Arsenal 3-1 Burnley: Clarets once again architects of their own downfall in fifth straight league defeat
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Similar to the Crystal Palace game last week, the Clarets’ overall performance was much improved and offered plenty of promise.
But once again they were the architects of their own downfall, conceding three completely avoidable goals to lose for the 10th time in their opening 12 games of the season.
Having limited the Gunners to very little in the first-half, Mikel Arteta’s men broke Burnley’s resistance on the stroke of half-time through Leandro Trossard.
Vincent Kompany’s men did briefly draw themselves level through Josh Brownhill’s deflected effort, but the parity only lasted for three minutes before William Saliba restored Arsenal’s lead.
The hosts then ended the game as a contest by adding a third through Oleksandr Zinchenko before having substitute Fabio Vieira sent off late on.
Heading into the November international break, Burnley remain on four points with Sheffield United able to demote them to bottom of the table by avoiding defeat against Brighton tomorrow.
Vincent Kompany kept faith with the side that lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace, despite an improved performance.
Josh Cullen returned to the squad after serving his one-match suspension, but was only named among the substitutes.
Lyle Foster is unavailable after taking a period of leave for his mental wellbeing.
Arijanet Muric, meanwhile, is away with Kosovo for their rearranged Euro 2024 qualifier against Israel, meaning Lawrence Vigouroux is named on the bench.
Aaron Ramsey and Michael Obafemi both returned from injury to be named among the substitutes.
Elsewhere, Hjalmar Ekdal, Manuel Benson and Mike Tresor all missed out.
As for Arsenal, injury doubt Bukayo Saka was fit enough to start, but Ben White and Martin Odegaard both missed out.
The game’s first opening came the way of Arsenal, with Saka providing a corner that defender Gabriel guided over with his shoulder rather than his head.
The Clarets hit back with a good chance of their own though, Zeki Amdouni driving towards the Arsenal goal before unleashing a powerful effort from range that David Raya parried behind.
The visitors defended resolutely during the opening stages, staying in their shape and opting to pick their moments when it came to playing out from the back.
Burnley still knew Arsenal had the quality to come up with something out of nothing, which is almost exactly what they did 20 minutes in.
A stray ball fell for Saka in the box and the England man struck a rising effort towards the top corner, but James Trafford flew across goal to get a vital touch to tip it over his bar.
This saw Mikel Arteta’s side ramp up the pressure, Saka once again involved as he surged into the Burnley box only for Dara O’Shea to get back and deny him just as he was about to let fly.
The Clarets were given something of a let off on the half-hour mark when Kai Havertz was left unmarked from a Saka corner, but thankfully for Kompany’s men the German international was unable to keep his header down.
In the following passage of play, Burnley squandered a big chance to take a surprise lead as Johann Gudmundsson found himself through on goal after capitalising on a defensive mix up.
After taking a touch to settle himself, the winger dragged a shot across the keeper but Raya did well to get a hand to the shot, pushing it wide.
Burnley could certainly take confidence though from the attacking threat they were possessing, with Raya also forced to save from Jay Rodriguez’ swerving effort from range.
A big achilles heel for Burnley so far this season has been the regularity of them causing their own problems, often giving the ball away in dangerous areas of the pitch.
They were guilty of the same crime 10 minutes before the break when Josh Brownhill was dispossessed by Declan Rice, but thankfully Trafford was there at the end of the move to push Leandro Trossard’s effort over the crossbar.
The Belgian didn’t miss with his next chance though, nodding home Arsenal’s opener on the stroke of half time and receiving a clattering from Trafford in the process.
Saka, Arsenal’s most potential threat in the opening 45 minutes, grabbed an assist with a header back across the face of goal for Trossard to prod home under pressure.
It was the worst possible time for Burnley’s resistance to be broken, giving the visitors a huge mountain to climb in the second period.
The Clarets almost issued the perfect response at the start of the second half, with Luca Koleosho embarking on a mazy run into the Arsenal box inside the opening 20 seconds only to be denied by William Saliba.
Ten minutes into the second period, Koleosho was again involved as the Clarets pulled themselves level with a goal out of nowhere.
The winger beat Tomiyasu down the left flank before pulling the ball back for Rodriguez, who opted to take a touch rather than shoot. It worked out for the best though as his lay back fell for Josh Brownhill, whose deflected strike flew past Raya.
The leveller only served to fire up the home side though, who almost immediately restored their lead through Gabriel Martinell, who was denied by Trafford at his near post.
Three minutes after being pegged back, the Gunners did eventually put their noses back in front from the resulting corner when Saliba had the simplest of tasks, heading home from barely a couple of yards out.
While Burnley responded well to the setback, two almost became three midway through the second-half when Rice whistled a low, curling effort just past the post.
The Gunners did eventually stretch the gap to two goals when they made it 3-1 in the 75th minute through Oleksandr Zinchenko.
While it was a lovely volleyed finish from the Ukrainian, it was a case of Burnley creating their own problems yet again as they failed to deal with a corner into their six-yard box.
In fact, the ball ricocheted off O’Shea’s head and onto the crossbar before finding its way back to Zinchenko, who did the rest with aplomb.
Arsenal were forced to end the game with 10 men when, with seven minutes remaining, Favio Vieira was shown a straight red for a rash and over-the-top tackle on Brownhill.
The midfielder was instantly brought off and replaced by Michael Obafemi, who made his comeback from long-term injury.
Burnley did at least attempt to have a go in the final stages and make things interesting, but the hosts held firm to claim all three points.
Arsenal: Raya, Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Rice, Havertz (Vieira), Saka (Nelson), Martinelli (Kiwior), Trossard (Nketiah)
Subs not used: Ramsdale, Ibrahim, Sagoe, Walters
Burnley: Trafford, Vitinho (Odobert), Beyer, O’Shea, Taylor, Brownhill (Obafemi), Berge, Gudmundsson, Koleosho (Bruun Larsen), Amdouni (Ramsey), Rodriguez
Subs not used: Vigouroux, Delcroix, Roberts, Cullen, Redmond
Referee: Michael Oliver