Arsenal easily defeated AFC Bournemouth by a score of 4-0 today, dispelling any sceptics while enjoying a lovely afternoon on the south coast.
Although there were a logical number of standouts, Martin Odegaard, who was exceptional as always, had an especially good day.
Martin Odegaard’s performance against Bournemouth:?
Despite the uncertainty surrounding injuries before the match, the Norway international was a sure starter and their captain, always there to guide them to victory.
Thus, it made his job simpler to witness Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, and William Saliba all pass and be deemed fit to begin.
With his 9.1 match-best rating, the creative midfielder deservedly contributed to their victory by helping to score the second and setting up the fourth.
Nevertheless, according to Sofascore, he won five ground duels, recorded two tackles, three crucial passes, and hardly touched the surface of his talent.
At Vitality Stadium, the 24-year-old led Mikel Arteta’s team to yet another thrilling victory. He was aggressive but also not hesitant to show off his creative abilities.
Nevertheless, in spite of all those impressive numbers, one could legitimately contend that Oleksandr Zinchenko’s platform gave him the starting point for his success.
What was Oleksandr Zinchenko’s performance vs Bournemouth?
Despite his defensive shortcomings throughout the game, which were to be expected given his inverted full-back role, his economical presence in the engine room was crucial in depriving the hosts of possession and maintaining momentum.
According to Sofascore, there was no better way to demonstrate this than his 82 touches and 89% pass accuracy, of which two were deemed crucial passes that may have created a scoring opportunity.
As journalist Sam Dean put it, “Zinchenko and Nketiah playing one-twos up the pitch to win that penalty” was one such instance, as he and Eddie Nketiah collaborated for the first penalty, which Odegaard would score. Zinchenko has had some defensive difficulties today, but he is very smooth with the ball.”
Even so, the Ukraine international was anything but work-shy, even if a performance this attractive was sure to draw attention. According to Sofascore, Zinchenko had an outstanding all-around performance today, recording four tackles, two interceptions, two clearances, and victories in seven of the ten duels he participated in.
In his post-match player evaluations, journalist Simon Collings endorsed this idea, giving the former Manchester City player an 8/10 rating and noting that he was “involved in a lot of Arsenal’s good play and helped win their first penalty by playing in Nketiah.” Too bad not to score a couple times.
It didn’t seem like anything could match Arteta’s incredible Gunners’ flawless away performance. That was, until Manchester City’s unexpected loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers destroyed their perfect season-long record in the Premier League.
The 41-year-old head coach of Arsenal hopes to overcome Pep Guardiola because all the evidence point to 2017 possibly being the year the apprentice becomes the master.