Arsenal, With the past few performances put up by the Gunners from the hard earned victory at Hull City, dismantling Nottingham Forest, blowing up Chelsea and outplaying FC Basel the morale was flying high here against Burnley in what was considered a relatively easy fixture despite of it being an away game. With the 2 Manchester clubs dropping points earlier in the day it was a golden opportunity to mount pressure and close the gap on the top with a win.
The first half was quiet and for past some time it was the most dismal display we’ve seen by the Gunners with their passing and attacking. There was no fluidity and urgency shown by the players up front but the defence was stout and did what they had to do.
Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi put on a horror show and they will certainly want to move this game away from their memory sticks. In the second half with introduction of Elneny and Chamberlain there was some life in the game and in the dying stages of the game there were box to box attacks from both the sides with Arsenal dominating the proceedings the most. Laurent Koscielney stole the crucial 3 points with the controversial stoppage time winner and as they say in the end it doesn’t matter how you get them.
Petr Cech – 6.5/10
He was for most part of the game untested as Burnley had only one shot on target which he negotiated with very well but was heavily criticised for his distributions of the ball and passing into bad areas sometimes.
Hector Bellerin – 7/10
The Spaniard was once again firm in the defence but is missing a weapon in his arsenal from start of this season in form of creativity, lacks that finishing cross from the right flank and is often dispossessed running from sides.
Shokdran Mustafi – 8.5/10
Pundits questioned his 35 million signing and regarded Arsene to go for some trusted names with that amount but he is turning out to be impeccable figure and his partnership with Koscielney looks invincible. The best player of the match by some distance being a defender, kept Sam Vokes quiet.
Laurent Koscielney – 7.5/10
Grabbed the late winner and three crucial points for the Gunners and had a solid performance as always, looks more strong mentally with every game and no longer repeat the rash mistakes he once used to do.
Nacho Monreal – 6/10
Like Bellerin lacked the end product but was agile and watchful in the defence , needs to improve quality of his passing in tight situations and develop some attacking instincts.
Granit Xhaka – 6.5/10
Had a quiet game by his standards and had many passes intercepted in the midfield, was later subbed off by Elneny to regain some impetus in Arsenal favour.
Santi Cazorla – 7.5/10
Exceptional passing completion with making 102 of 104 to the right man and put on a classy performance, with Ozil and Iwobi lacking flair he was the one controlling the strings in the midfield this time around.
Theo Walcott – 6.5/10
He was seen in flashes and failed to provide a significant contribution, had more shots than anybody but his accuracy betrayed him today. Overall not a performance he would have wanted after good recent run of matches for him.
Mesut Ozil – 5.5/10
He looked tired and was way off his standards – false passes, losing possession, reckless shots and his control too was awful. Needs to pull himself up after this performance and flush out this game from the back of his mind.
Alexis Sanchez – 7/10
For once he seemed to have lacked quality in a game but his resilience is what helped him pose a threat to the Burnley defence without him being in his devastating best. Needs some change of environment and hopefully the International break will do some good.
Alex Iwobi – 5.5/10
Struggled in the left wing today but one bad performance shouldn’t lose his place in the team at the same time he should be vary of the competition at his position and needs to come back stronger in the next game against Swansea.
Mohamed Elneny – 6.5/10
Worked hard and brought in some energy in a tired Arsenal team.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain – 6.5/10
Decent performance but again lacked consistency.