Arsenal maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 4-0 win at struggling Bournemouth as Kai Havertz opened his account for the London club and Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Ben White also scored.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, who have yet to concede away from home this season, climbed to second in the table with 17 points and sit a point behind champions Manchester City who lost away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Meanwhile, Andoni Iraola’s winless Bournemouth side dropped into the relegation zone and are 18th with three points from seven games.
Arteta and Iraola are no strangers to each other having played together for youth side Antiguoko in the Basque Country three decades ago, but it was the Arsenal boss who came out on top in a one-sided contest.
“The way we approached the game since yesterday we knew the team was ready to play,” Arteta said.
“We had a big challenge. They don’t give you any time. We read the game very well and earned the right to win it.”
Bournemouth showed promise in the early stages as they pegged Arsenal back in their own half, but the visitors made the breakthrough in the 17th minute when Odegaard unlocked the defence with a sublime cross to the back post.
Gabriel Jesus, playing on the wing, attempted to power his header home from a tight angle but the Brazilian’s effort came off the post and fell to Saka who headed into an empty net.
Odegaard doubled Arsenal’s lead from the penalty spot just before halftime after Max Aarons fouled Eddie Nketiah. The Norwegian calmly sent Neto the wrong way with a low effort into the bottom corner.
Bournemouth panicked and six minutes after the restart, Odegaard won Arsenal a second penalty when he was upended by a rash tackle from Ryan Christie.
But Saka and Odegaard, the club’s primary penalty takers, handed the ball to Havertz, who put his effort away with aplomb to lift a huge burden off the shoulders of the 65 million-pound ($79.28 million) signing.
“I’m really happy for the win, but I’m even happier to be part of a team that shows the human qualities that they do today,” Arteta said.
“To show that empathy to a player that has some question marks – they warmed me even more today. I’m so happy with our supporters, the way they made him feel. If there’s a player who deserves that, it’s him.”
A deflated Bournemouth were down and out and though Neto denied Emile Smith Rowe twice, he could do nothing in added time when White completed the rout after glancing a header into the net.