After dropping points in the North London derby last time out, Arsenal will be eager to get back to winning ways when they host Bournemouth on Saturday. The Cherries have struggled so far but will hope to spring an upset at the Emirates.

Arsenal were flying until that 2-2 draw against Spurs, so manager Mikel Arteta will demand a strong reaction here. The Gunners simply must beat teams like Bournemouth at home if they are serious about the title race. No slip-ups are allowed.

But Bournemouth are desperate for their first victory under Gary O'Neil. They've battled hard in games and have some tidy players like Marcus Tavernier and Philip Billing. If defenders Chris Mepham and Marcos Senesi can keep Jesus quiet, who knows? Maybe they nick a smash-and-grab win.

Arsenal vs AFC Bournemouth

The match will take place on Saturday, 30th September, 2023, at Vitality Stadium

Arsenal Share Points in North London Derby

A pulsating North London derby between fierce rivals Arsenal and Tottenham ended 2-2 at the Emirates Stadium. Bukayo Saka's penalty had put the Gunners ahead after Son Heung-Min answered his first-half own goal. But Son struck again to earn a draw for Spurs in a captivating contest.

Arsenal's Missed Chances Prove Costly

Mikel Arteta will rue his side's profligacy in front of goal as Arsenal's 100% start to the season ended. The Gunners created several excellent opportunities but lacked composure when it mattered.

Jesus the Sinner

Despite scoring freely this term, Gabriel Jesus endured a difficult derby, missing Arsenal's best chance when clean through before halftime. The Brazilian also lacked sharpness starting wide left, with Arteta's tactical tweak failing to pay off.

Saka's Mixed Spot Kick Fortune

Bukayo Saka won and coolly converted a penalty to restore Arsenal's lead. But he will feel he should have doubled his tally after firing over when well placed late on. Saka remains a huge threat but couldn't quite unlock Spurs on this occasion.

Lack of Midfield Control

Losing Declan Rice to injury at the interval was a major blow, disrupting Arsenal's rhythm. Without Rice's class on the ball, Arsenal struggled to dictate play and eventually lost their grip as Spurs rallied.

Missing the Spark

With Gabriel Martinelli injured and Emile Smith Rowe on the bench, Arsenal lacked explosive drive in attacking areas. There was little unpredictable quality to unlock a resolute Spurs rearguard once the initial intensity faded. Arteta lacked game-changing options on the bench.

Toothless Second Half

After a vibrant first half, Arsenal visibly tired and retreated as Spurs assumed control after the break. The Gunners were second best for long periods and lacked ideas, creativity, and energy to turn the tide back in their favor.

Defense Creaking

Uncharacteristic errors are creeping into Arsenal's defense. Neither goal should have been conceded, with Bukayo Saka twice left unmarked to provide an assist and win the penalty. Avoidable defensive lapses are undermining Arsenal's progress.

No Room for Complacency

Having won their first six league games, Arsenal's levels inevitably dropped in this grueling derby. But against elite opponents, Arteta's men must maintain focus and intensity for the full 90 minutes if they are to be considered genuine title contenders.

Positives for Arteta

Despite the disappointment, Arsenal remain top of the early Premier League table. Plenty of attacking talent will return after the international break to rejuvenate the Gunners. And Arteta will hope this setback refocuses his players as they target an extended title challenge.

Battling Bournemouth Fall Short Again

Bournemouth had a smart game plan from the start not to press high up against Brighton's defenders. This made it tough for Brighton to play out from the back smoothly.

The tactics worked perfectly for Bournemouth's opening goal. A Brighton mistake allowed Christie to intercept a pass and set up Solanke for an easy finish.

Dominating Midfield Battle

Bournemouth won lots of loose balls in the middle of the park. Dynamic midfielders Billing and Christie managed to control play for stretches of the first half.

This energetic style overwhelmed Brighton, who looked slow and half-asleep early on. Bournemouth's midfield dominance was a big key to their lead.

Penalty Shouts Rejected

Bournemouth thought they should have had two penalty kicks from handballs by Brighton defenders. But the referee said no both times even after taking a second look at the TV replay.

These were very close calls and Bournemouth's players and manager were furious about the decisions. Someday their luck may change on handballs.

Late Collapse Crushes Cherries

After playing so well in the first half, Bournemouth faded down the stretch. Mitoma's speed and Fati's creativity changed things for Brighton after they came on.

The Cherries just weren't prepared for Brighton's energy surge with the fresh subs. Their defense got stretched out and tired late on as the lead slipped away.

Building Blocks Despite Defeat

Losing after being ahead at halftime is always tough for Bournemouth. But manager Iraola saw a lot of positive signs from his team's passing, tackling and teamwork.

If the Cherries can compete this well consistently, their first Premier League win is coming soon. Better luck next time for battling Bournemouth!

Predicted Lineups

Arsenal Predicted Lineup: Raya, White, Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko, Ƙdegaard, Jorginho, Havertz, Saka, Nketiah, G. Jesus

Bournemouth Predicted Lineup: Neto, Aarons, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez, Christie, L. Cook, Billing, Tavernier, Kluivert, Solanke

Key Battles

Gabriel vs Dominic Solanke

Arsenal's Brazilian center-back must keep the dangerous Solanke silent. If Gabriel dominates aerially and remains focused, Arsenal's chances increase.

Aaron Ramsdale vs Neto

Ramsdale's confidence and distribution give Arsenal a huge advantage over error-prone Neto in goal. Ramsdale must stay alert however against a team looking for any lifeline.

Gabriel Jesus vs. Marcos Senesi

Jesus will be keen to atone for a poor derby display. If he escapes Senesi's attention, his movement could destroy Bournemouth.

Conclusion

Arteta has plenty of talent to bring back into his attack after the international break. The creativity of Odegaard, Saka, and Jesus will be licking their lips at facing the division's most porous defense. You'd expect the Gunners to create loads of chances.