Burnley tried their best to stop Arsenal from playing the way they wanted to this afternoon, but we managed to scrape through with all three points.
The Clarets side are known for their physical presence, and they didn’t disappoint in that aspect, causing all manner of problems for our side as we attempted to play open attacking football.
Every time we looked to break away upfield, our rivals would put a foot in or force a clever foul to stop us in our tracks, but that philosophy eventually cost them the goal.
Bukayo Saka found himself in behind the second line of defence and in a dangerous area before being brought down, and Martin Odegaard made no mistake in putting his placed effort over the wall and into the top left in tidy fashion.
Odegaard later said: “When we got the free-kick I immediately went to the ball. It was a big moment and a nice moment to see it go in. You need to hit it pretty perfectly, with the right speed and the right height.
“The game was kind of a war in the end. We know their strength. We played their game a little more than our own game. In the second half they played their game and they’re good at it. We need to be a little bit smarter when we win the ball.
“I believe in this team. Even though we lost some games in the beginning, I’m not too surprised we’ve got some points now.”
Our rivals tried to play more on the front foot in the second half, and did threaten to level things, and our worst fears struck when the referee blew to give the home side a penalty after Aaron Ramsdale was deemed to have taken Ashley Barnes in the box.
VAR stepped in however, with replays clearly showing that the goalkeeper had cleared the ball, although the controversy continued when the official opted to give Ramdale a drop ball after the decision was overturned, instead of the corner which would have rightly followed confirmation that he had in fact got the ball.
There were very few clear-cut chances in the 90 minutes in reality, but it was still an intriguing battle of whit and might, while the only shock for me was that no player was sent off with a number of strong tackles and emotional flare ups from both sides…
Two wins on the bounce means that Arsenal climb up to 12th place in the table at present, but we next take on rivals Tottenham in the league next, with EFL Cup clash Wimbledon up first in midweek.
- Aaron Ramsdale 8.2
- Kieran Tierney 7.3
- Gabriel 8.1
- Ben White 7.0
- Takehiro Tomiyasu 7.9
- Martin Odegaard 8.2
- Thomas Partey 7.1
- Bukayo Saka 6.7
- Emile Smith Rowe 6.1
- Nicolas Pepe 6.8
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 6.7
Arsenal subs vs Burnley
- Albert Sambi Lokonga 6.9
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles 6.3
- Nuno Tavares 6.7