Arsenal welcomed Burnley to the Emirates, looking to go second in the table with a win, after Manchester City and Tottenham could only gain a point each, while Liverpool lost track with a loss to Swansea City on Saturday. Arsenal started unchanged from their 4-0 win at Swansea, while Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin came back from their respective injuries to feature in the substitutes.
Arsenal started the match with a lot of promise, looking to open up the Burnley defence multiple times with their wonderful link up play and decent attempts on goal. In the first-half, Arsenal sent 14 shots on goal to test Tom Heaton but had to wait until the 59th minute for Shkodran Mustafi to guide Mesut Ozil’s ball from a corner, for his first goal in Arsenal colours. Granit Xhaka was then sent off in the 65th minute, forcing a test of Arsenal’s fitness for the last half an hour remaining.
Arsenal looked composed but there are always nervy vibes across the stadium when ten men try to protect a one goal lead. The eagerness and tensions seemed to escalate but the referee did not hesitate when Francis Coquelin brought down Barnes in the Arsenal penalty box, for Andre Gray to equalise (’93). However, Arsenal managed to launch a couple of attacks and were lucky enough to get a penalty when Koscielny was caught by Mee’s high boot. Alexis Sanchez’s delightful panenka sealed Arsenal the three points.
Let’s have a look at Arsenal’s top performers in this action packed match which produced some decent performances for Arsenal.
A) Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil started the match with confidence, displaying the class that he possesses with some wonderful through balls, crosses and attempts on goal throughout the first-half. He set up some of his team mates in vital areas of the pitch but none were converted from open play until Shkodran Mustafi’s header from a corner awarded him an assist.
B) Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez’s shift from a winger to a striker has been cut short due to Olivier Giroud’s fitness and form, but he never fails to impress regardless of the position he plays in. Sanchez showed good signs early on and continued so through out, attempting a few shots on goal and linking up well with Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil to cause havoc for the Burnley defence. He scored Arsenal’s winner in the 97th minute when Koscielny was fouled, converting the penalty via a delightful panenka to secure the crucial three points for the Gunners.
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