Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Saka, Pepe, Aubameyang
Subs: Leno, Holding, Cedric, Tavares, Mari, Maitland-Niles, Sambi, Lacazette, Martinelli
Arsenal made it two 1-0 wins in a row as Martin Odegaard’s free kick was enough to take all three points against Burnley at Turf Moor today.
Mikel Arteta went with a very attacking line-up, adding Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe to the side that started last week against Norwich, at the expense of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The Gunners started brightly, with plenty of possession, and some early danger as Odegaard sent Tierney in behind, but the home side defended it well enough. At the other end, a long ball saw a shot over the bar from Barnes, and sloppy Arsenal play saw the New Zealander with another chance but it was headed wide.
Barnes picked up a yellow card for putting a hand into the face of Tierney, before Westwood followed him into the book on the half hour mark for a cynical trip on Saka. It gave Arsenal a free kick on the top of the D, and Odegaard punished them to the fullest extent by curling it over the wall and into the back of the net. 0-1.
Gabriel produced a stunning tackle in the box to deny Barnes a chance after he’d slipped off the shoulder of Ben White, while just before half-time Pepe set up Smith Rowe whose first time shot was just a bit high/wide. There was also time for an Arsenal break which should have come to more, but Saka’s touch for the final pass was just too heavy and Burnley cleared.
Neither manager made a change at half-time, and a sloppy start from the men in yellow handed Burnley some momentum and a corner which produced some genuine danger, and a shot which Ramsdale had to save. A good move between Saka and Auba saw a chance created for Smith Rowe, but on his left foot the attempted finish was weak and easy for the keeper.
Sean Dyche made a double change in the 57th minute, sending on Cornet and Vydra for Barnes and Gunmundsson, and the Ivorian almost made an immediate impact, drawing an excellent save from Ramsdale after the ball broke to him in the box. Mikel Arteta responded with a change of his own, as Sambi replaced Smith Rowe in the 61st minute, and another Arsenal break should have produced more but Pepe’s pass to Auba was poor and Burnley cleared.
It was frenetic stuff, with Arsenal not helped by poor decision making in the final third when they did get that far up the pitch. Then there was penalty drama, as a White pass to Ramsdale was under-hit, the keeper got the ball, and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot. However, after a VAR check, the decision was overturned, much to the displeasure of the home crowd.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles came on to replace Partey on 75 minutes, Gabriel produced another couple of blocks, and Tavares came on for Tierney with ten minutes to go. A poor touch from Saka in the box saw a chance to double the lead go begging, and as Burnley looked for the equaliser, Arsenal nerves were jangling.
Vydra headed wide in the four minutes of injury time, Tavares picked up a booking then drove upfield and fired a shot wide, before Rodriguez headed wide in the last few seconds.
In the end, an ugly win, but a win nonetheless!