An Alexis Sanchez double and a Theo Walcott header ensured that Arsenal completed a routine 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Sanchez took complete advantage of a horribly timed backpass by Steve Cook to put Arsenal in front. The lead, however, was cancelled out by Callum Wilson’s disputed spot-kick. Arsene Wenger’s side restored their lead early in the second half as an unmarked Theo Walcott headed the ball in from Nacho Monreal’s wonderfully floated cross. The game was done and dusted in injury time when Sanchez slotted home following an Arsenal break.
We closely scrutinise every player’s performance in the game and assign them a rating on a scale from 1-10:
Petr Cech – 7/10
A fantastic save to deny Benik Afobe following a Bournemouth corner in the 75th minute marks the Arsenal goalkeeper’s day.
Mathieu Debuchy – 6/10
An unfortunate hamstring injury ended Debuchy’s afternoon after just 15 minutes. He had a couple of promising link-ups with Theo Walcott on the right side of midfield prior to that.
Laurent Koscielny – 7/10
It was a solid game for the Frenchman, dealing with pretty much every cross directed towards him with fair conviction.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7/10
The German made a number of important clearances and interceptions to thwart Bournemouth on the counter attack and at times when they looked threatening in possession.
Nacho Monreal – 7.5/10
The Spanish left-back can be deemed unlucky to have conceded the penalty which culminated in Bournemouth’s equaliser. He was massively involved in Arsenal’s attacking pursuits, feeding off Oxlade-Chamberlain and at times making inroads towards the byline himself. He provided the assist for Walcott’s goal which restored the Gunners’ lead.
Mohamed Elneny – 6.5/10
The Egyptian midfielder was often seen in a box-to-box midfield role, sending the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott on either side of midfield on their way in order to create a chance from the wide areas. He fluffed a couple of goal-scoring opportunities from outside the box. It was overall a pleasing, if not spectacular, display.
Granit Xhaka – 7/10
After a poor first half, the Swiss midfielder was much more utilitarian in the second period. He helped Arsenal regain control of the game following initial Cherries’ pressure by committing to a number of successful tackles.
Theo Walcott – 7.5/10
The Englishman celebrated the birth of his second child with a simple header to put Arsenal 2-1 up. His performance reflected his good run of form this season, using his mobility to put debutant Brad Smith under the pump for most of the game.
Mesut Ozil – 7/10
The German playmaker did his usual business – locating team-mates in space in the penalty box with ease. A stubborn Bournemouth defence and a host of wasted chances prevented him from gaining an assist.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6/10
His lightning-quick bursts down the left wing made life difficult for fullback and Cherries’ skipper Simon Francis.
Alexis Sanchez – 8.5/10
The Chilean was in absolutely blistering touch at the Emirates. Though starting as a lone striker, he was present everywhere – through the middle, on the wing and even in defensive positions. He pounced upon Cook’s error to give his side the lead and wrapped up the three points in injury time with a tap-in after substitute Olivier Giroud’s ball across Federici. His stamina and eagerness to win back possession makes him a contender for Man of the Match.
Gabriel Paulista – 6.5/10
Coming on early to replace the injured Debuchy, Gabriel was influential in keeping up with the pace of Junior Stanislas. He didn’t offer much going forward, but was defensively robust.
Aaron Ramsey – 6/10
He was the core of Arsenal’s late dominance since replacing Oxlade-Chamberlain, delivering a couple of teasing long balls into the Cherries’ penalty area.
Olivier Giroud – 7/10
His aerial prowess was always going to keep the Bournemouth centre-halves on their toes. His assist for Sanchez to finish the game off with the third goal gives him the extra ratings.