LONDON (REUTERS) - Arsenal bounced back from successive defeats with Danny Welbeck’s brace of goals sealing a comfortable 3-0 Premier League win on Saturday (Sept 9) against a Bournemouth side who have yet to pick up a point in four games this season.
After defeats against Stoke City and Liverpool, Arsenal started brightly and led inside six minutes when Welbeck headed in, before Alexandre Lacazette fired home a superb second goal after neat link-up play with the England forward.
The in-form Welbeck added his second goal shortly after halftime and the only surprise was that the rampant Gunners, who introduced Alexis Sanchez to a standing ovation midway through the second half, failed to add a fourth.
Victory lifted Arsenal – who face champions Chelsea next – to ninth while Bournemouth are languishing in 19th ahead of their south-coast showdown against Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday.
After watching back-to-back defeats and another poor start to the season, Arsenal fans were notably subdued before the kickoff at the Emirates Stadium but the hosts’ rapid start quickly alleviated the tension.
Sead Kolasinac drove down the left wing and crossed for Welbeck to head in at the near post, via a deflection off his shoulder, against a Bournemouth side without a clean sheet so far this season.
Mesut Ozil went close to doubling the Gunners’ lead but his curling freekick was well saved by Asmir Begovic before Granit Xhaka fired over.
A second goal seemed inevitable and record signing Lacazette duly obliged, firing into the top corner after neat build-up play involving Ozil and Welbeck.
The Frenchman nearly added a third after an error from Begovic but the Bosnian keeper reacted well to thwart the forward.
The second period was less than three minutes old when Bournemouth’s Jermain Defoe headed against the post but Welbeck struck again for Arsenal soon afterwards, finishing superbly from a tight angle.
Arsenal were utterly dominant thereafter. Welbeck had numerous chances to complete his hat-trick, Ozil fired narrowly wide and substitute Francis Coquelin had a goal-bound effort blocked on his 100th Arsenal appearance.
Substitute Sanchez, a rumoured target of Manchester City during the close season, had little chance to make an impact after he was brought on in the 75th minute.