Burnley 1-3 Arsenal: Aubameyang scores twice to share golden boot
Photo: Getty Images - Alex Livesey

Burnley 1-3 Arsenal: Aubameyang scores twice to share golden boot

Arsenal ended the season on a high at Turf Moor.

mattddawson
Matt Dawson
Burnley FCHeaton, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Cork, Westwood, Hendrick, McNeil, Barnes, Wood.
ArsenalLeno, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Monreal, Elneny, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Willock, Iwobi, Aubameyang.
INCIDENTSPremier League GW38 fixture between Burnley and Arsenal at Turf Moor.

Arsenal wrapped up their 2018/19 Premier League campaign with a rare away victory, beating Burnley 3-1.

It was a highly entertaining game of football for one with barely anything riding on it, yet Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice to ensure he shared the golden boot with Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.

Sean Dyche's men hit back through Ashley Barnes but youngster Eddie Nketiah was on hand to score his first league goal with the final kick of the game.

Story of the game

Given Arsenal had made significant changes from their midweek win over Valencia this was never going to be a classic, especially if you consider the Gunners' horrendous away form.

You can forgive a team with very little to play for to not be at the races on the final day, and that was certainly the case with Unai Emery's side.

They lacked rhythm and fluidity, and if there was ever a performance to typify the north Londoners season this was it. 

For much of the first 45 minutes, they were bullied by a physical Burnley team, with Barnes and Chris Wood both going close. The latter's chance was fantastic as he raced clear of the Gunners defence before striking the post. 

James Tarkowski then came close too, heading just wide from a corner.

The most drama that the game did provide was for a clash between Barnes and Bernd Leno. The German keeper had the ball in his arms but then ran straight into the back of Burnley's number ten.

Referee Mike Dean clearly didn't have a good view of the incident, giving Barnes a yellow, rather than Arsenal's goalkeeper.

The visitors best chances came right at the start and end of the opening period. Aubameyang, who came into the day in search of the golden boot, struck the post in the first ten minutes.  

Joe Willock, afforded a rare first-team start then curled wide right at the end of the half.

At the beginning of the season, Arsenal had a tendency to fly out of the traps in the second half. On this occasion, they did so again. Jack Cork's pass towards Ben Mee on the halfway line was misdirected which then allowed Aubameyang to latch onto it and race clear before finding the back of the net for a 21st league goal of the season.

Minutes after the hour mark, the Gunners doubled their lead as Aubameyang took himself level for the race for the golden boot. Alex Iwobi dinked the ball to the back post and the Gabonese forward rifled a volley into the back of the net for 2-0.

Burnley came back fighting, however, providing an instant response. Johann Berg Gudmundsson crossed from the left towards Barnes and he was left with a simple header to give the Clarets a lifeline. 

Despite conceding, Arsenal still looked comfortable. Pushing for a third goal, Henrikh Mkhitaryan slammed a shot goalbound from outside the box but Tom Heaton was equal to it.

As good a goal scorer as Aubameyang is, he's missed some superb chances this season. And faced with a fantastic opportunity to grab his second hat-trick of the week, he fired wide from almost point blank range with just over 15 minutes to go. 

Burnley's tactic for the final ten minutes was to aim to Peter Crouch. The veteran came on for the final period and looked to be a menace for the Arsenal backline.

However, their resolve wasn't sufficiently tested. Second half substitute Nketiah got to the byline and then managed to squeeze the ball home via a deflection to make things look a little more comfortable for the Gunners.

Takeaways

Burnley show their steel 

This was a difficult campaign for the Clarets. It started with Europa League football but nearly became a disaster as they sat near the relegation places for an awfully long time. However, Dyche was able to fix things and their display against Arsenal summed up their turnaround. It was a brave performance and for large parts, they were considerably better than the Gunners. Unfortunately for them, they were undone by some ruthlessness from the away side. 

Willock shows promise

The midfielder has been superb for Arsenal's U23s this term and arguably hasn't had his fair share of first-team opportunities. After impressing against Blackpool in the FA Cup back in January he's rarely been seen under Emery but his display against Burnley showed why needs to be involved in the senior team picture next season. 

Nketiah lively

The young forward was denied a loan move to Augsburg in the January transfer window and considering how little he's played it was a rather questionable decision to keep him at the club. He's barely played and despite being on the bench hasn't been given much of a chance. However, he more than took his opportunity on Sunday. He was incredibly lively and did well for his goal late on.

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