Arsenal maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Bournemouth.
Captain Martin Odegaard struck twice inside the opening 11 minutes to put the Gunners in control on Saturday, with Bournemouth failing to register a single touch in the Arsenal box in the first half.
William Saliba netted his first goal for the club to extend that lead in the second half, while the influential Gabriel Jesus saw a strike ruled out for offside.
The win gives Arsenal the enviable record of being the only Premier League side so far to win their opening three matches of the season, although Manchester City can join them on nine points with victory at Newcastle United on Sunday.
⏰ 05' | Martin Odegaard
⏰ 11' | Martin Odegaard
⏰ 54' | William Saliba
Perfect in pink 👌
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 20, 2022
Arsenal came flying out of the blocks with former City man Jesus skipping through the Bournemouth defence and teeing up Gabriel Martinelli, who was denied by Mark Travers, only for Odegaard to tap in the rebound.
Odegaard struck again six minutes later, smashing in with his left foot to cap off another fine move that saw Jesus touch Ben White’s cutback into the Arsenal captain’s path.
The Gunners extended their advantage swiftly after the restart, with Martinelli’s deep cross knocked square by Granit Xhaka to Saliba for a curling first-time finish into the top-right corner from just inside the box.
Jesus thought he had got into the act but was denied by the VAR, shown to be narrowly offside following Odegaard’s pass, and only his goal was missing as Arsenal remained on the front foot right through to the final whistle.
What does it mean? Arsenal roll back the years
For the first time since the 2003-04 season, when Arsene Wenger’s team went the entire campaign unbeaten, Arsenal were unchanged for a third consecutive match at the start of the season, and they continued to show a unison that has been lacking since that last title-winning campaign.
Victory brought an end to another lengthy wait, as Arsenal’s have three wins in a row at the start of the Premier League season for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign.
Saliba shines bright
Already compared to Rio Ferdinand by former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, Saliba caught the eye once again in a solid display – the highlight being his maiden Arsenal goal.
Perhaps even more encouraging for Arteta, given the way the Spaniard wants his team to play, was an astonishing perfect passing game. Saliba completed all of his 76 passes – the first such 100 per cent performance from any player to attempt 25 or more passes in a Premier League game this season.
Bournemouth’s bad day
In the midst of a difficult run of fixtures, Bournemouth were always likely to find this to be another tough test, but the manner of the performance would certainly have frustrated Scott Parker.
The Cherries did not muster a single shot or even a touch in Arsenal’s box during the first half, which stands as only the second time in Premier League history a home team have failed to register in either category before half-time – the other also being Bournemouth, against Manchester City in March 2019.
Arsenal are back in action at Emirates Stadium against Fulham on Saturday, while Bournemouth tackle Norwich City in the EFL Cup in midweek before travelling to Liverpool.