Arsenal in Clarets clincher
Written By: Robert Halter
Burnley had lost on their last five visits to Arsenal in all competitions, prior to the Premier League encounter at the Emirates Stadium, late January. In the eighth minute from a ball across to the left by Granit Xhaka, a strike from long distance by Alexis Sanchez, flew wide over the right frame of the goal. Two minutes later, from a ball over the top by Shkodran Mustafi, a miss timed header by Sanchez in the area, failed to find the target. In the thirteenth minute, the Clarets threatened from Matthew Lowton’s ball in, as Ashley Barnes struck a right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box which was saved by Petr Cech, in the centre of the goal. A minute later, a low left footed shot by Mesut Ozil from outside the box, was kept out by Tom Heaton at full stretch towards the bottom left corner, from an assist by Alex Iwobi. On the quarter of the hour mark from an Aaron Ramsey cross, a header by Arsenal captain, Laurent Koscielny from the left side of the area was saved by Heaton in the middle of the goal. A minute later, Dean Marney carved an opening for Barnes, whose right footed strike was parried away by Cech, towards the bottom left corner. In the twentieth minute, Olivier Giroud missed to the left with a strike off his left boot, after collecting a pass from Ozil. On twenty three minutes from a poor header out by Boyd, a snatched shot by Ozil, went past the right post, following a cross by Gabriel Paulista. In the twentieth eighth minute, Andre Gray was unable to trouble Cech, who comfortably saved his right footed shot, after a cross by George Boyd. On thirty five minutes, after Lowton pulled down Sanchez, a free kick by Alex Iwobi, was met with a header by Koscielny, as the ball flicked over off Ben Mee. In the thirty ninth minute, through a corner by Steven Defour, a header by Mee, went wide to the left. In the next minute, from the intervention of Xhaka, a shot from the right peg of Sanchez, was stopped by Heaton, in the bottom left corner. After Iwobi ran into Marney, a free kick by Ozil, was not cleared by the Clarets, before Sanchez blazed a shot wide of the mark. Two minutes into the second half, Heaton covered his near post, to stop a strike by Nacho Monreal, from a cross on the left by Sanchez. On forty eight minutes, a cross by Sanchez was knocked on from Giroud, and the ball was back heeled over the bar from Ramsey. A surging run by Iwobi, was whipped over the upright with a soaring strike by Sanchez, a minute later. But Arsenal got the breakthrough on fifty nine minutes, from an Ozil corner and a side glancing header by Mustafi, that went into the far left corner. On the hour mark, Marney had his effort stopped by Cech towards the top centre of the goal, from a ball over by Defour. Then on sixty five minutes, the Gunners went down to ten men, after a two footed lunge by Xhaka on Defour, as referee Jon Moss gave Xhaka his marching orders. Arsenal soon replaced Iwobi with Francis Coquelin. On seventy one minutes, Defour’s free kick was pushed over by Cech, after a shove by Mustafi on Barnes, had been penalised. The Clarets took off Hendrick for Joey Barton. After Marney was booked for a cynical foul on Ozil, he required treatment first and James Tarkowski took over, and then Sam Vokes took the place of Defour. On eighty minutes, a strike by Barnes was saved by Cech in the bottom right corner. Later, Danny Welbeck took over from Giroud, before Ozil was removed for Hector Bellerin. Towards the end, Heaton was at full stretch to beat away Coquelin’s strike. But in stoppage time, Barnes was clipped by Coquelin in the box and Gray fired the spot kick down the centre as a distraught Arsene Wenger was asked to leave the technical area by referee Moss. Heaton then pushed behind a right footed strike by Sanchez, after Ramsey supplied the Chilean. However in the final piece of drama, Moss awarded the Gunners a penalty for a high kick by Mee on Koscielny and up steeped Sanchez to curl the spot kick down the middle to seal a 2-1 victory for Arsenal, to put the Gunners second in the table behind Chelsea.