Arsenal suffer Torturess Thirteenth draw of the season as Arteta's men fall short at Turf Moor
By Rob Worthington
So, we have our fourth draw in as many Premier League games. Away at Burnley is never easy and it was an incredibly uncomfortable game for the Gunners, but we absolutely have to start turning these draws into wins soon. Given the fact that this was our thirteenth draw of the season, it may not be totally obvious that there is actually progress being made under Arteta, but there definitely has been. However, despite some positives, the results must start to follow suit in order to avoid finishing in a humiliating position come the end of the season.
Firstly, the lineup; somewhat surprising. No room for Lucas Torreira or Nicolas Pépé despite the Uruguayan’s rest against Bournemouth in the cup and the Ivory Coast international’s substitution on the hour mark in the same game. This left Martinelli clearly playing out of position on the right-wing and our midfield looking unbalanced with Guendouzi and Xhaka. Generally speaking, Arteta would opt for Torreira, however, the Spaniard controversially chose the French youngster over him.
Nonetheless, the boys in yellow started stronger. We looked incredibly dangerous down the left-hand side shown through four gilt-etched chances created down the left for Lacazette and Aubameyang. Three out of four were off target. Aubameyang’s inverted runs caused all sorts of problems for Burnley’s Matt Lowton, however, arguably our biggest threat was Bukayo Saka. He delivered some beautiful crosses and seemed to have the better of Lowton. The impact of Saka lately speaks volumes considering his injury led to Arsenal’s attacking threat completely disintegrating.
As the game went on, Burnley grew into the match and the Burnley supporters got on top of the game with their distasteful booing towards every single Arsenal player on the pitch. This made the game a rather awkward watch. Arsenal struggled to play with any tempo at all and Burnley were certainly the better side in the second half. Jay Rodriguez undoubtedly missed the biggest chance of the match as he smashed the ball against the crossbar from just a few yards out. There’s no point dressing it up in any other way, we were incredibly fortunate on the day. For large spells throughout the match, the clarets were far superior.
On the other hand, we conveyed great character once more. Mustafi and Luiz were rock solid as they survived Burnley’s typical aerial bombardment while Hector Bellerìn was superb defensively. Arteta has improved our defence remarkably well, but, during the winter break its time to start working on our offensive style. Without Saka, our offensive game plan was ruined so we must start to find a way of adding a bit of variety to our attacking play. Also, those who perform below expectations consistently deserve to be dropped, it’s as simple as that.