Arsenal 3 - 0 Burnley
After a worryingly fortunate win against Sunderland, Arsenal were looking to get their performances on track. And what better day to do it, as Burnley visited the Emirates.
Unfortunately though, the first half performance was just as bad as we have now come to expect.
As usual, Alexis was the only spark in the dull Arsenal side. Cazorla was looking useless as usual, and Chamberlain was struggling to stamp his authority on the game.
Welbeck was showing minor signs of positivity, and nearly scored were it not for a block off the line. Alexis also had a shot saved after a good move.
“Arsenal looked in danger of missing out on three points. Again.”
Burnley werent straining though. They seemed comfortable enough and were launching the odd attack here and there. When the half time whistle blew, Arsenal looked in danger of missing out on three points. Again.
Having said that, the second half was a massive improvement.
Alexis continued to hassle and hustle, and in the seventieth minute, he got his reward. Chambers swung in a great cross, and Alexis attacked it midair, planting it into the net with a well placed header. Relief.
Then, minutes later, Chambers followed up his assist with a goal. A scrappy corner led to Heaton saving a shot from Welbeck, but Chambers was there to tuck it home from close range. Arsenal finally had some breathing space.
“Theo looked lively, but Podolski looked electric. The German very nearly scored a brace…”
With a two goal cushion, Arsenal began to relax, and they started looking confident going forward. Creative, even. Something we haven’t seen in a while.
Walcott and Podolski were introduced, the former making his comeback from a long-term injury. Theo looked lively, but Podolski looked electric. The German very nearly scored a brace, had it not been for a great Heaton save and a volley off the woodwork.
It was Alexis again though, in the ninetieth minute, who scored Arsenal’s third. A good cross from Gibbs was controlled beautifully by the Chile man in the box, before he danced the ball into space and finished from close range.
Alexis was the man once gain, but the final half-an-hour was genuinely positive - from everybody.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Had almost nothing to do, except a brilliant one-on-one save in the final minutes, where Mertesacker was fouled. Distribution STILL needs work.
Defensively solid, Chambers made his mark further up the field today. His cross from Alexis’ opener was delightful, and he did well to grab his chance to score too. A great performance all round.
Fairly comfortable, although he hesitated to attack a loose ball late on, leading to a one-on-one opportunity. He was fouled, though.
Quite impressed with Monreal actually. As a make-shift centre back, you can’t knock him. Solid all game.
A good performance overall, topped with a good cross for Alexis’ second goal.
Can’t fault him today. Made some good interceptions and kept things simple when in possession.
No complaints again. Looked positive in the first half, but slowly become less important to the balance of the team as Arsenal tightened their grip on Burnley, resulting in him being replaced by Ramsey. Good performance though.
Lukas Podolski and the rest of Arsenal’s fringe players are currently hounding Cazorla for his secret. “How do you manage to start every game, despite playing so badly?” they ask. He remains silent.
But in all seriousness, Cazorla was very poor today, as he has been all season. Easy chances being missed, poor corners, and zero creativity in the final third, despite playing in the number 10 role.
The Ox: [5.5/10]
Not in form if you ask me. Worked hard, but couldn’t product the goods at any point.
Sanchez: [9/10] - MOTM
MOTM again. Worked harder than anybody else, was aggressive, and took both of his goals very well. A truly world-class player. His goals today reminded me of Suarez, especially the first one. *Tries not to get carried away*.
Could have had two goals were it not for a good block and save. Other than that though, Danny’s performance levels are dropping. Not particularly impressed with him lately.
Great to have him back. Looked lively, got into good positions and had a very good shot saved. Looks to have bulked up, but has also maintained his speed. Interesting times.
Lukas looks pumped these days. Had two thunderous volleys denied by the goalkeeper and the post.
Had one good shot off the outside of his boot, but apart from that, I can see why Ramsey started on the bench today. Not sharp at all.
Convincing At Last
For the first sixty minutes, Arsenal were poo. Again.
I was worried that another draw was on the horizon, but with Alexis in the side, a win is always possible. He worked his socks off as usual, and showed huge hunger for his first goal. He’s carrying us - which is fine for a while - but we need to start getting our acts together.
I think we did that by the end though, especially after Alexis’ opener.
Chambers and Gibbs pushed us forward, and the introduction of Walcott and Podolski really opened up Burnley’s defence. We looked more confident, more resilient. More Arsenal.
Let’s hope and pray that it continues.