Arsenal keep pressure on Manchester City with defeat of Bournemouth

Arsenal are potentially two wins away from winning their first Premier League title in two decades after seeing off a spirited Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.

A Bukayo Saka penalty and second-half strikes from Leandro Trossard and Declan Rice earned the hosts a 3-0 victory that ensures they will top the table after the weekend’s action.

The destiny of the title remains out of Arsenal’s hands as reigning champions Manchester City have a game in hand but all Mikel Arteta’s side can do at this stage is win their remaining fixtures – with a trip to Manchester United and the visit of Everton on the final day still to come.

Having been well on top, it took until their 16th shot for Arsenal to break the deadlock as Saka converted from 12 yards after Kai Havertz had been fouled.

Trossard’s strike secured the points, although Bournemouth will feel aggrieved they were denied a late goal that would have set up a grandstand finish as Dominic Solanke was penalised for a shove on David Raya.

Unlike last season’s fixture, when the Cherries took the lead inside 10 seconds, it was Arsenal who were on it from the off.

Ryan Christie was lucky to escape any sort of punishment for catching Saka with a high challenge as Bournemouth were having to throw bodies in front of shots almost immediately – William Saliba popping up in the visitors box to test Mark Travers as the pressure began to build.

Thomas Partey’s low effort was timid enough for Travers to push behind for a corner while Rice fired wide from 12 yards, with the opening goal yet to arrive despite Arsenal’s dominance.

That changed just before the interval as referee David Coote pointed for a penalty after Travers was adjudged to have brought down Havertz.

A VAR check confirmed the on-pitch call and Saka calmly rolled home the resulting spot-kick home to give the Gunners a deserved half-time lead.

Saka should have doubled that advantage soon after the restart but rushed a shot when free in the box and Travers saved once more before then keeping out a Havertz strike.

A rare foray forward saw Solanke at least work Raya in the Arsenal goal and it did mark the spell of the game where the Cherries began offering more of an attacking threat.

Justin Kluivert swung a free-kick over the crossbar before he was unable to make the most of being played in over the top of the Arsenal defence.

With the sense of a late Bournemouth leveller growing, Trossard eased concerns for the hosts and their fans. Rice latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the Bournemouth box and played a subtle pass to Trossard, who tucked home.

Coote then angered the travelling fans as he ruled out a potential Antoine Semenyo effort for Solanke impeding Raya in the build-up.

Rice added the gloss to the afternoon by hammering in a third from an acute angle deep into stoppage time to help keep Arsenal’s hopes of a first league crown since 2004 very much alive.


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