Arsenal ratings: 9/10 Saka, 8/10 Willock lead youngsters in FA Cup win

Arsenal youth earn FA Cup win vs. Bournemouth (1:01)

Arsenal's youngsters lead the way in Arsenal's 2-1 win vs. Bournemouth. Watch the FA Cup on ESPN+. (1:01)

Arsenal advanced to the FA Cup fifth round with a convincing 2-0 winners over Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium thanks to a star performance from Bukayo Saka.

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Mikel Arteta's side got off to a flyer, taking the lead just five minutes in, with Saka firing home from a tight angle, following a wonderful passing sequence. The Gunners doubled their lead not longer after, with Saka this time turning provider, laying the ball on a plate for Edward Nketiah to tuck away.

It was a complete performance from the away sides young, energetic attack, with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Joe Willock also starring. The Cherries attempted a comeback after a late Sam Surridge goal, but Arsenal held on for the win to set up another away day on the southern coast -- this time at League One club Portsmouth in the next round of the competition.


The kids are alright -- and tonight's win was yet another reminder of that fact. Saka, Willock and Nketiah -- all academy graduates-- made the difference in a dominant first half-hour for Arsenal. Saka was superb at left-back, ending the game with a goal and an assist to his name, while Nketiah, fresh from a successful loan at Leeds, also got on the scoresheet. Willock was again excellent, providing dazzling close control and tidy passing which dedicated the tempo from the onset.


On a night that will greatly please the Arsenal coaching staff, perhaps the only major drawback was what appeared to be a nasty looking injury for defender Shkodran Mustafi. The German was taken off after an hour, following a clash with his own goalkeeper -- not something fans will want to see given the sides recent injury issues at centre-back.

MANAGER RATING (out of 10)

8 -- Arteta got his selection spot on, back at the ground where his managerial journey began last month. On this occasion, however, his side came away with the victory, in part due to the managers selection. He fielded a young, dynamic forward line, with the exciting Saka also at left back -- an inspired choice, as the academy graduate was immense when advancing forward.

PLAYER RATINGS (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Emiliano Martinez, 5 -- The stand-in stopper had very little to do, on a night of relative dominance for the travelling side. When he was called into action, he looked less that assured with aerial balls into the box.

DF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- A quiet evening for the long-serving wing-back, who tonight was very much outshone by Saka on the opposite side of the pitch. However, defensively, Bellerin was composed throughout.

DF Shkodran Mustafi, 6 -- Got off to a poor start, with some skittish defensive moments threatening to undo Arsenal's early dominance. He soon grew into the game, even having a hand in the second goal, after winning the ball back high up the pitch.

DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 7 -- While positionally naive at times, any deficiencies were balanced out by his sheer domination in the air. The 31-year-old was a towering presence when defending Bournemouth set-pieces.

DF Bukayo Saka, 9 -- A sensational display from the youngster, back in the position he started his career at - left-back. His perfectly weighted assist for Nketiah was only bettered by a thunderous early goal of his own, on what felt like a momentous night for the talented youngster.

MF Granit Xhaka, 6 -- In possession, the powerful midfielder instinctively looked to create openings - to which he had some modest success. Committed one or two needless fouls, but overall, a solid night's work for the Swiss international.

MF Matteo Guendouzi, 8 -- The 20-year-old recovered well from an early error, by going on to break up a number of Bournemouth counters. His work rate, interceptions and industrious runs were all essential in helping to steer his side to victory.

MF Joe Willock, 8 -- Deployed in the number 10 role normally reserved for Mesut Ozil, the 20-year-old at times ran the show for Arsenal. It was his sharp turn and dribble that first initiated Saka's goalscoring move, a sequence that neatly sums up his superb contributions.

FW Nicolas Pepe, 7 -- While the former Lille man did lack end product at times, he still has a big impact on proceedings, by troubling Bournemouth defender Jack Simpson on a number of occasions with direct running and intelligent movement. Peripheral, but threatening.

FW Edward Nketiah, 7 -- The academy graduate took a while to get into the game, but soon made his mark, by converting Arsenal's wonderfully worked second goal. Far from just providing goals, the former Leeds loanee helped immensely when out of possession, by pressuring the Bournemouth backline into giving the ball away numerous times.

FW Gabriel Martinelli, 7 -- The summer signing from Ituano has been a revelation since arriving, and he continued his rich vein of form by registering another assist tonight. The 18-year-old linked up beautifully well with the overlapping Saka, which made for an exciting looking tandem down the left-hand side of the pitch.


Rob Holding, 7 -- Replaced the injured Mustafi on the hour mark, defending well late on to help his side seal the win.

Dani Ceballos -- N/A

Ainsley Maitland-Niles -- N/A