5 Talking Points Of The Match Between Arsenal And Burnley
Alexis Sanchez’s stoppage-time penalty snatched the points for Arsenal against a stubborn Burnley outfit at Turf Moor.
Devoid of Mesut Ozil, who is suffering with illness, Arsene Wenger’s side could not find a way through against the Clarets until the dying moments.
Another frustrating day for Alexandre Lacazette was capped off with Danny Welbeck being sent on in his place in search of a winner.
But just as the Gunners looked as if they would have to settle for a point, Aaron Ramsey earned a penalty after James Tarkowski’s foul and Sanchez stepped up to convert from the spot.
Here are five talking points of the match :
1. Mesut Ozil was sick – and they missed him :
Yes, he really was. And Mesut Ozil’s absence was nothing to do with the cold temperatures or rain. Honest.
Earlier in the season, Arsenal played well at Chelsea without Ozil and you began to wonder if Arsene Wenger still trusted him away from home in tough games.
But, truth be told, Arsenal do miss Ozil in games like this because of his ability to unlock defences and provide some magic. You get more work rate from Alex Iwobi but Ozil’s absence only makes the heart grow fonder.
2. Burnley are not an early season wonder :
Burnley’s impressive start has left them gazing tantalisingly at the Champions League places thanks to Sean Dyche and a group of well drilled and determined players.
These things often fall away and it will be hard for Burnley to maintain this pace.
But think of Stoke and becoming members of the Premier League establishment. That’s not a dig at anyone’s playing style, but Burnley look as if they are here for the long term.
3. No wonder Jack Cork is in the England set-up :
Gareth Southgate was at Turf Moor and can only have been impressed by Jack Cork who, of course, was called up to the last England squad.
Cork has been a revelation at Burnley this season, steady in midfield, shielding the back four and is good on the ball.
Burnley have been the surprise team of the Premier League so far so it’s only right their revelation gets some recognition.
4. Alexandre Lacazette is adapting and can play away :
Lacazette was dropped at Liverpool and Manchester City and you can only assume it was because he needs to offer more of an all-round game to help the team.
But his link-up play and work rate has improved dramatically as he adapts to English football. He dropped deep and made runs to make things happen.
It’s no longer a question of Alexis Sanchez or Lacazette as the Arsenal No9 is becoming more of a complete striker.
5. Arsenal’s Europa League hangover? :
It was 11 changes for Arsenal in Cologne and 11 changes at Burnley. The only player given a serious run out was Alex Iwobi as he played 45 minutes.
But if you complain about too many games and a tough schedule too much then it can make players feel a bit tired. Arsenal were not sharp first half, got better, and this was a huge result in terms of the chase for top four.
A real battling second half, led by Alexis Sanchez and a big answer to critics who say they don’t fancy it away from home in tough games.