Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud
Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Welbeck
Arsenal moved to within 4 points of Chelsea with a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor this evening.
After the fine display against Liverpool, Arsene Wenger named an unchanged side as the Gunners looked for their 8th league win in a row.
The most dangerous moment of the early stages came from the home side when Vokes got down their left and into the box only to see David Ospina come out and smother. Almost immediately Alexis Sanchez fired over from close range after the ball fell to him in the area following good build-up play involving Ozil and the Chilean.
The first goal of the game arrived in the 12th minute after a period of Arsenal pressure. Alexis had a shot blocked, it fell to Ozil whose follow up was saved. Then Cazorla’s rebound was blocked, it fell to Ramsey who lashed the ball into the roof of the net. 0-1.
Burnley had a free kick just outside the D after a foul by Francis Coquelin but could only hit the wall, but forced a save from Ospina from a similar situation a few minutes later. At the other end a Santi Cazorla free kick curled just wide of the top corner with keeper Heaton scrambling to get across.
Sean Dyche’s side picked up two quick yellow cards with Mee and Duff going into referee Mike Dean’s book, and every time the home side were penalised for obvious fouls the home fans howled with dismay and disgust, unable to believe that one of their chaps would be so uncouth as to break the laws of the game in an way.
As a game of football it wasn’t up to much, with neither keeper particularly troubled, and the match punctuated by free kick after free kick due to Burnley’s continual fouling. Arsenal took the one goal lead into the break.
The home side started the second period brightly, a snapshot from a corner by Ashley Barnes required Ospina to be alert, and their pressing game made it difficult for Arsenal to make any progress when in possession.
An Ozil flick set up Alexis to shoot low but Heaton was equal to it, and a decent move saw a Ramsey shot blocked. Bellerin’s 64th minute cross was deflected just wide of his own post by Trippier, but it continued to be pretty unappetising fare overall.
Burnley spurned a good chance to equalise in the 69th minute. Bellerin got nutmegged, Mee crossed it, it fell for Boyd at the back post but he kicked fresh air when he should, at least, have tested Ospina. Danny Ings overhead effort deflected towards goal but the Colombian stopper plucked it out of the air, before Arsenal upped a bit and put some pressure on at the other end.
Arsene Wenger made his first change of the game in the 81st minute when Danny Welbeck replaced Olivier Giroud. The England man was involved a few minutes later when he was put through by Ozil. The pass wasn’t great, and his follow up shot deflected wide for a corner.
Bellerin was played in by Alexis but saw his shot blocked, and at the Arsenal end Ings almost found his way through a clutch of defenders as the game went into injury time.
Calum Chambers came on in injury time to waste some time, but in the end a soporific game came to a close and Arsenal took three Premier League points for the eighth consecutive game.