11 Stars as Arsenal Dazzle Bournemouth but ‘Want Away’ Mustafi Shone Brightest

Arsenal 3-0 AFC Bournemouth

Premier League – Emirates Stadium – 9th Sept. 2017

More like it

That is more like it.

Today was sexy football. As sexy as a Miss World/Miss Universe event after-party….

And we got a clean sheet too, which is a plus.

Overall, every player had a decent game, including the subs (Alexis included).

Though we must acknowledge that Bournemouth was really poor, and could be relegation candidates this season. Is the Eddie Howe charm wearing off? We will see.

For Arsenal though, we were sharp, up for it, and clinical. And also defensively resolute, unlike the previous three league games.

Wenger’s team selection was strong also. Alexis was on the bench, though understandably given the recent Chilean WC qualifiers. Monreal started at the back, with Bellerin (sans competition from Ox, who oddly enough lost badly with two different teams) in right wing-back. Kolasinac started in the opposite position, and Lacazette was up front, with Welbeck and Ozil just behind.

First half

The team were at it from the off, with Ozil, Lacazette, Ramsey, and Welbeck all looking progressive. Welbeck scored with a header (?) after five minutes, and it was essentially all Arsenal in the half. Xhaka and Ramsey were closing down well in midfield, while Bellerin and Kolasinac were providing able width.

Lacazette scored a curling effort later in the half, and could have got another had he finished from Begovic’s poor handling.

AL celebrates his curler

Second half

Defoe could have scored early on, as he hit the post. Though this was practically Bournemouth’s only true effort of the match.

Arsenal regained their stride when “Dat Guy Welbz” scored a third, by beating the Bournemouth keeper at his near post.

After that, it could have been five or six. Coquelin came on and went off again due to injury, but even with ten men, Arsenal looked more than comfortable.

Alexis was introduced after 70’, and the reception was mixed somewhat. However, he was his usual self and created chances, and possibly could have scored himself. Despite his apparent will to leave, he did put in a shift, even though he essentially has no choice but to stay and knuckle down.

Cool finish at far past

Impressions

This was Arsenal atour best, though with respect to Bournemouth, against a team that may face relegation on this current form. Nonetheeless, the passing, movement, and closing down, was top notch, and all areas of the team were sound and well-gelled.

Cech and the defence had little to do, but for me Mustafi stood out, as we won every ball and managed largely to contain Defoe. Kos was OK, and his usual solid self. Monreal however is an underrated player in the Premier League, and must rank in the upper deciles of good Wenger buys. Despite being a left-back by trade, he is competent as a re-engineered centre-half.

Ramsey was very good, as he looked reminiscent of his Wales self, as it were. Xhaka also was good, and both replicate their countries’ respective plusses at international level. The wing-backs provided great width, with Kolasinac looking strong in both play and physique. He’s not “the tank” for nothing.

Welbeck cannot finish? Really? Well today was an evident exception. His first goal looked like it came off his face or chin, but the second was as clinical as any forward could make. Ozil was cool, as he provided great creativity in the final third. Lacazette could be a star for us, and in the Premier League, as he looked sharp and scored a cute curling finish.

So it’s a good win, a clean sheet, and yes, Bournemouth was spectacularly poor.

So this means Wenger In now? Well…no. It’s a good win, but more needs to be done to get some confidence restored. The Chelsea game will be huge, for various reasons, but it’s good to play well, keep a clean sheet, and see players performing in their proper positions.

MOTM

Man of the Match – Shkodran Mustafi. I thought he looked very strong, commanding, and capable, despite supposedly wanting to leave in the window.

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