Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
Premier League review
Well, that was ugly.
Not an inspired performance by us, but then a win is a win.
The first half was muted for us, but the second half showed us step up more.
Burnley, with Sean Dyche as the best English manager at the moment, played well overall and managed to contain us. Moreover, Burnley were only a place behind us in the table pre-game, so it was never going to be easy.
Burnley started well, and looked to hassle and contain us. We didn’t really get into our stride, and it’s clear they had a definitive game plan.
We held on until half-time, but we were much muted as it stood.
At this point, it seems that the views of Rio Ferdinand and numerous other pundits were standing true. We could beat Tottenham comfortably, but struggle vs. Burnley.
We stepped up the tempo, though lacked the clinical edge in the final third.
Alexis, Kolasinac, Lacazette, and Ramsey all had half-chances.
Moreover, Bellerin had a penalty shout, which the ref didn’t take on.
However, there was a penalty at the very end which was far less contentious. Or at least Arsenal/Wenger would say so.
Ramsey was pushed whilst awaiting a cross, and TV replays showed the push clearly.
Burnley’s players, fans, and most likely Dyche also, would have felt very aggrieved. But I doubt if Wenger or the players would care that much. It was an unwholesome sense of déjà vu for Burnley, however Alexis managed to put the penalty away well.
It was an ugly win, but three points is three points.
So, it was not the prettiness of the Tottenham win.
Some can say we were lucky, or that we proved (almost) the pundits’ views correct. I believe we did, nearly.
We were not very sharp, and our passing was poor also. We did not utilise the ball well enough in the final third either.
However, we persisted until the end, and got a reward of sorts.
Should we beat Huddersfield, it would be a near perfect November. Yes, we lost to City, but it wasn’t a bad loss, and losing away to City is no shame.
Cech was pretty solid, kept a clean sheet, and made saves when required. Mustafi, Kos, and Monreal were pretty sure throughout, with Kolsanic being OK, and Bellerin in my mind poor.
Cech 7, Mustafi 7, Kos 6, Monreal 6, Kolasinac 6, Bellerin 5
Ramsey and Xhaka managed the physical battle pretty well, though they did not create much going forward.
Ramsey 6, Xhaka 6
Alexis showed his usual fight and guile, though Lacazette didn’t get the service he required. Welbeck did well when came on, as did Jack, though Iwobi was pretty poor. He needs to improve his decision-making and final ball.
Alexis 6, Lacazette 5, Iwobi 4, Jack 6, Welbeck 6
Man of the match
He contained the Burnley attack largely, and is very able in the middle of the back three. He seems to possess strong organisational skills, and we would have lost him immensely had he actually left at the summer transfer window.