Arsenal cruised to victory at Bournemouth as captain Martin Odegaard’s first brace took the visitors to the top of the Premier League.
The Gunners maintained their perfect start to the campaign, their 3-0 victory at Vitality Stadium sealed by a fine strike from William Saliba as the defender opened his account for the club.
Odegaard had put Arsenal away in the opening 11 minutes, the first time the Norway international had scored twice in a game since a brace for Stromsgodset in October 2014.
At this stage of last season, Mikel Arteta was facing calls to be sacked as Arsenal boss as they sat bottomless without a point or goal.
Summer signing Gabriel Jesus did much to herald such a turnaround in fortunes and, although he didn’t add to his goalscoring tally on the south coast, the Brazilian striker was once again instrumental.
He snatched the ball in the air with one touch, swept a challenge and fed Gabriel Martinelli, whose low shot was saved by Mark Travers.
However, Odegaard was on hand to drive home one of the easiest goals of his career to break the deadlock with less than five minutes on the clock.
Odegaard doubled the lead soon after, this time hanging on to a loose touch from Jesus in the box and shooting past Travers to put Arsenal on course for another three points.
Bournemouth, after losing 4-0 to champions Manchester City last weekend, again struggled to gain a foothold in the game as Arteta’s side continued to dominate.
Despite being on top, Arsenal had to wait until the end of the interval to extend their lead – but it was a goal worth waiting for.
Martinelli’s deep cross was picked up by Granit Xhaka, who placed the ball perfectly into Saliba’s path – the France international continued his fine start to life at Arsenal by scoring his first goal in English football.
Jesus thought he got in on the act as he collected a pass from Odegaard to finish with aplomb, only for the celebrations to be cut short with VAR ruling out the effort for a marginal offside.
Bournemouth hadn’t tasted defeat at home since losing to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup in February, but they were never at the races.
Arteta’s first game as Arsenal boss came here on Boxing Day 2019, a 1-1 draw in which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the equalizer.
Now the Spaniard has a fully fit leader and a squad designed to play the way he wants with only Xhaka and Bukayo Saka having started both games.
With the points secured in such comfort, Bournemouth’s Matchday 1 win over Aston Villa already seems a long way off after two punishing defeats and with a trip to Liverpool next weekend.
Arsenal, meanwhile, face another newly-promoted side as Fulham travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on a side aiming to claim four wins from four.