ARSENAL opened a Premier League campaign with three successive wins for the first time in 18 years after Martin Odegaard’s brace fired them to a classy 3-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.
North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur had earlier moved top as Harry Kane’s 250th goal for the club sealed a gritty 1-0 home win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
But Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, with the same starting eleven for the third successive match, were far too good for newly-promoted Bournemouth on the south coast and they could have won by more.
Fulham maintained their impressive start to the campaign as they beat Brentford 3-2 in an exciting west London derby to move into fourth place in the standings — Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring the winner after Brentford had recovered a two-goal deficit.
Everton picked up their first point of the season thanks to a late equaliser by Demarai Gray in a 1-1 home draw with Nottingham Forest who had led through Brennan Johnson.
Wilfried Zaha scored twice as Crystal Palace recovered from conceding an early goal to beat Aston Villa 3-1 at Selhurst Park for their first win of the season.
Leicester City’s dismal start continued, however, as they slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Southampton.
James Maddison gave Leicester the lead with a 54th minute free kick but the visitors snatched victory with substitute Che Adams scoring twice at the King Power Stadium.
A year ago, Arsenal manager Arteta was coming under intense pressure after his side lost their opening three games without scoring a goal.
They recovered to challenge for a top-four finish, eventually coming fifth behind Tottenham, but some impressive summer business has transformed the Gunners into a side that looks capable of challenging for silverware.
Gabriel Jesus, signed from Manchester City was sublime again and unlucky not to get on the scoresheet while Oleksandr Zinchenko, also signed from City, has also been an upgrade.
Young French defender William Saliba, back at Arsenal after loan spells away, rounded off Arsenal’s win with a superb curling effort after Odegaard struck twice in the opening 11 minutes to put the visitors in cruise control.
“I’m proud, it’s not easy to come here and win 3-0 but there are still things to prove,” Arteta said.
“We started the game really well. We were dominant, precise. The two goals gave us a lot of confidence. Jesus was involved in the goals. His contribution to the team was outstanding.”
Arsenal could be dislodged from top spot if Manchester City win at Newcastle United on Sunday.
While Arsenal swaggered to victory, Tottenham laboured against Wolves but a much-improved second half showing maintained their excellent start to the season.
Once again Kane was the key.
The England captain headed Tottenham’s winner in the 64th minute from a flick on by Ivan Perisic, who was given his first start since joining the north Londoners.
It was Kane’s 185th Premier League goal, putting him ahead of Sergio Aguero in fourth place on the all-time list in the competition. He now also owns the record for the most Premier League goals for a single club.
“It’s been a fantastic nine or 10 years in the Premier League. Hopefully many more years to go. I always love scoring,” said Kane. “The most important thing is winning games.
“We need to improve. But the sign of a good team is winning when you don’t play at your best.”