Four things we learnt from AFC Bournemouth's defeat to Arsenal
Arsenal's Ben White celebrating their fourth goal of the afternoon during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at the Vitality Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Arsenal remain unbeaten after comfortably cruising to victory by hitting four past AFC Bournemouth. Bukayo Saka headed home the visitors an early lead, before Martin Ødegaard added another from the penalty spot after Max Aarons had brought down Eddie Nketiah.

Kai Havertz then scored his first goal in an Arsenal shirt after another penalty was awarded, this time Ryan Christie chopping down Ødegaard in the box. 

Ben White then rubbed salt into the wounds in added time as he headed in Ødegaard's free kick.

Bournemouth are still without a win and fall into the relegation zone for the first time this season.

A tough start to life in the Premier League for boss Andoni Iraola, who sees his side only picking up three out of a possible 21 points so far.

It can be argued that the Cherries have had a relatively tough run of fixtures: the likes of Brighton & Hove, Liverpool and Tottenham all taking maximum points against them.

Here are four things we learnt from Arsenal's convincing victory.

  • Cherries struggling to adapt to Iraola's style


Bournemouth fans won’t be expecting to blow teams away this year, but at least give the ‘bigger boys’ a go. However, a lacklustre performance against Arsenal has certainly set the tone that this could be another difficult season at the foot of the table. 

Iraola employs a high pressing high-block way of play. A press that worked very well at his old club Rayo Vallecano, he would set his team out of press from the front surprising teams with constant energy and press. 

Yet, the Cherries are still getting used to the Spaniard's high intensity style, a much different approach than what they were used to last season where they mainly hit teams on the counter attack under Gary O’Neil

From the get-go against Arsenal and especially from Saka’s opener, the Cherries rarely threatened David Raya’s goal. They only managed one shot on target in the entire 90.

Bournemouth have scored just once in their four home league games this season - and that came in their season opener against West Ham in August.

  • Arsenal are serious title contenders, again:


There’s no hint of a second-season syndrome at the top of the tree for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. Another very strong start to the season means the London club are looking like contenders for the league again. 

Hitting four past Bournemouth combined with Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton will certainly give the Gunners some extra confidence. 

Arsenal are yet to concede on the road, a point that Arteta has stressed enough and has worked hard on tightening up at the back. 

They also have not lost since taking the lead in a Premier League game since January 2022.  

  • Bournemouth need a win... and fast:


The Cherries now have gone 11 Premier League games without a win, seven under new manager Iraola. 

Just the one goal at home as well for the fans to cheer about, will certainly have the Bournemouth faithful nervous for the next few matches.

A win is needed and fast. With October just around the corner, the Cherries have three very crucial games where they feel all nine points could be up for grabs.

They visit Goodison Park next week to play a struggling Everton side, then host both Wolves and Burnley at home after the international break which could be huge. 

Injury setbacks haven’t helped either. New arrivals Alex Scott and Tyler Adams are out for a few more weeks. Defender Lloyd Kelly is also out meaning the club only has two for centre backs. 

  • Keeping key players fit will be extremely crucial for Arsenal:


If the likes of Ødegaard and Saka are kept fit this season and we’ll rested with the European matches to think about, this season could be really special to Arteta’s side. 

Ødegaard again shone in the Arsenal midfield grabbing a goal and an assist. Keeping him fit will be vital for the Gunners. The Norwegian already has 3 goals and an assist to his name this season. 

He was pivotal in the centre of the park, creating the most chances out of anybody for either team (three). 

Saka goes one better. Four goals and two assists means he is almost contributing a goal or an assist per game so far this season. 

Arsenal looked dominant in beating Bournemouth and if this is a sign of what is to come then the Gunners are in for a successful season.