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Arsenal cruise past Bournemouth to stay top

Saturday 4, May 2024 {HMC} 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 from Dango Ouattara.

Eighteen-goal striker Solanke was well marshalled by the Arsenal defence and will be disappointed he did not take full advantage when Gabriel stepped on the ball in the 17th minute, but Saliba prevented him from getting a shot off.

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.

SOURCE BBC

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