist. The goal came so late in the game I thought I might as well shoot and it went in.

“I knew the type of players I was coming to play with. Martin [Odegaard] has been great. You can see the chemistry on the pitch. It’s like one big family in there.”

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola had no qualms with the result and lamented his side’s first-half display.

He said: “Arsenal deserved to win, they were better in the first half and pushed us a lot.

“We were not happy with the first-half performance.

“We didn’t want to concede so much space because that’s where they are comfortable but sometimes the opposition doesn’t let you play how you want.

“We talked at half time and knew it would be a matter of time until we got into it. We were better in the second half, the Bournemouth we’ve been all season but we couldn’t turn it around.”

The Spaniard was not happy with the penalty award, however.

“I think it’s not a penalty, Havertz tries to find the contact,” he added. “Probably VAR thinks there is contact but it’s not clear and obvious and they don’t overturn it.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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