Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan put on a masterclass as we claimed our eighth home Premier League win in a row with a five-star display to beat Bournemouth.
The two attackers were at the heart of everything, both scoring with composed finishes and the former claiming one assist and the latter two as they ripped the Cherries apart.
We immediately looked in the mood from kick-off, and there were little more than three minutes on the clock when we took the lead, Sead Kolasinac seizing on a loose pass and playing Ozil in on goal.
There was still work to do, and the World Cup winner’s impudent finish – which is fast becoming a signature strike – saw him kick the ball into the ground and up and over Artur Boruc, bringing the crowd to their feet.
If Bournemouth were shellshocked by our start, they soon collected themselves and began to threaten and Nacho Monreal and then Laurent Koscielny both had to make vital blocks to deny the visitors.
But we remained in control, and doubled our lead in sublime circumstances as Mkhitaryan preyed on a misplaced Adam Smith pass on the edge of the area and found Ozil, who gave Artur Boruc the eyes and found the Armenian to slot into the empty net.
It looked like being a comfortable evening, but within three minutes Matteo Guendouzi was caught in possession and Lys Mousset capitalised to reduce our advantage.
With Carl Jenkinson – in for his first Premier League start at this stadium since December 8, 2013 – impressing with his industry and energy down the right, we got back on the front foot straight away.
We could not extend our lead before the interval, but only took us just over a minute after the restart to do it as Koscielny forced the ball over the line after good work from Mkhitaryan.
Ozil came close as he hit the post after fine work by Aubameyang, before Dan Gosling saw a deflected shot loop up and on to the crossbar as the Cherries took the fight back to us.
But there was nothing they could do when Mkhitaryan broke at pace up the middle and played a defence-splitting pass for Aubameyang, who rounded Boruc and slotted in his 19th goal of a stellar season.
Not to be outdone, Alex Lacazette stepped off the bench and, after going close with one chance, curled in a free kick from the edge of the box to make it five goals from his last five home Premier League games.
That sealed a fine evening’s work – and proved the perfect preparation for Saturday’s north London derby against Tottenham.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
As if anyone needed reminding, the countdown is on ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham at Wembley this Saturday.
We’ve played our rivals twice this season, memorably winning 4-2 at the Emirates after scoring three times in the second half, and then losing 2-0 in the Carabao Cup.
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