Arsenal returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory against struggling Burnley at the Emirates Stadium.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring after just 14 minutes following a well crafted team move, and i
Unai Emery’s side made an electric start to the match and almost took the lead after two minutes as an Ainsley Maitland-Niles effort was superbly by Joe Hart. But it didn’t take long for the home side to break the deadlock, as Aubameyang rounded off a lovely team move following a delightful through ball from the recalled Ozil.
The Gunners dominated the remaining of the first-half and should have made their advantage pay as Maitland-Niles and Alexandre Lacazette both failed to convert good opportunities. Burnley offered little in attack during the first period in truth, with Ashley Westwood presented with their best opening in the game’s early exchanges.
Arsenal made a quick start to the second period and doubled their advantage after a swift counter attack, which resulted in Aubameyang firing past Hart for his 12th goal of the season.
Burnley reduced the arrears when Barnes made no mistake from six yards out following a game of preverbial ping-pong, but as the Clarets pushed forward for an equaliser late-on, it was the home side that wrapped things up as Iwobi smashed the ball past a helpless Hart.
Key Talking Point
After the Gunners 22 game unbeaten streak was ended last weekend by Southampton, they were also beaten in midweek by Tottenham in the EFL Cup.
The wheels has threatened to come off such a strong start to the campaign, but Emery’s men showed resilience by claiming claiming all three points with a fine performance.
With Aubameyang in their side, the Gunners will pose a threat to any team in world football – with the Premier League’s top scorer adding two more goals to his season’s tally.
Substitutes: Lichtsteiner (6), Ramsey (6), Iwobi (5).
Aubameyang stole the show once again for Unai Emery’s side netting two fine goals. The forward has returned to the top of the goalscoring charts in the Premier League with his brace, and yet again proved what a clinical striker he is.
— GEMI (@Gemmii96) December 22, 2018
Despite the team putting in a generally solid shift, Granit Xhaka was again wasteful in possession.
He gave the ball away numerous times in the first half in what was a frustrating afternoon for the Swiss international.
Xhaka is by far the worst player I’ve ever seen play in an arsenal shirt
— Hunter Elliston (@HElliston5) December 22, 2018
Key Talking Point
Burnley have had a troubled season after finishing seventh last year, with much expected of them this time around.
However, they looked devoid of any confidence and struggled to make any inroads into the game. Despite netting in the second half following a goalmouth scramble, they failed to pose any real problems to the Arsenal defence.
Defeat means the Clarets remain in the relegation places, and Sean Dyche has a bigjob on his hands to turn things around.
Starting XI: Hart (5), Bardsley (6), Long (7), Tarkowski (6), Mee (5), Taylor (5); Westwood (6), Cork (5), Hendrick (6); Barnes (7), Wood (6).
Substitutes: Vydra (6), Vokes (6), Lowton (N/A)
The Clarets struggled to make any real impression going forward, but Kevin Long can be pleased with the performance he put in at the back.
Often behind James Tarkowski and Ben Mee in the pecking order, Long proved today that he’s capable of mixing it with the league’s biggest stars – and that should bode well for him throughout the remainder of the season.
It was another difficult afternoon in goal for Joe Hart. The former Manchester City and West Ham stopper was up against it with such a potent strikeforce coming towards him, but he’ll still be disappointed to have conceded three times.
Hart made a couple of smart saves, but on the whole, will not look back at this game too fondly.
Both sides will be back in action on Boxing Day, with Arsenal travelling to the south coast to play Brighton.
Burnley, meanwhile, will look to get back to winning ways when they host Everton at Turf Moor.