Burnley burnt out by Gunners firepower
Written By: Robert Halter
The rock bottom Clarets had a winless run of nine games ahead of their away game at Arsenal, beginning of November. On the quarter of the hour mark, Alexis Sanchez combined with Danny Welbeck, whose strike cannoned off Burnley defender, Kieran Trippier, before the ball bobbled away to safety. A minute later, George Boyd went in the book for a clumsy tackle on Santi Cazorla and from the free kick, Sanchez drilled the ball into the Clarets’ shot stopper, Tom Heaton. On twenty five minutes, Sanchez supplied Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right wing and his ball across was met instinctively by Cazorla, whose strike flew past the top right section of the upright, as the Clarets’ continued to soak up the pressure. In the thirty third minute, Heaton was at full stretch to push away a long range drive by Sanchez, and as Oxlade-Chamberlain squared the ball from the rebound, Cazorla’s strike ricocheted into Burnley captain Jason Shackell and Michael Duff, before the ball was claimed by Heaton. Three minutes later, Sanchez was again dangerous with a dipping strike from outside the area which curled past the top corner with pace and precision from the Gunners marksman. In the fortieth minute, a close range block by Heaton kept out Sanchez’s strike on the left side of the area, after Cazorla had created space. Five minutes into the re-start, Danny Ings slipped while facing Wojciech Szczesny one and one, to squander an opening for the Clarets, following a poor back pass from Pers Mertesacker. As one hour approaches, a neat layoff by Mathieu Flamini teed the ball up for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but there was too much bend on the ball as his strike drifted high and wide. The Gunners soon replace their captain, Mikel Arteta for Aaron Ramsey. Midway through the second half, a ball over the top by Sanchez paved the way for Calum Chambers and as Shackell stepped in the way, Cazorla’s strike was blocked by Duff on the line. The Clarets soon made a switch by replacing Marvin Sordell for Lukas Jutkiewicz. Finally, Arsenal got the breakthrough in the seventieth minute, as Chambers floated in a cross from the right flank and Sanchez rose majestically to power a header past Heaton’s despairing dive. Within two minutes, the Gunners doubled their advantage when Cazorla’s corner evaded Mertesacker and as Chambers knocked the ball back to Welbeck, his strike cannoned off Heaton and as David Jones failed to clear, Chambers had the simple task of tucking the ball in from a short range inside the five yard box. A further change was made by Burnley as Nathaniel Chalobah took over from Dean Marney, while Arsenal took off Welbeck for Lukas Podolski and at the same time, Theo Walcott returned to action in favour of his fellow countryman, Oxlade-Chamberlain. With six minutes of normal time remaining, a scissors kick by Podloski had to be deflected away by Heaton at point blank range, from Cazorla’s well placed corner but Heaton had more work to do as he threw himself at the ball to force away a fierce strike by Walcott, who latched onto Sanchez’s pass. On eighty five minutes, Walcott’s floating cross was met on the volley by Podolski but his thundering connection sent the ball crashing against the left post. Near the end, Aaron Ramsey forced another save by Heaton, as from outside the box, he arrowed the ball towards the left corner. Finally in stoppage time, Sanchez added a third as he weaved his way through before slotting the ball home from a low left wing cross by Kieran Gibbs. The Clarets were denied a consolation goal as Szczesny had to scramble away the ball when confronted by Ings, who was unable to make contact. The result moved Arsenal back to fourth place in the Premier League standings while Burnley continued to prop up the table.