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Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal: Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah strike as Arteta young guns set up trip to Portsmouth

Arsenal’s love affair with the FA Cup continued with a 2-1 fourth-round victory over Bournemouth on Monday.

The competition’s most successful club, with 13 wins, secured a last-16 trip to 2008 winners Portsmouth courtesy of a deserved triumph at the Vitality Stadium. 

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring inside five minutes to cap a fine team move involving all 10 outfield players, with Eddie Nketiah doubling the visitors’ lead before the break.

Mikel Arteta’s side conceded a late goal to Sam Surridge after he came off the bench for the Cherries, whose focus will switch back to the task of Premier League survival.

Arsenal made an early statement of intent with an excellent display of passing and movement that led to Saka thrashing home the opener from the corner of the six-yard box, Joe Willock and Gabriel Martinelli proving particularly influential in the build-up. 

The industrious Willock was in the thick of the action again midway through the half, eluding Dan Gosling before calling goalkeeper Mark Travers into action.

Saka turned provider for Nketiah, the former Leeds United loanee rolling in from close range at the end of the opening goalscorer’s low cross in the 26th minute.

Bournemouth, who ended a six-match winless run in the league with a 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion last time out, looked bereft of ideas and spent much of the first half on the defensive, with Harry Wilson’s strike providing the only meaningful work for Emiliano Martinez.

Arsenal lost Shkodran Mustafi to a serious-looking injury just past the hour mark and suffered a brief scare when Martinez flapped at a corner, the ball spinning wide off the head of the seemingly oblivious Jack Simpson.

Arteta’s side appeared to be cruising until Surridge halved the deficit in stoppage time from fellow substitute Simon Francis’ probing ball, but it was too little too late and the Spaniard will be hopeful of adding to the two FA Cups he won as a player with the Gunners.


BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-2): Travers 6; A.Smith 5, S.Cook 5, Ake 6, Simpson 6 (Francis 76, 6); H.Wilson 6.5 (C.Wilson 76, 6), Gosling 7, Surman 6, L.Cook 5; Fraser 5, Solanke 5 (Surridge 89).

SUBS: Ramsdale, Genesini, Billing, Dobre

GOALS: Surridge 90+4

BOOKINGS: H.Wilson, Surridge

MANAGER: Eddie Howe 5

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Martinez 6; Bellerin 7, Mustafi 6 (Holding 62, 6), Sokratis 6, Saka 8; Guendouzi 6.5, Xhaka 7; Pepe 6.5 (Ceballos 69, 6), Willock 7 (Maitland-Niles 90), Martinelli 6.5; Nketiah 7.5.

SUBS: Leno, Lacazette, Ozil, Torreira

GOALS: Saka 5, Nketiah 26


MANAGER: Mikel Arteta 6.5

REF: Martin Atkinson 6

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