As always, Arsenal had one job; get the three points. However, after four of their top six rivals (Liverpool, Spurs, Man City and Man United) dropped points, I was nervous. Whenever other teams drop points and Arsenal can take advantage, they rarely do. That’s just one of the reasons why they haven’t won the Premier League for 12 years.
Arsenal made a good start to the game with Alexis Sanchez creating chances for the Gunners. Mesut Ozil had a strike pushed behind for a corner as did Ashley Barnes and the game was entertaining at both ends.
Wenger’s men looked the more likely of the two teams to score first but it was never going to be easy to beat Burnley and they continued to defend well.
From an Arsenal corner, Aaron Ramsey put in a rabona cross but the ball was cleared by Micheal Keane before Olivier Giroud could attempt a scissor kick. What a goal that would have been!
Arsenal had 14 shots in the first half but only three of them were on target. In comparison, Burnley had just five shots, three on target. The Gunners needed to be more clinical in the second half if they were to get past a stubborn Burnley side.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Arsenal creating the majority of the chances and not scoring any goals.
Shkodran Mustafi has yet to lose a match as an Arsenal player. He scored his first Arsenal goal from a header inside the box to give Arsenal the lead. Mesut Ozil, who else, provided the assist.
In the 65th minute Granit Xhaka made a terrible two footed lunge on Steven Defour after giving the ball away and was sent off so Arsenal went down to 10 men. As a result of Xhaka’s dismissal, Iwobi was replaced by the more defensive minded Francis Coquelin.
Burnley made their three changes in two minutes. First Joey Barton came on for Jeff Hendrick in the 72nd minute. Dean Marney was then shown a yellow card and stretchered off after he fouled Ozil and injured himself in the process. James Tarkowski replaced him. A minute later, Sam Vokes came on for Steven Defour.
The game was not the same after Xhaka’s red card and Burnley tried to make their one man advantage count. In the 82nd minute Petr Cech beat Vokes to the ball as Burnley pressed for the equaliser.
Giroud was substituted in the 86th minute and replaced by Danny Welbeck who made his first home appearance of the season.
To waste some time Arsenal made their final substitution. Ozil went off and in his place came the returning Hector Bellerin.
Seven minutes of injury time was announced and, two minutes in, Coquelin’s clumsy tackle on Ashley Barnes resulted in a penalty to Burnley. Andre Gray smashed the penalty and even though Petr Cech got a touch, it was too powerful to be stopped. Burnley had their equaliser.
The drama however was not over. Manager Arsene Wenger was sent off for Arsenal and then Arsenal had a penalty. Ben Mee caught Laurent Koscielny with a high boot. Alexis Sanchez, as cool as you like, converted the penalty to give Arsenal another dramatic victory over Burnley.
This season, Alexis Sanchez has scored or assisted 22 goals, more than any other Premier League player. What a way to score his 15th Premier League goal of the season!
For once, Arsenal took advantage of their rivals dropping points and they finish the weekend in 2nd place. That’s what you call a dramatic match!