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Match Report: Arsenal 3-1 Burnley

Arsenal climbed above Manchester United into second place in the Premier League with a 3-1 home win over Burnley on Saturday — but if Nicklas Bendtner had shown any sort of finishing ability they would have been top.

The Dane missed a hatful of increasingly easy chances as Arsenal sought the four-goal victory that would have taken them above Chelsea on goal difference.

As it was, goals by Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Andrey Arshavin took them to 61 points, the same as leaders Chelsea, who are in FA Cup action against Stoke City on Sunday.

Almunia
Eboue – Vermaelen – Silvestre – Clichy
Fabregas (c) – Denilson – Nasri
Walcott – Bendtner – Rosicky

Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Traore, Eastmond, Diaby, Arshavin, Eduardo.

Arsenal, who were 11 points off the pace in December and nine behind a month ago, could drop back to third later on Saturday when Manchester United, on 60, seek to go top with a win or draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With Burnley managing just one draw and 13 defeats from their 14 previous Premier League away games this season, it was no surprise that Arsenal were on top from the start.

Burnley seemed content to sit deep and allow Arsenal to do all their neat passing in front of them.

The onus was on Walcott to find a way through and show himself worthy of a place in England’s World Cup squad but though the winger had some early success against his full back he failed to provide much in the way of convertible crosses.

Instead it was the eye-of-a-needle passing of Fabregas and Samir Nasri that eventually opened the massed Lancs ranks and enabled Fabregas to cleverly tuck in the opener after 34 minutes.

The mercurial Spanish midfielder limped off a few minutes later with what looked like a hamstring strain — not good for Arsenal ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Porto.

Arsenal paid for their profligacy when David Nugent was given space to run through the middle and lift the ball over Manuel Almunia five minutes into the second half.

Walcott restored the lead 10 minutes later with a well-taken curler but while the fans sat back to await the goal rush that would take them top, the misses left them nervous before Arshavin finally killed it off in stoppage time.

With a kinder-looking run-in than either of their two rivals, Arsenal remain very much in the hunt for their first title success since 2004.

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Radio Boudaki
12 years ago

just cant wait for Chamakh to arrive in the summer. Cant keep relying on that bloody freaky Dane! Absolutely shocking. I just hope the rest of his team mates give him stick so he pulls his finger out.
All in all a great game of football. Deserved win! Lets hope Wolves do us a favour

Emperor Gooner
Emperor Gooner
12 years ago

united look like a mid-table team without rooney..shockingly poor..wolves should’ve been 2-0 ahead

picky
picky
12 years ago

Bendtner is still young and I think this explains why he is so inconsistent. He also played an international match on Wednesday and this at such a young age is one of the things that’s hard to balance – staying focussed for different squads in different venues, travelling, etc. I was glad AW took him off. He needs to know he is not guaranteed to start. The really positive thing is that he gets into excellent goal scoring positions (although Burnley were not good at the back). When it does click for him he’ll easily get 25 a season and… Read more »

joe
joe
12 years ago

One more down, nine more to go…

Believe …

true gunner
true gunner
12 years ago

Can’t waittill Van persie’s back.Bendtner and Eduardo not really playing well and th other young guns[vela,walcott,ramsey] still need more time and experience. But believe we still have a hot at the title. YES WE CAN

Radio Boudaki
12 years ago

just so pleased Arshavin and Walcott got a goal the both needed it. Did you see how happy they both were.

Paul
Paul
12 years ago

The fact that Bendtner was in the right areas is a positive sign… anyone can have an off day with the shooting boots. It was good to see him continue to get in the thick of the action rather than shy away. No doubt most other Arsenal fans will give him grief because only perfection will do!!!

fez
fez
12 years ago

LOL got to love Arsenal fans. Yes NB52 missed a feck loads of chances but did you all forget that equaliser he scored against Stoke. Those chances he missed yesterday were far far easier than the one he scored last week, so lets not get on his back soo quickly after praising him a week ago. I was at the grove yesterday and credit to the fans for giving him a nice round of appluase. If you had not noticed, we lost our shape of play when we subbed him for Eduardo and thats when Burnley had their best spell… Read more »

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