Danny Welbeck scored twice as Arsenal eased past Bournemouth to get their Premier League season back on track.
Bournemouth were poor and the closest they came to scoring was when Jermain Defoe headed against the post but they could have conceded more but for their keeper Asmir Begovic.
Arsenal finished the game with ten men as Francis Coquelin limped off after 81 minutes with Arsene Wenger having used all his substitutes.
Welbeck was widely criticized after his performance at Anfield. But this was a powerful response, full of energy and determination. Two beautiful goals and an assist for Alexandre Lacazette who scored a sensational 25 yard strike. He also had another effort just inches away from what would have been a sublime chip to complete a hat trick.
Bournemouth look relegation bound from this performance. Though they’ve made steady progression each season.
But, having bought some quality Premier League players in Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Germain Defoe, it is expected that they will take a leap forward this season.
If anything, they have gone several steps backwards, look very poor and are in trouble after four straight defeats in this campaign.
Make no mistake, this was a must-win game for Arsene Wenger. The mood was venomous and depressing after the pounding at Liverpool when it was as bad a performance as anything under Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal was able to respond under immense pressure with a focused and determined performance. But what was really noticeable was, at 3-0 early in the second half, the chant of “Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal” rang around the Emirates.
This made it look like Anfield never happened. There are underlying problems at Arsenal but it’s amazing what one result can do to lift the mood.
Much was made of a pre-match meeting between Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis and several Arsenal fan groups.
Fair play to Arsenal and Gazidis for having dialogue with fans (not all clubs do), but there were no fireworks and not even another “catalyst for change” soundbite headline.
Grumblings and moans about the transfer window, ticketing and Arsene Wenger. But far from being nuclear. Then the result lifted the mood.
Alexis Sanchez was left on the bench after returning late from international duty with Chile, it proved to be a wise decision by Arsene Wenger.
When he was eventually introduced on the 75th, there were a lot of boos mixed in with the cheers. Very interesting to note that some fans clearly were not happy with his antics in the summer. Some Arsenal fans did sing his name soon afterwards, but he’s clearly got to win some of them around.