Arsenal’s hot start out of the gates in the opening stages of the 2022-23 Premier League season continued this evening after the Gunners took all three points off Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in a consummate and comfortable 3-0 win.
Mikel Arteta’s young outfit has gone from strength to strength thus far in their first three league fixtures, with wins against Crystal Palace (2-0) and Leicester City (4-2) setting the stage for another good performance that has thrown down a gauntlet to the rest of the presumed pack of contenders looking to track down Manchester City.
Gabriel Jesus may not have found the back of the net once more for the Gunners after his effort in the second half was pulled back for offside, but club captain Martin Ødegaard answered the call in front of goal instead with a brace in the first twelve minutes of proceedings after the Norwegian star became a recent target of criticism from some circles in the Arsenal fanbase.
But the moment of the match falls on young French center-back William Saliba, who has not disappointed after starting all three matches for the Gunners since his return to north London after a wonderful loan spell with Olympique de Marseille last season.
Saliba hit a fantastic curling effort from 18-yards out after Granit Xhaka laid him off with space to spare, leaving Oleksandr Zinchenko as one of many stunned onlookers after the traveling support had sung the Frenchman’s name on repeat all evening.
Though Manchester City still has yet to feature this weekend in what may prove to be a tricky fixture on Tyneside away at Newcastle tomorrow night, Arsenal closes the book on Saturday’s fixtures sitting atop the Premier League table with nine goals to their name and two clean sheets on record.
It is still early days in the new campaign, but Arteta’s youngsters certainly look the business and are already laying down markers for Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, and Liverpool that paint a picture of a side ready to truly push for Champions League football this season.
Bournemouth Player Ratings
Mark Travers (7) - A good outing between the posts for Travers despite the rampant nature that Arsenal exhibited at times. The scoreline certainly doesn’t reflect his performance
Chris Mepham (6.5) - Probably put in just about the best performance of any of Scott Parker’s defenders tonight while winning two headers and two tackles in the process
Marcos Senesi (6) - The Argentine center-back can hardly be held accountable for Bournemouth’s poor first half given Arsenal’s dominance but was only halfway decent at best
Lloyd Kelly (6) - A relatively tough day at the office for Kelly as Arsenal routinely targeted the Cherries’ left-flank through Ødegaard, Saka, and White
Adam Smith (6.5) - Smith put in a fairly solid shift out on the right-hand flank, getting forward when he could but also partnering up with Mepham to shackle Martinelli well enough
Jefferson Lerma (6) - Solid enough in possession and distribution, but just a single tackle won is not enough from Lerma if Bournemouth was to stop the Arsenal’s creative engine
Philip Billing (6) - A real physical presence in midfield and a nuisance at times for Arsenal but did not have the overall punch of influence that Bournemouth needed if they were to spring a result
Jordan Zemura (6) - A 6 may be a bit harsh on Zemura, who did try to help shut down Arsenal’s focus down the left-hand flank while winning three tackles. A booking drops the rating
Marcus Tavernier (6.5) - One of the better performers tonight for Bournemouth, which perhaps is not saying much, but he did take up good positions while registering two shots
Ben Pearson (6) - Pearson struggled to make a real impact on any attacking level in the first half which is strictly down to how dominant Arsenal was in the first 45-minutes
Kieffer Moore (6) - A huge physical presence for Bournemouth but regularly stranded up front on his own. Still, he was a handful but lacked regular support to offer much else
Lewis Cook (sub; 6.5) - Completed 96% of his passes while leading the club in tackles won (4) despite coming on as a substitute. A solid performance off the bench
Ryan Christie (sub; 6.5) - Direct when on the ball while chipping in at the other end with a handful of tackles won. Perhaps he should have started and on evidence, he may next weekend
Jaidon Anthony (sub; 6) - Apart from getting stuck in on the defensive side of the ball, Anthony did little going forward but can hardly be held accountable given the lopsided affair
Arsenal Player Ratings
Aaron Ramsdale (6.5) - Almost responsible for another moment of madness at the back with a poorly directed out ball but he was okay all things considered
Ben White (7) - A consummate performance once again from the center-back who credibly deputized at right-back while Takehiro Tomiyasu returns to full fitness.
William Saliba (8) - The young Frenchman put the own goal last weekend behind him in stunning fashion with a lovely curling effort to put the Gunners three-nil up. He looks at home and confident
Gabriel Magalhães (7) - Assured at the back as usual, Gabriel continues to look like a natural partner for Saliba as the Brazilian has put his stamp on the left center-back position without question
Oleksandr Zinchenko (7) - Another touch of class from Zinchenko who is proving to be ever-so reliable in the early stages of his Arsenal career with another good display under his belt
Thomas Partey (7) - Good again from the Ghanaian midfielder once more as the deeper of the two central midfielders for Arteta. The 6 role is suiting him - and the club - quite well
Granit Xhaka (7) - An assist for the Swiss international veteran as his performance levels no longer go unnoticed in another good outing to start the year
Bukayo Saka (7) - The England starlet has had a quiet start in the stats column but his influence remains considerable. He was quite decent on the evening overall
Martin Ødegaard (8.5) - A brace from the Gunners captain in another very good performance from him, this time, with goals to shut down his growing detractors this season.
Gabriel Martinelli (6.5) - Lively as ever once again, but Martinelli struggled to have a bigger say on proceedings than he did in Arsenal’s two previous fixtures
Gabriel Jesus (7.5) - No goals for the brilliant summer signing after his effort was called back for offside but he did bag an assist and was still a driving force leading the line
Kieran Tierney (sub; N/A) - Little impact off the bench for the Scottish international who was only given a handful of minutes
Takehiro Tomiyasu (sub; 6) - Came off the bench and put in a tackle in the 15-minutes he was given, but still looks short of full fitness, which Ben White will not mind at all
Sambi Lokonga (sub; N/A) - The young Belgian remains on the fringes early on in the season but is sure to receive more than a pittance of time as the season progresses
Emile Smith Rowe (sub; 6) - One of the stars of last season, Smith Rowe remains an important figure and had a decent shift off the bench but may struggle to usurp Gabriel Martinelli at the minute
Eddie Nketiah (sub; 6) - Came off the bench later in the second half and stung the hands of Mark Travers in a decent outing as a substitute