Arsenal got back to winning ways by seeing off a stubborn Burnley 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium to move level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The Gunners controversially lost 1-0 at Newcastle United last time out but had no such problems on Saturday afternoon, easing to victory, albeit after being made to work hard for the win.
However, Leandro Trossard’s bundled effort on the stroke of half-time finally broke the visitors’ brave first-half resistance.
And even though Josh Brownhill’s deflected 54th-minute shot brought the Clarets level against the run of play, William Saliba headed the hosts back in front just three minutes and 39 seconds later.
The returning Oleksandr Zinchenko added a spectacular third with 16 minutes to go and despite substitute Fabio Vieira’s late red card – which Gunners boss Mikel Arteta later applauded – Arsenal held on for the win that lifts them above north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and into second in the table, level on points with champions City ahead of their Super Sunday trip to Chelsea.
Struggling Burnley, meanwhile, stay in 19th place after this latest defeat.
Arsenal: Raya (7), Tomiyasu (7), Saliba (7), Gabriel (7), Zinchenko (9), Trossard (8), Rice (6), Jorginho (8), Saka (7), Havertz (5), Martinelli (7)
Subs: Nketiah (6), Kiwior (6), Vieira (6), Nelson (6)
Burnley: Trafford (7), Vitinho (6), O’Shea (6), Beyer (6), Taylor (6), Gudmundsson (7), Brownhill (7), Berge (6), Koleosho (7), Amdouni (7),
Subs: Ramsey (6), Bruun Larsen (6), Obafemi (6), Odobert (6)
Man of the match: Oleksandr Zinchenko
How Arsenal went second in the Premier League
Arteta’s team were looking to avoid making it back-to-back defeats in the Premier League after their much-talked-about loss at St James’ Park last weekend, although they were made to work hard for their victory by a well-organised and stubborn Clarets outfit on a sun-drenched November’s afternoon in the capital.
So much so, in fact, that the hosts were still looking for a breakthrough heading into first-half injury time, only for Zinchenko to cross for Bukayo Saka – fit to start – who then headed the centre back across the six-yard box for Trossard to bravely bundle home at the back post, despite getting clattered in the process by Burnley No 1 James Trafford.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made one change from the side that beat Sevilla 2-0 at home in the Champions League in midweek, with Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko replacing Ben White in defence, with the right-back not even in the Gunners’ matchday squad.
The north London side had injury doubts over the likes of Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, captain Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus heading into the game and only Saka started, although Nketiah did take his place on the bench, with the latter two still not fit to feature.
Meanwhile, Burnley were unchanged from the team that lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace last weekend.
However, Josh Cullen was back on the subs’ bench having served his ban, although Hjalmar Ekdal was still missing with injury.
Totally out of the blue, though, the visitors drew level when captain Brownhill’s low drive was deflected past David Raya at his near post, perhaps the wake-up call Arsenal needed as the hosts immediately went up the other end to score again.
However, Trafford – so solid while keeping Arsenal at bay in the first half – will be disappointed to have let Saliba get in front of him to head home Trossard’s left-wing corner just before the hour mark in what was the turning point of the game.
Zinchenko then volleyed home a third after Dara O’Shea had headed another dangerous Trossard corner against his own bar to give Arsenal breathing space, which proved important when Vieira, only just on as a sub, was given a straight red seven minutes from time after a studs-up tackle on Brownhill.
One thousand not out and counting for the Gunners at the Emirates – Opta stats
- Leandro Trossard’s opener was Arsenal’s 1,000th goal at the Emirates Stadium in all competitions. They’re just the third Premier League side to score 1,000 goals at a venue since the 2006-07 season (now 1,002), after Manchester City (1,138 at the Etihad) and Chelsea (1,028 at Stamford Bridge).
- All six of Leandro Trossard’s goals in all competitions this season have been assisted by Bukayo Saka. It’s the most one player has assisted another in a single season for Arsenal since 2015-16 (Mesut Ozil, 7 for Olivier Giroud).
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 38 Premier League home games against promoted sides (W33 D5), with this manager Mikel Arteta’s first home win against Burnley.
- Burnley haven’t scored more than once in 17 Premier League meetings with Arsenal, the most one side has faced any other without ever scoring multiple goals in the competition.
- Fabio Vieira became the seventh Arsenal player to be sent off in a substitute appearance in the Premier League, and first since Eddie Nketiah against Leicester in July 2020.
FPL stats: Arsenal 3-1 Burnley
|Goals||Trossard, Brownhill, Saliba, Zinchenko|
|Bonus points||Trossard (3), Zinchenko (2), Saliba (1)|
Why Zinchenko is so key for Arsenal
Analysis by Sky Sports’ Richard Morgan:
Ben White’s injury in training on Friday meant a recall at left-back for Zinchenko, with the multifunctional Ukraine international showing once again that Arsenal play better with him in the side.
As well as scoring his first goal at the Emirates in eye-catching fashion, perhaps more impressively the 26-year-old also had more touches (116), made more passes (94), won more aerial duels (7) and made more tackles (5) than any other Arsenal player on show in what was a player-of-the-match display in the November sunshine.
Certainly, his manager recognised the role Zinchenko played in Arsenal’s gritty victory, commenting afterwards: “I’m very happy with him. Especially against these teams the fluidity and threat that he brings, the spaces that he occupies and opens for other players is critical.
“I really liked how defensively committed he was today. The goal is a really good example of how he’s living the game – when the ball is far from him, he’s the first on the ball, that’s why he scores the goal. That’s what we need from him.”
So expect the full-back to be one of the first names on Arteta’s teamsheet when Arsenal return to action at Brentford after the international break.
What the managers said…
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta:
“Really happy with the result, especially the performance. After playing 72 hours ago and with the last three games – how we played against Newcastle, against Sevilla and today. How dominant we were against a team that is very difficult to dominate. The amount of situations that we generated I think we fully deserved to win the game.
“And with the red card, yes, VAR was right. The referee was right. Really good decision, really positive from Mikel to speak about that. Good decision.
“This is what this team does [bounce back from a defeat]. We play in the best possible way to keep the pressure at the top of the league. We give everything to win games and to earn it. When the opponent is better just congratulate him. I think we’ve been better in the last three.
“We’re in a really strong position for the international break. We need to get players back because at the moment we have eight players not available and that’s a lot. In December we have 11 games coming up, so we’d better get everyone ready.”
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany:
“We were solid first half. To concede the way we conceded is avoidable. It’s football. Good teams are there for a reason,” he said.
“Our team is as hard working as you like and resilient as you like. The club is filled with good, hard-working people. In the games we’re not expecting to have their level but we want to give ourselves a chance. This team wants to embrace this challenge.”
After the international break, Arsenal travel to Brentford on Saturday November 25; kick-off 5.30pm.
Burnley are also in action on Saturday November 25 when they host West Ham; kick-off 3pm.