Gun powder Match Review: Burnley 0 vs Arsenal 1
This was exactly the way i predicted it would go. Tense, bruising and difficult. Any one who has watched Sean Dyche’s men this season would have concurred with my pre-match assertions. They are a relentless assemblage of grafters who are well drilled and are very no-nonsense in nature. And so it prooved as Arsenal huffed and puffed all through the majority off the tie at Turf moor but could not find the key to unlock the sturdy Burnley backline.
The manager celebrating 20 years in charge kept faith with the same starting 11 that have brought him the results lately:
Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka (Elneny 71), Cazorla; Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi (Oxlade-Chamberlain 71); Sanchez.
And the gunners began in typical confident fashion. Looking every inch a side that recently destroyed Chelsea and also Taken full control of its Champions league destiny. Arsenal looked to quickly lay down the marker by getting an early goal ostensibly to make the rest of the game a breeze. With the international break looming and of course the earlier news from Pep Guardiola’s Mancity losing, all contributed to adding extra impetus to Arsenal’s feisty start.
Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott were zipping into holes and giving the Burnley defense the run about and it was Sanchez who made the first attempt in anger. His low but powerful shot took a slight deflection and went narrowly wide while Walcott responded with his own attempt spinning into space and rifling a low drive past the Far post.
Burnley struggled with the pace and movement of Iwobi and Sanchez but dealt with everything thrown at them. It was easy to see why they beat Liverpool here, they are a smart team and pick thier moments well it would appear. Obviously not as blessed with technical craftsmen like their opponents but they are quick on the counter attack and in Sam Vokes boast a battle ram of a center forward who will trouble the best Center-backs in the division.
He was the one who came closest to opening the scoring in the first half. Left inexplicably by himself, he met a Matt lowton cross from the right with a firm header that was off target…it was a free header and a lucky let off for the Gunners.
Arsenal kept probing winning the ball back just as quick whenever they lose it and in Walcott they seem to have a player re-born. He was working his socks off. The first half ended goaless but Arsenal shaded it on points.
The second half began in similar fashion as it ended, Arsenal looking for that elusive goal while Burnley playing for a point but happy to plunder a goal if the Gunners slip up and offer an opening.
it was a tale of misses from arsenal and that final ball always being the elusive piece of the puzzle to make the build up play click. Time kept ebbing away, Sanchez came ever so close with a volley from an uncleared cross..it just shaved the outside of the post. Walcott curled a sizzling 20 yard effort just inches wide.
By this time most watchers had called it a draw. 90+3MINS and surely the last throw of the dice..a short corner was taken, Alexis picked up the ball and floated a cross in ..Theo walcott who had been brilliant all game long, got his head to the ball first and cushioned it for Oxlade-chamberlain to connect with and some how bundle it in off Koscielny. There was a touch of Handball as well as offside in the sequence but the referee allowed the goal stand.
Cue delirium in the Arsenal ranks..there are few things as sweet as a last minute win. Undeserved? well you won’t find me complaining. This win allowed us close in on the Leaders Mancity following their loss to Spurs.We sit in third, 2 points adrift of the Top. The international break has come at a bad time for Arsenal as we are on a brilliant momentum at this point in time. Here is hoping that the lads return unhurt in 2weeks and ready to go again.