Burnley 0 – Arsenal 1 (Ramsey 12)
Man of the Match – Francis Coquelin (Arsenal)
Arsenal edged Burnely to complete their 8th win in a row, in a closely contested game at Turf Moor! Having trounced Liverpool 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium last week, it was a contrasting display at the home of struggling Burnley. The Premier League may be far away, but Arsenal seem to be close to sealing a top 3 finish, vital to starting the next season afresh.
Burnley are known to be a team that battles hard. They may be low on quality, but they make it up with their work ethic. Unfortunately, that alone cannot guarantee survival in the toughest league in the world. Burnley had a mixed February and March. They managed to stun defending champions Manchester City 1-0, but lost 4 out of their last 8 games, 2-0 losses to Southampton and Liverpool, a 3-1 loss to Manchester United, and creditable draws against West Brom, Chelsea and Sp*rs.
Arsene Wenger made no changes to the starting 11, while Wojciech Szczesny, who missed the Liverpool clash with a rib injury replaced Matt Macey on the bench. The first real chance fell to the home side when Welsh striker Sam Vokes drove in from the left into the box, but Ospina smothered the ball. Mesut Ozil set up Alexis Sanchez, inside the box, but the Chilean’s effort went over.
Arsenal took the lead in the 12th minute, after some sustained pressure. Jason Shackell lost the ball to Francis Coquelin, who played it to Alexis, who saw his shot from outside the box blocked by a Burnley defender. It fell to Mesut Ozil, who advanced from the left inside the box, but Burnley keeper Tom Heaton managed to pull off a save. It fell to Spaniard Santi Cazorla, whose shot was blocked as well. It fell kindly to Aaron Ramsey, who made no mistake in smashing the ball to the top corner.
Burnley won a free kick outside the area just after Arsenal’s goal. It struck the wall and then another free kick from Kieran Tripper in a similar situation required Ospina to be at his best. This was after a Ashley Barnes run into the box was thwarted. Santi Cazorla had a free kick too, and it required Tom Heaton to scramble across, but the ball went out anyway.
Ben Mee and Michael Duff picked up yellow cards in quick succession, as Burnley played in their typically combative style. The rest of the half was played out in midfield, with both keepers having little or no action. Burnley committed several fouls, giving Arsenal free kicks, but the visitors were unable to take any real advantage out of them.
Burnley came out in the second half in earnest. The first opportunity fell to Ashley Barnes, and again Ospina came to Arsenal’s rescue. Burnley pressed hard, and didn’t allow Arsenal much room to attack. Alexis’ low shot was saved by Heaton after being set up by Ozil. Aaron Ramsey had another go at goal, but his effort was blocked.
Burnley’s best chance fell to George Boyd in the 69th minute, after Ben Mee crossed, having beaten Hector Bellerin. He completely scuffed his shot, when he should at least made the keeper work. Fellow striker Danny Ings fared better, when his overhead effort deflected, but Ospina managed to avert the danger.
Arsene Wenger bought on Danny Welbeck for the quiet Giroud, and he was immediately played in by Ozil. It went out for a corner. Alexis then played in Bellerin, but the Spaniard’s shot was blocked. Danny Ings managed to scamper his way through Arsenal’s defence, but Arsenal held on for 3 more vital points, and their 8th consecutive win in the league.
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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