Gunners Tuck into a bit of Claret Crumble
Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Calum Chambers helped Arsenal to a comfortable 3 – 0 victory over Burnley on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s men went into the encounter 10 points better off than their opponents but did not get off to the start they would have hoped for. Burnley pressed forward as often as they could in the opening minutes applying early pressure and forced the defence into making mistakes.
The Clarets created a few chances of their own but lacked a real goal-scoring threat up front. They continued to frustrate the home side throughout the half and the teams went into the interval all square.
It was much of the same after proceedings resumed and it looked to be that sort of day for Arsenal, where they were the more dominant in possession having nearly 70% of the ball, however, could not find a way through the visitor’s resilient defence.
Burnley have struggled to adapt to life in the English top flight and were searching for their first win of the season to lift them off bottom but the pressure eroded their backline and, on 70 minutes, the cracks opened up.
Chambers floated a beautiful cross into the box which Jason Shackell and Michael Duff reacted to far too slowly, allowing Sanchez to pounce with a close-range header.
Two minutes later and the game was effectively over for Burnley. Danny Welbeck, who has struggled for form of late, failed to capitalise on an almost open goal but fortunately for the Gunners the ball fell to Chambers and the young full-back swung his foot to score his first for the senior team.
The two-goal lead allowed Wenger to introduce Theo Walcott with 12 minutes remaining. The winger had been out of action since suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in January and a short spell on the pitch to regain match fitness will have buoyed the whole squad in their pursuit of the top four.
Lukas Podolski, who snuck on under Walcott’s shadow, livened up proceedings with a very impressive cameo which saw him force a fine save out of Tom Heaton before rattling the woodwork.
It was inevitable that there would be another goal and it came from the most likely source, Sanchez, who latched onto a seemingly wasteful Kieran Gibbs cross that the visitors defence never picked up to score his tenth of the season.
The win lifts Arsenal to fourth while Burnley remain in last place and five points adrift. Sean Dyche will be hoping for a speedy improvement as it was largely down to their away form that Burnley were relegated in the 2009 / 2010 campaign.