Bukayo Saka scores a penalty against Bournemouth
Bukayo Saka has scored six penalties in the Premier League this season

Arsenal cruised past Bournemouth to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League before Saturday’s later games.

The Gunners dominated the opening 45 minutes and took the lead just before half-time from the penalty spot.

Kai Havertz was brought down by Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers and Bukayo Saka coolly rolled the ball into the net from the resulting spot-kick.

Arsenal doubled their lead in the 70th minute when Declan Rice won the ball on the edge of the box and teed up Leandro Trossard, who curled the ball home from inside the area, before Rice scored in added time to boost the Gunners’ goal difference.

Bournemouth threatened a lot more in the second period and Dominic Solanke forced David Raya into a save in the second half before Justin Kluivert flashed a shot wide.

The Cherries thought they had pulled a goal back through Antoine Semenyo but his strike was ruled out for a foul on David Raya by Solanke in the build up.

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel also had a goal ruled out late on for offside after he smashed a volley into the top corner.

The victory means Arsenal are clear at the top but their four-point lead may only last a few hours as title rivals Manchester City play later this afternoon.

During the match, Arsenal and their fans paid tribute to 14-year-old supporter Daniel Anjorin, who was killed in a sword attack on Tuesday.

Arsenal keep pressure on City in title race

The Gunners started the game extremely quickly and had Bournemouth under pressure for the majority of the first half.

Mikel Arteta’s side had 11 shots in the opening 20 minutes of the match – the joint-most by a Premier League side this season – but for a while it looked as though it might not be their day.

William Saliba had a shot well saved by Travers after he exchanged passes with Saka, before the England winger himself had an effort saved by the Bournemouth keeper.

Rice had a good chance to open the scoring in the first half but he shot just wide from a Havertz knock down.

Trossard, Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu all had further opportunities before Saka finally made the breakthrough from the spot.

The tension eased when Trossard finished well to double the lead, and Rice’s strike in added time added further gloss to the scoreline.

The victory is Arsenal’s fourth win on the bounce as they keep the pressure on Manchester City and hope the champions drop points in the title race.​

Bournemouth second half shows why they are improving

The Cherries are having their best ever season in the top flight and their points tally of 48 is a club record.

However, they were pinned back for most of the first half as they struggled to deal with Arsenal’s quality and had only one shot before the break, which came in the opening minute of the match.

Eighteen-goal striker Solanke was well marshalled by the Arsenal defence and will be disappointed he did not take full advantage of a Gabriel mistake.

But manager Andoni Iraola will be pleased with how his side improved in the second half and they gave Arsenal a scare before the second and third goals went in.

The visitors will feel they should have had a goal through Semenyo, but VAR Peter Bankes agreed with on-field referee David Coote that Raya was pushed in the build-up to the goal.

Bournemouth can still finish in the top half of the table but they did not come too close to picking up any more points in this match.

More to follow.

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Arsenal

  1. Squad number22Player nameRaya

  2. Squad number4Player nameWhite

  3. Squad number2Player nameSaliba

  4. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães

  5. Squad number18Player nameTomiyasu

  6. Squad number8Player nameØdegaard

  7. Squad number5Player namePartey

  8. Squad number41Player nameRice

  9. Squad number7Player nameSaka

  10. Squad number29Player nameHavertz

  11. Squad number19Player nameTrossard

  1. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus

  2. Squad number11Player nameGabriel Martinelli

AFC Bournemouth

  1. Squad number42Player nameTravers

  2. Squad number15Player nameA Smith

  3. Squad number27Player nameZabarnyi

  4. Squad number25Player nameSenesi

  5. Squad number11Player nameOuattara

  6. Squad number4Player nameL Cook

  7. Squad number10Player nameChristie

  8. Squad number24Player nameSemenyo

  9. Squad number14Player nameScott

  10. Squad number19Player nameKluivert

  11. Squad number9Player nameSolanke

  1. Squad number8Player nameFaivre

  2. Squad number26Player nameÜnal

  3. Squad number29Player nameBilling

  4. Squad number37Player nameAarons

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Raya
  • 4White
  • 2Saliba
  • 6Gabriel
  • 18Tomiyasu
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 5ParteyBooked at 59mins
  • 41Rice
  • 7SakaSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 86′minutes
  • 29HavertzBooked at 60mins
  • 19TrossardSubstituted forMartinelliat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Smith Rowe
  • 11Martinelli
  • 14Nketiah
  • 15Kiwior
  • 20Jorginho
  • 21Fábio Vieira
  • 35Zinchenko

Bournemouth

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 42Travers
  • 15A SmithBooked at 84minsSubstituted forAaronsat 89′minutes
  • 27Zabarnyi
  • 25SenesiSubstituted forÜnalat 80′minutes
  • 11Ouattara
  • 4L Cook
  • 10ChristieBooked at 90mins
  • 24Semenyo
  • 14ScottBooked at 21minsSubstituted forBillingat 71′minutes
  • 19KluivertSubstituted forFaivreat 89′minutes
  • 9Solanke

Substitutes

  • 1Neto
  • 8Faivre
  • 23Hill
  • 26Ünal
  • 29Billing
  • 37Aarons
  • 46McKenna
  • 48Kinsey
  • 49Sadi

Referee:
David Coote

Attendance:
60,348

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