– Mikel Arteta hailed Arsenal’s “hungry” youngsters after
Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah fired their side into the FA Cup fifth round with
a 2-1 win against Bournemouth on Monday.

Arteta turned to youth at Dean Court and Saka, Nketiah and
Joe Willock repaid the Arsenal manager’s faith with influential displays that
secured a trip to third-tier Portsmouth.

Saka gave Arsenal an early lead as the 18-year-old full-back
bagged his third goal of the season with a superb strike.

Nketiah got the second before the interval to ensure Arteta
took another step towards emulating his FA Cups triumph as an Arsenal player in
2014 and 2015.

Sam Surridge got one back for Bournemouth in the closing
minutes, but it was too late to salvage a replay.

“I’m very pleased. Always tough to come here and win,
we’ve done it with a young team as well,” Arteta said.

“I have a lot of faith in them. I think they are
developing really well. They are willing and hungry and will only get

Languishing in 10th place in the Premier League after
failing to win any of their last three games, this was a welcome boost for
Arteta as Arsenal built on their hard-fought draw at Chelsea last week.

It was Arsenal’s third win in eight matches under Arteta in
all competitions, with just one defeat in that run.

It was not all plain sailing by the seaside for Arteta, who
added: “We scored two fantastic goals, but after that we became a little
bit sloppy and I didn’t like that very much.”

Arteta’s first match in charge of Arsenal was a 1-1 Premier
League draw at Bournemouth in December, but his team looked far more
accomplished this time, even without several key players.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still suspended, 18-year-old
striker Gabriel Martinelli started for Arsenal.

Martinelli had scored in Arsenal’s past two Premier League
games to reach 10 goals for the season.

But the Brazilian isn’t just a poacher and he showed his
creative vision as Arsenal made a perfect start in the fifth minute.

As a 22-pass Arsenal move approached an eye-catching
crescendo, Willock’s surge opened up the Bournemouth defence.

Willock picked out Martinelli, who deftly moved the ball
onto Saka when a more selfish player would have shot and he smashed a
thunderous drive into the roof of the net from an acute angle.

– Bournemouth outgunned –

Arteta had made five changes from the Chelsea match, with
Nketiah making his first Arsenal start since January last year against
Blackpool in the FA Cup.

Nketiah was recently recalled from a loan spell at
second-tier Leeds over concerns he wasn’t playing enough, but the 20-year-old
showed his potential in the 26th minute as he doubled Arsenal’s lead.

Unable to contain Willock and Saka, Bournemouth were carved
open as the midfielder’s pass found the defender in acres of space on the left.

Saka’s cross into the six-yard box was perfect for Nketiah
and he slotted in his first Arsenal goal since May.

Completely outclassed for the first 30 minutes, Bournemouth
finally had a sight of goal when Harry Wilson’s volley was saved by Emiliano

Arteta’s men didn’t have it all their own way in the second
half and Martinez took out his own player when he clattered into Shkodran
Mustafi in a bid to catch a cross.

Mustafi had to be stretchered off as a result of the clash
and Arteta said: “We’ll have to assess tomorrow but when Mustafi has to
come off normally it is not a good sign.”

The hapless Martinez nearly gifted Bournemouth a goal
moments later when he missed with his attempt to punch clear, but Jack Simpson
headed just wide of the empty net.

Surridge punished sloppy defending to tap in from Simon
Francis’ cross deep into stoppage time, but Arsenal’s rookies held on.


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