Havertz breaks goal drought in Arsenal win | Arteta: It will change everything

Kai Havertz scored his first Arsenal goal in a comfortable 4-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

In his 10th appearance in all competitions since joining from Chelsea for £65m in the summer, Havertz calmly slotted home a penalty to give his side a 3-0 lead eight minutes into the second half after Martin Odegaard had been recklessly brought down by Ryan Christie (53).

Havertz has struggled to make an impact since moving across London but Mikel Arteta believes the midfielder’s first club goal since March could prove to be a turning point in his Arsenal career.

Kai Havertz strokes home a penalty, his first goal for Arsenal
Kai Havertz scored his first Arsenal goal on his 10th appearance

Player ratings

Bournemouth: Neto (6), Aarons (5), Zabarnyi (5), Senesi (6), Kerkez (6), Christie (6), Cook (6), Tavernier (6), Billing (6), Kluivert (5), Solanke (6).

Subs: Sinisterra (6), Ouattara (6), Rothwell (6), Semenyo (6), Smith (6).

Arsenal: Raya (7), White (8), Saliba (7), Gabriel (7), Zinchenko (7), Odegaard (9), Rice (7), Havertz (7), Saka (8), Nketiah (7), Jesus (7).

Subs: Tomiyasu (6), Nelson (6), Vieira (6), Jorginho (6), Smith Rowe (6).

Player of the match: Martin Odegaard.

“We have all tried to give him support and the right tools. He’s doing so many great things. It was about that moment, that was the question that had to be answered and he has done it,” Gunners boss Arteta said.

“It will change everything. After everything he’s been through in the last few weeks that moment is worth all of it, so I’m really happy for him.”

Bukayo Saka, who was injured late in the game, had earlier headed Arsenal in front from close range (17) before Odegaard scored a spot-kick of his own just before the break (44). Ben White’s header in stoppage time (90+3) then capped a routine victory for the visitors on the south coast.

The result kept Arsenal unbeaten in the Premier League this season and moved them to within one point of leaders Manchester City, who lost at Wolves. Bournemouth remain winless and dropped into the relegation zone after Luton beat Everton.

How Arsenal eased past Bournemouth

Arteta was able to call on a number of players who were injury doubts ahead of the trip to the Vitality Stadium as William Saliba, Declan Rice and Saka all started despite missing the majority of training leading into the game.

Saka, though, hobbled off for the second match in succession having injured a foot against Tottenham in last weekend’s thrilling north London derby draw.

Team news

Arsenal made just one change from the side that started last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham as a number of players overcame injury doubts.

William Saliba, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice all retained their places despite missing training in the build-up to the game. Kai Havertz came in for Fabio Vieira in Mikel Arteta’s only alteration.

Bournemouth made one enforced change from the team that began their 3-1 loss at Brighton last time out with Marcos Senesi replacing the injured Lloyd Kelly.

Bournemouth had started the game brightly but Arsenal quickly took control. Havertz saw a shot deflected narrowly wide before Saka put the Gunners ahead by nodding into an empty goal after Gabriel Jesus’ header came back off the post and into the path of the England winger.

Saka’s strike deflated the Cherries and, after Oleksandr Zinchenko stung the palms of Neto, they fell further behind when Odegaard stroked home a penalty following Max Aarons’ clear foul on Eddie Nketiah.

Goalscorers Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka celebrate during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Bournemouth
Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka also scored for Arsenal on the south coast

Bournemouth did test David Raya at the end of the first half through Christie, but Arteta’s side picked up where they left off after the break and soon put the result beyond doubt when Havertz, without a goal or assist in his first nine Arsenal appearances, made no mistake from 12 yards.

The Germany international was mobbed by his team-mates as his name rang out from the away section before White’s well-timed header from an Odegaard free-kick made it 4-0 deep into stoppage time.

The only sour note for Arsenal came when Saka hit the deck in pain after a coming together with Milos Kerkez in the second half. The 22-year-old initially played on but limped off the pitch in the 76th minute.

With a Champions League trip to Lens on Tuesday and a home match against Manchester City in the Premier League next Sunday – live on Sky Sports – Arteta will desperately hope Saka’s injury is just a minor one.

Buyako Saka celebrates after giving Arsenal the lead at Bournemouth
Saka gave Arsenal the lead but was later substituted due to injury

Arteta hails ’empathy’ of Arsenal players

Mikel Arteta hailed the “empathy” of his Arsenal players after they gave Havertz the chance to end his goal drought for the club.

Havertz is not Arsenal’s regular penalty taker but was handed the ball by his team-mates after Odegaard had been fouled by Christie in the second half.

“I’m really happy for the win, but I’m even happier to be part of a team that shows the human qualities that they did today,” Arteta said.

“Without me telling them anything, to show that empathy to a player that has some question marks to resolve externally, they warmed me even more. They’ve done it in a really natural way.

“To show that level of empathy and understanding, worrying and caring for somebody is just great.

“I’m delighted they made that decision. And so thankful as well to our supporters for the way they sang his name and made him feel. If there’s a player who deserves that it’s Kai Havertz, I’m so happy for him.”

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Mikel Arteta was delighted with Arsenal’s performance and the way his players showed ’empathy’ towards Kai Havertz

Iraola: The worst Bournemouth have played all season

Bournemouth head coach Andoni Iraola said: “It was the first time we were not at the level the competition required and we did not finish the game well.

“For sure this game leaves the worst sensation for me. You can lose against this type of team because they are really good, but it is the first game this season where I have felt that we were not at the level.

“You have to be at your best to compete against these teams and we weren’t after the first goal. We cannot concede two penalties and also the first goal is a bit strange, we should be there but we lost the positioning of Saka.

“We started really well, were doing well but after 1-0 I think they were better than us.”

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Andoni Iraola described Bournemouth’s display as their worst of the season

How the match played out

Fantasy Premier League stats

FPL stats: Bournemouth 0-4 Arsenal

Goals Saka, Odegaard, Havertz, White
Assists Odegaard
Bonus points Odegaard (3) | White (2) | Saka (1)

Opta stats: Arsenal shining but Cherries struggling

  • Arsenal have won their opening three away games in a top-flight campaign for just the fourth time (also in 1930-31, 2004-05 and 2013-14). It’s the first time they’ve done so without conceding a single goal.
  • Bournemouth have failed to win any of their last 11 Premier League games (D3 L8), the longest ongoing winless run of any current top-flight side.
  • Arsenal have kept 13 away clean sheets in the Premier League since the start of last season, five more than any other team.
  • Bukayo Saka has either scored (five) or assisted (two) in seven of his last eight Premier League appearances for Arsenal. He’s also netted against 22 of the 24 sides he has faced in the competition with the only exceptions being Leicester (six games) and Burnley (five games).
  • Kai Havertz scored his first goal for Arsenal (10th game), netting for the first time in 21 club appearances across all competitions since March.

What’s next?

Bournemouth‘s next assignment is a Premier League clash with Everton at Goodison Park on October 7 (kick-off 3pm). The Cherries then host Wolves in the league two weeks later on October 21 (kick-off 3pm).

Sunday 8th October 4:00pm

Kick off 4:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

Up next for Arsenal is a trip to Lens in the Champions League on Tuesday (kick-off 8pm). The Gunners then return to Premier League action next Sunday when they host champions Manchester City, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 4.30pm).

Nelson’s early strike sees Arsenal edge out Brentford

Arsenal secured their place in the Carabao Cup fourth round as Reiss Nelson’s early goal clinched a battling 1-0 win over Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Nelson finished coolly in the eighth minute following a misplaced pass from Brentford defender Zanka, with Mikel Arteta’s much-changed team then holding off a second-half rally from the hosts.

The Bees went closest through Yoann Wissa, who saw a low strike brilliantly pushed onto the post by Aaron Ramsdale, back in goal for Arsenal for the first time since losing his place to David Raya.

Jakub Kiwior then pulled off a goal-line block from substitute Lewis Keane-Potter as Arsenal withstood more late Brentford pressure to ensure a winning response to their north London derby draw with Tottenham and secure their passage into the next round.

Player ratings

Brentford: Flekken (7), Roerslev (6), Collins (6), Zanka (5), Pinnock (7), Hickey (7), Norgaard (6), Janelt (6), Onyeka (6), Mbeumo (7), Wissa (6).

Subs: Jensen (6), Ghoddos (6), Lewis-Potter (6), Olakigbe (6), Ajer (n/a).

Arsenal: Ramsdale (8), Tomiyasu (7), White (7), Gabriel (7), Kiwior (7), Jorginho (7), Havertz (6), Smith Rowe (7), Nelson (8), Sagoe Jr (6), Nketiah (6).

Subs: Zinchenko (6), Jesus (6), Odegaard (n/a), Elneny (n/a), Cedric (n/a).

Player of the match: Reiss Nelson

How Arsenal edged to victory

Arsenal got off to an ideal start when Zanka’s woeful backward pass allowed Eddie Nketiah to cut the ball back for Nelson, who found the bottom corner after Nathan Collins had failed to intercept.

The hosts struggled to shake off their early sluggishness and nearly fell further behind when Emile Smith Rowe, making his first start in 16 months, darted into the box having exchanged passes with Jorginho and saw a low shot well saved by Mark Flekken.

Team news

  • Brentford made only two changes from their Premier League defeat to Everton, with Zanka and Frank Onyeka the players brought into the team.
  • Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made eight changes, with Aaron Ramsdale returning in goal and teenager Charles Sagoe Jr handed a debut in attack.

Arsenal continued to dominate possession but Brentford had an excellent chance to draw level when Christian Norgaard picked out Wissa in the centre of the Arsenal box, only for the striker to fire a rushed, first-time effort well wide.

Brentford improved as the first half wore on and that continued in the second as they pinned Arsenal in their own half, forcing a series of blocks from Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu before Ramsdale’s full-stretch save from Wissa.

Reiss Nelson celebrates after scoring his early goal

Arteta sought to weather the storm by turning to experience on his bench, throwing on Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard, with young debutant Charles Sagoe Jr one of those to make way.

Arsenal threatened a second goal intermittently, with Nelson firing a low effort narrowly wide from a Kai Havertz cut-back and Eddie Nketiah seeing an angled shot charged down by Flekken.

But the visitors were mostly required to defend in the latter stages, with Ramsdale making another athletic save to stop Frank Onyeka’s long-range effort and Kiwior then pulling off his vital block from Lewis-Potter.

Frank: Arsenal very lucky to get away with win

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank:

“I hate losing, so it’s always tough to take. But I’m very pleased and happy with the performance and that is the most important thing, the thing we can build on. If we got a lucky 1-0 win, of course I will sit here and praise it, but if they hit the post five times and miss five penalties, I would probably be pretty irritated and it would be difficult to get around that.

“Now I can confidently sit here and say that was a good performance. I think Arsenal are very lucky to get away with this.

“The amount of chances we created in the second half, the high pressure, the energy – everything was very good, except the most important thing: to make sure the ball went into the back of the net.”

Arteta: A game of two very different halves | ‘When we don’t play well, we need big defensive moments’

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta:

“I’m really happy. With this competition, you are in or out – we are in. Two very different halves; in the first half, we had lots of control, scored a goal and had some chances to put the game away and we didn’t.

“In the second half, they had a more aggressive approach and we struggled to progress the ball and travel together. We were too direct and then it became a difficult game because there were a lot of duels, free-kicks, long throws we had to defend, bring everybody back every time and try to get out and win territory from there.

“When we don’t play that well, you need to have some big defensive moments and we had some big blocks in the box and Aaron making a big save as well.”

What’s next?

Brentford resume their Premier League campaign away to Nottingham Forest live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday from 1.30pm; kick-off 2pm.

Arsenal are away to Bournemouth on Saturday with kick-off at 3pm at the Vitality Stadium.