As it happened: Arsenal battle past spirited Burnley
Arsenal face Burnley. the Emirates Stadium. (Photo: Getty Images/David Price)

As it happened: Arsenal battle past spirited Burnley

Matchday live text commentary as Arsenal host Burnley at The Emirates, 12.30pm KO

dave-comerford
David Comerford
Goodbye
That concludes our text commentary. Stick around for coverage of the day's seven remaining Premier League fixtures. 
Where does that leave us?
Arsenal move level with fourth-placed Chelsea, who host Leicester at 15.00.

Burnley, for all their spirit, remain 18th, and could find themselves three points adrift of safety if results go against them. They'll be watching Southampton's trip to Huddersfield particularly closely. 

Tense between the bosses
Dyche and Emery shared a few angry words after the whistle there. A surprisingly bad-tempered affair all in all.
Full time
And there's the whistle. They had to fight for it, but Arsenal have beaten Burnley. Gunners fans can enjoy their Christmas. 

As for the visitors, those upcoming games against West Ham and Everton look all the more important now.

90+4'
Replays show Iwobi was just about offside, but Arsenal won't care. They're back to winning ways after two defeats on the bounce.
90+1'
GOAL! Arsenal 3-1 Burnley

Game over. The ball deflects to Iwobi in the six-yard box after a mazy run from Ozil, and he can't miss. The points belong to Arsenal, and Burnley will spend Christmas in the relegation zone.

90'
Burnley are running out of time. It's been a while since their last significant foray forward.
88'
Kolasinac teases one right across the face of goal but there's nobody there to kill the game off. 
84'
Burnley have six minutes, plus added time, to grab a point here. Some nervous-looking Arsenal supporters.
83'
Relief for Arsenal as Maitland-Niles is able to continue after a blow to the side of the head. They had made all their changes.
83'
A final change for Burnley. Matt Lowton on for Phil Bardsley. 
80'
A lucky escape for Arsenal, perhaps, as Xhaka wins a free-kick after going down under Vydra's challenge in his own penalty area. They had given the ball away cheaply in midfield again. 
78'
It's Lacazette who is replaced by Iwobi. The Frenchman looks unimpressed with that decision. 
77'
Wood and Barnes, a red card waiting to happen, make way for Vydra and Vokes. Like-for-like changes. Will either be the hero?
77'
Alex Iwobi is about to come on for Arsenal. Sam Vokes and Matej Vydra are also getting ready. 
75'
Arsenal need to get a grip of this game and take the wind out of Burnley's sails. 
73'
Ashley Westwood avoids a card after clattering Granit Xhaka. Just over 20 minutes for Arsenal to hold on and ensure a return to winning ways. 
70'
Barnes wrestles Lichtsteiner to the floor and latches onto a cross. For a moment he thinks he's bound to level things up, but the referee gives a free-kick.

Jack Cork has a chance shortly after but fails in a bold attempt to lift into the far corner. Arsenal looking open. 

68'
Another game without a clean sheet for Arsenal. That's only three in their first 18 games. 
67'
Still, you have to commend Burnley. They had struggled to create anything meaningful, but kept pushing and took a golden chance when it came.

Arsenal have upped the tempo in a bid to restore their cushion. 

65'
Arsenal won't be happy with that. Barnes is perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch after standing on Guendouzi a few moments ago. 
63'
GOAL! Arsenal 2-1 Burnley.

Now then. Burnley are back in it. There's a melee in the Arsenal penalty area, and the ball breaks to Barnes, who laces it in. Can they snatch a point here?

62'
It's been an eventful few minutes here. Jack Cork was also booked for after leaving a boot in on Guendouzi.
61'
Torreira's first contribution is to hammer a free-kick well wide.
59'
Guendouzi is the latest to be cautioned after a challenge on Jeff Hendrick. Ben Mee then takes down Aubameyang and follows suit.

In the meantime, Emery has made his second change. Elneny off, Lucas Torreira on. 

57'
Commentator's curse? Burnley are presented with their best chance of the day, but Wood's touch lets him down and Sokratis is able to intervene. Moments later, Kolasinac nudges him over in the box but the penalty appeals are waved away. 
54'
This one's settled into a bit of a lull now. Burnley haven't really caused Arsenal any problems, so the Gunners can feel pretty comfortable. 
51'
Replays show Aubameyang's shot did take a deflection, which rendered Hart powerless. 

Guendouzi briefly leaves the field after hurting his back but is OK to continue.

50'
That goal puts Aubameyang top of the scoring charts. He'll be eyeing a hat-trick now. 
48'
GOAL!!! Arsenal 2-0 Burnley

That could well be that. It's a pretty slick counter from the hosts. Kolasinac gets forward again, he finds Lacazette, Lacazette picks out Aubameyang, and Aubameyang smashes it past Hart for his second goal of the game. Long way back for Burnley now. 

46'
Leno takes a hit from Wood as he charges out to head the ball clear. The 'keeper is OK, but Wood is in the book for a high foot. 
Second half
Burnley restart the action at The Emirates. As it stands, they remain in the bottom three. Can they get something out of this?
Player of the half
Sead Kolasinac was the standout player in the first half. His darting run into the area led to the opening goal, and he has done his job defensively. An impressive performance so far.
S
Arsenal probably deserve that lead, but they've not really come close to doubling it. Burnley have played with a reasonable amount of confidence, but they're just missing invention in the final third. There's no immediate answer to that problem on the bench. 
Half-time
It's taken them 18 attempts, but at long last Arsenal lead a Premier League game at half-time. Aubameyang's goal separates the two sides as they head back down the tunnel. 
45+1
We're into two added minutes.
45'
Arsenal go for a second before the break, Maitland-Niles finding Lacazette, who goes past one challenge and hits the floor after another. No hint of a penalty there. 
44'
Burnley move forward again but they're not really able to make Arsenal sweat. This time Leno is able to gather after the ball is launched into the area.
41'
Aubameyang looks to thread through Lacazette but the pass is just about cut out. The ball is then cleared downfield, and Barnes and Sokratis very nearly clash again. This time the Greek is booked. It's getting a bit fiery at The Emirates.
37'
Already Arsenal have been forced into a change. Nacho Monreal is off and down the tunnel, adding to the Gunners' defensive injury woes. Stephan Lichtsteiner is on  in his place. 
35'
Furious tussle between Barnes and Sokratis, with both off the pitch after battling for possession. A few other red and black shirts get involved. The referee shows Barnes a yellow after the scuffle is broken up.
31'
Lacazette finds space on the right-hand side of the area and attempts an audacious rabona cross, which comes to nothing. It's only 1-0, Alex. 
28'
Leno is able to punch the initial delivery and Arsenal clear. 
27'
Corner for Burnley. They'll have to make the most of these situations.
20'
A second chance of the afternoon for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but he shoots straight at Joe Hart. Arsenal pushing for a margin. 
18'
A good opening wasted for the visitors as Barnes strays offside. There are gaps to exploit, though. 
17'
Hammer blow for Burnley to concede so early. How will they respond?
16'
That's Aubameyang's 11th league goal of the season. Can he overtake Mo Salah at the top before the game is out?
14'
GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Burnley

Arsenal have the lead and it's Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who pokes it home. Mesut Ozil was instrumental in the buildup, finding Kolasinac with a superb ball across the box, and Aubameyang applies the finish after the Bosnian's cut-back. 

11'
Burnley enjoy a good spell of possession but then lose it with a hopeful punt forward towards Wood and Barnes. It's not the first long ball they've attempted today, and it won't be the last.
8'
A real scramble in the Burnley six-yard box but the Clarets are able to hack it away eventually. Arsenal are knocking on the door. 
7'
The ball falls to Xhaka 25 yards out, the crowd urge him to shoot and he predictably obliges. Hart saves the low shot comfortably enough. 
6'
Elneny is muscled off the ball in the middle of the park and Burnley drive forward, but they can't fashion out a chance. 
4'
Arsenal deal with the set-piece well and are back in possession. 
4'
Burnley have a corner here...
2'
Great early chance for Arsenal. Aubameyang picks it up in the area and feeds Maitland-Niles, who forces Joe Hart into a good low save. Burnley scramble it clear, and Wood finds space at the other end but can't get a meaningful shot away. Lively start. 
Kick-off
Aubameyang gets us under way at The Emirates.
The two teams emerge into the North London sunshine. Kick-off is less than five minutes away. 
Burnley's misfiring strikeforce
We're nearly halfway through the season now, but Burnley's two frontmen today, Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, have just three league goals between them. They'll have to be clinical if a chance does present itself. Top scorer Sam Vokes starts on the bench...
Ozil returns
Mesut Ozil starts his first Premier League game since the 1-1 draw with Wolves on November 11. He could be the Gunners' key player today as they look to pick a way through the Burnley defence. 
Aubameyang sets sights on Salah
Mohamed Salah moved back to the top of the Premier League scoring charts with his goal against Wolves last night. Aubameyang, who has 10 to his name, will look to respond here. 
Arsenal's shape
It looks like Emery with field three centre-backs once again, with Elneny dropping into defence alongside Sokratis and Monreal. That gives Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac more attacking freedom as wing backs. 
Burnley XI
It's five at the back once again for the visitors.

Starting: Hart; Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood; Barnes, Wood

Subs: Heaton, Lowton, Vokes, Gibson, Vydra, McNeil, Koiki

Arsenal XI
As suspected, Mesut Ozil returns to the starting line-up. The other headline team news is that Mohamed Elneny starts, with Lucas Torreira dropping to the bench.


Starting: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Monreal, Kolasinac; Elneny, Guendouzi, Xhaka; Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Torreira, Ramsey, Iwobi, Saka, Nketiah

Burnley team news
Burnley's midfield looks particularly depleted. Johann  Berg Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady and Steven Defour are all doubtful, while Aaron Lennon and Jon Walters are definitely out.

Stephen Ward and Nick Pope are the only absentees elsewhere.

Arsenal team news
Arsenal still have plenty of injuries to contend with. Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding are all out, while Sead Kolasinac is doubtful. Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss this one with an ankle injury. 

Mesut Ozil could return to the starting line-up after being left out against Spurs. 

Dyche plays down Arsenal dip
Sean Dyche:

"I don’t think that constitutes anything other than what can happen in football, and they are still a fine side, whichever way you look at it.

"It’s another tough task, but one we take on after showing good signs last weekend at Tottenham and we know we have to deliver a very strong performance to get anything."

Emery on Burnley's 'personality'
Unai Emery:

"I trust in my players, I trust in our strikers, and tomorrow we need every supporter to help us. We are also going to push to give them a good match with energy, by playing well, and also with the three points in victory.

"We will play with a big respect for Burnley because they are a very good team with very good players. They played very well organised and also defensively they are very strong, and they have the personality to play with the long ball, the second action, a lot of crosses and have players with quality to score. This is a big match tomorrow."

Stats: Burnley look to end 44-year wait
Burnley have lost on all seven of their trips to Arsenal since they won there back in 1974.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last ten meetings with the Clarets, shipping just four goals during those games.

If Burnley are defeated again here, they would match their tally of losses (12) from the whole of last season. 

Attack vs defence?
It's too hard to predict how the two sides will approach this game. Arsenal will probably go hell-for-leather and hope they can overwhelm Burnley with their attacking strength. The visitors might once again line up with a back five and defend deep, potentially looking to capitalise on Arsenal's vulnerabilities through counterattacks and set pieces. 
Another trip to North London for Burnley
Burnley are currently in the relegation zone but are only behind Southampton on goal difference. They defended valiantly in their meeting with Spurs last weekend, only to be denied a point by a late, late Christian Eriksen winner. This is another almighty test, and Sean Dyche might already have one eye on upcoming, kinder fixtures against Everton and West Ham.
Arsenal's wobble
After putting together a 22-match unbeaten run, Arsenal have been beaten in their last two games. A dramatic 3-2 defeat at St Mary's last Sunday was followed by a North London Derby loss, and League Cup exit, in midweek. Will they be more motivated than ever, or will Burnley spoil their Christmas?
Welcome!
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live text coverage of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at The Emirates. I'm David Comerford and I'll be bringing you all the action as the Gunners look to return to winning ways in their final match before Christmas. Kick off is at 12.30 on Saturday afternoon.
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