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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Kieran King

Arsenal concede second-fastest-ever Premier League goal in nightmare Bournemouth start

Arsenal were left shell-shocked inside the opening 10 seconds when Philip Billing gave Bournemouth the lead at Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Cherries quickly worked the ball out wide from kick-off to Dango Outtara, who drove towards the edge of the box before pulling across the face of goal. It made its way to Billing in space and he made no mistake by firing home beyond a hapless Aaron Ramsdale.

Many Arsenal supporters could not believe what they were seeing as Bournemouth, who had scored just four top-flight goals in their previous nine matches, surprisingly took the lead at the league leaders. It was a well-worked goal but Mikel Arteta would have been furious with how easy his side were cut open by the Cherries.

And according to BBC World Feed, Billing's strike was the second-fastest in Premier League history at 9.11 seconds. It was the Dane's fifth top-flight goal of the season as the Cherries made a terrific start in their pursuit to earn a second successive away win after beating Wolves last time out.

Unfortunately for the midfielder, it wasn't as quick as Shane Long's cheeky finish for Southampton against Watford back in April 2019. Craig Cathcart's clearance deflected off the Irishman and perfectly into his path, before he dinked the ball over the onrushing Ben Foster to give Saints the lead on 7.69 seconds.

Philip Billing struck inside 10 seconds against Arsenal (Getty Images)

That strike overtook Ledley King, who scored for Spurs against Bradford in 2000, after 9.82 seconds. Alan Shearer (10.52 seconds ) and Christian Eriksen (10.54 seconds) make up the top-five fastest goals in Premier League history.

Arsenal responded well to going behind and almost equalised in the fourth minute - coming close on two occasions. Martin Odegaard's drilled shot was well-saved by Neto, before Saka picked up the loose ball, but the England ace pinged his effort just wide of target.

Norwegian midfielder Odegaard then came ever so close as his long-range strike stung the palms of Neto. It seemed as though the Gunners were going to find a breakthrough, but ex-Barcelona man Neto was keeping Bournemouth ahead. In the 10th minute, Saka cut in from the right side, however, his low shot was stopped by the goalkeeper.

As the half wore on, the Gunners continued to penetrate the Cherries back-line and dominated possession, but just couldn't score. However, Gary O'Neill's side did pose a threat on the counter-attack and should've doubled their lead mid-way through the half. Aaron Ramsdale was there to make a terrific stop, though, to deny Ouattara.

The last goalmouth action of the first-half came when Arsenal thought they could have had a penalty for a potential foul on Fabio Viera. VAR had a look at the incident but they decided not to overrule the referee's initial decision.

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