A late penalty from Alexis Sanchez earned Arsenal all three Premier League points against Burnley.
Below are four talking points from Turf Moor.
1. Burnley defend well in open play
There are few teams in the Premier League as well coached as Burnley. Sean Dyche has fashioned a collective which amounts to far more than the sum of its parts, and the Clarets were once again impressive in their defensive work against a top side on Sunday.
The hosts were compact from back to front and made it difficult for Arsenal to penetrate them through the middle, while they limited Arsene Wenger’s men to just two shots on target throughout. Seven of the visitors’ efforts on goal were blocked, meanwhile, with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski keeping Alexandre Lacazette quiet throughout.
2. Arsenal miss Ozil but Sanchez steps up from the spot
Mesut Ozil’s illness-induced absence from this game was a blow for Arsenal, particularly after the Germany international’s man-of-the-match display in the derby victory over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. Ozil’s invention would have aided Arsenal’s attempts to unlock the door against a resolute backline earlier in the game, with the north Londoners largely wasteful when they got into promising positions.
Sanchez was perhaps the biggest culprit of that, the Chilean giving the ball way far too easily and often picking the wrong option. Yet it was he who stepped up from 12 yards in second-half stoppage time to give the Gunners an important win.
3. Clarets unable to find a way through
Burnley probably had the better of the first half, before fading after the interval as they were forced to turn their attention to defending. Dyche’s charges looked to work the ball wide and deliver crosses into the box, with Ashley Barnes – and, later, Chris Wood – an aerial target against Arsenal’s three centre-halves, who did a decent job of winning key headers and blocking off runs.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson hit the post in the opening period and Steven Defour, Ben Mee and Robbie Brady all had efforts on goal, but the Clarets were ultimately unable to find a way through.
4. Arsenal must improve on the road.
This was only Arsenal’s second away win of the Premier League campaign, following last month’s 5-2 thrashing of Everton at Goodison Park. The Gunners were brilliant that day and were also the better team in a goalless draw with Chelsea, but a 4-0 mauling by Liverpool in August was embarrassing and Wenger’s side have also lost to Watford and Stoke City on their travels.
In the end they did just enough to overcome Burnley on Sunday, but it is vital that Arsenal improve their away record. A healthy return from upcoming visits to Southampton, West Ham United, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City would provide a major boost to their top-four chances.