Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: The Warmdown
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Burnley gave Arsenal a competitive test throughout the 90 minutes at Turf Moor but ultimately fell to a 4th defeat of the season to remain in the relegation zone.

The Clarets started brightly, Ashley Barnes having a headed chance in the box which he put wide of the left hand post. Arsenal's patience eventually paid off though by drawing a foul from Ashley Westwood just outside the penalty area. Martin Odegaard converted the resulting free kick for his first goal of the season.

Arsenal nearly doubled their advantage just before halftime with Emile Smith-Rowe firing just over. Burnley up their intensity on the Gunners defence in the second half and thought they had a penalty when substitute Matej Vydra was brought down by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. Replays showed though that he had clearly won the ball and so VAR overturned Antony Taylor's original decision. 

  • A tale of two styles

Whilst hopes of repeating last season's excellent win at the Emirates Stadium was in the minds of most Clarets fans who made their way into Turf Moor, such a feat would have been difficult. That win last December was Burnley's only triumph against Arsenal in the Premier League era. The Gunners had racked up an impressive 10 victories against Burnley in the top flight since the 2009/10 season prior to the latest meeting of these two sides.

But this is an Arsenal side currently in transition.

Only bottom placed Norwich City had a worse goal difference in the league before this 3pm kick-off, an indication of where Mikel Arteta's side need to improve. Therefore, it was no surprise to see Sean Dyche deploy his traditional 4-4-2 formation with strong target men Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes continuing their partnership up front. An emphasis to test the Gunners central defenders with balls landing into the box from wide angles was apparent throughout the match. In particular, Burnley looked to expose summer signing Ben White who has not had the smoothest of transitions since his £50m summer move from Brighton & Hove Albion. 

In contrast, the Arsenal boss named 5 attack minded players in his starting XI in the hope of outscoring the opposition to compensate for current weaknesses in defence. Having previously discussed a desire to continue with his preferred philosophy, Arteta's side built out from the back, being patience in their build up play with several passes completed before attempting a shot on goal. Burnley's strong defensive structure forced Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out wide at times to receive possession of the ball, a player who has scored more goals against Burnley than any other side in English Football. 

It was perhaps no surprise then that the game was decided by a set piece rather than from open play. A stunning free kick from Martin Odegaard on the 30 minute mark proved enough to claim Arsenal their 2nd Premier League victory of the campaign. 

Burnley looked to stretch the Gunners back line in the second period by bringing on Matej Vydra to offer a bit more pace up front. Ultimately though, a lack of quality was missing once again in the final 3rd. Thus allowing the travelling supporters to sing out the classic song, "1-0, to the Arsenal". 

  • Encouraging start for Cornet

 

 

 

 

 

Embed from Getty Images

A great sense of anticipation was felt amongst Clarets fans following the signing of Maxwel Cornet from Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais. The Ivory Coast International was Burnley's first signing from a foreign club since Belgium midfielder Steven Defour back in 2016. Adaptable to play both full back positions as well as a wide midfielder, it didn't take long for Cornet to show the Burnley fans what he is capable off. 

After coming on from the bench to replace Johann Gudmundsson and make his Burnley debut on the left hand side of midfield, Cornet immediately looked to run at the Arsenal defence. His direct play appeared to inspire others around him, linking up with Josh Brownhill and Dwight McNeil in several passages of play. Such movement lead to Cornet having a chance to mark his debut with a goal, only for Aaron Ramsdale to palm his shot from inside the box over the bar. Such willingness to attempt an effort at goal is something which may ease the pressure on last season's top scorer Chris Wood. Burnley's three wingers last season only contributed 5 Premier League goals in total between themselves.

Right at the death, Cornet showed his versatility by instead playing on the right, whipping in a brilliant cross for Jay Rodriguez to score a last minute equaliser only for his header to go wide of the post.

  • Ramsdale's commanding performance

 

 

 

 

 

Embed from Getty Images

Arsenal fans could perhaps have been forgiven for viewing the signing of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United with a sense of caution. The young Englishman had suffered consecutive relegations from the Premier League with his previous two clubs. However with three starts for the Gunners now under his belt, he is yet to concede a goal. A feat last achieved for an Arsenal goalkeeper by Poland international Wojciech Szczesny

A notable aspect from Ramsdale's standout performance was the way in which he handled Burnley's aerial threat. The goalkeeper dealt with ever ball which came into the box through either a commanding catch or a firm punch to remove any danger. Such a scenario is what caught out Bernd Leno in the opening day away defeat to newly promoted Brentford. With Arsenal's next league fixture being the North London derby at Emirates Stadium, a show in faith to continue with Ramsdale by Arteta could confirm his position as the teams number one choice.

VAVEL Logo