Player Ratings: Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal will face Portsmouth in the fifth round of this season’s FA Cup in March following a 2-1 win away to Bournemouth on Monday night.

Mikel Arteta named a young front three with good affect at the Vitality Stadium this evening as Bukayo Saka scored the opening goal inside five minutes and then setup Eddie Nketiah to double our lead 20 minutes later.

The hosts scored a consolation in the fourth of 10 minutes of stoppage time but never looked like scoring an equaliser afterwards.

Here are my player ratings from Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal:

Emi Martinez 7 – Didn’t have a chance with the Bournemouth goal and didn’t have a lot else to do. Emi Martinez made saves he was expected to make and caught a few crosses.

Hector Bellerin 7 – A comfortable game defensively for the captain as Lewis Cook offered no threat down our right. Hector Bellerin put one delicious cross into the box in the first half as the Spaniard found time and space out wide on a couple of occasions.

Shkodran Mustafi 7 – Was having a solid game at centre-back until he was stretchered off following a collision with Emi Martinez. Bournemouth’s only efforts on goal came in the final minutes of the game.

Sokratis 8 – Solid in the air and a very good all around performance from the Greek centre-back.

Bukayo Saka 9 – Deployed in the left-back role once again, the 18-year-old smashed our opener home from inside the six-yard box to finish off a lovely move. Bukayo Saka then setup Eddie Nketiah for a tap in later in the first half. Was excellent going forward whilst Bournemouth’s right winger, Harry Wilson, saw little of the ball.

Matteo Guendouzi 8 – Terrific performance in covering a lot of ground and composed in possession even when it tight situations. Matteo Guendouzi offered bundles of energy to break up the opposition play and spring attacks.

Granit Xhaka 6 – One ludicrous pass across his own penalty area gifted a chance for Ryan Fraser who, fortunately, scuffed well wide. Otherwise was steady in possession. Harsh yellow card for time wasting deep in stoppage time.

Nicolas Pepe 5 – Another quiet performance down the right wing that eventually saw Nicolas Pepe replaced. The Ivorian’s passing was a bit off and he was never really a threat in this game.

Joe Willock 7 – A couple of promising runs at the Bournemouth defence that didn’t lead to much. Joe Willock offered good energy in bringing the ball forward but could have done with a better performance when inside the final third.

Gabriel Martinelli 6 – Unselfishly laid on the opening goal when the young Brazilian could have shot himself from a more difficult position. Gabriel Martinelli never actually tested Mark Travers once in the Bournemouth goal. Looked lively early on but went quiet as the game went on.

Eddie Nketiah 7 – Tapped home what was his only shot of the game. Eddie Nketiah won a few flick ons and free kicks as well.

Substitutes

Rob Holding (30 mins) 6 – Stood firm up against both Dominik Solanke and Callum Wilson as neither Bournemouth striker had a shot on target.

Dani Ceballos (22 mins) 7 – Helped maintain possession in the opposition half when Bournemouth had started pressing to get back into the game at the time of Dani Ceballos’ introduction.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (0 mins) N/A – Brought on in stoppage time for Joe Willock to help run down the lengthy amount of stoppage time.

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