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What Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said about Gabriel Martinelli and David Luiz

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Delightful defensive display

Whisper it quietly, but Arsenal’s defence is actually… good.

 

After years of decline under Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery ‘s inability to fix it, Mikel Arteta has transformed the Gunners into a side that are hard to break down.

 

Of course the attacking brilliance in the recent run has been most eye catching, but the fact that Arsenal conceded just twice since Boxing Day deserves some credit too.

Leading the disciplined display were David Luiz and Rob Holding.

 

The Brazilian has often been criticised for his at times calamitous approach to defending his goal, but against Manchester United he was picked out by Gary Neville as man of the match (although this was in no small part down to his celebrating heading away Bruno Fernandes ‘ free kick like a goal).

 

Holding on the other hand was impressive again and will have done his chances of an England call-up in March no harm after putting in such an assured display in front of the watching Gareth Southgate.

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English FA explains why Arsenal were denied penalty against Burnley

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The Premier League has claimed that Arsenal were denied a penalty against Burnley because Erik Pieters was in ‘close proximity’ to Nicolas Pepe.

The Gunners were forced to settle for a point at Turf Moor after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener was cancelled out by Chris Wood, who benefitted from a huge mistake by Granit Xhaka.

However, Arsenal felt aggrieved in the 75th minute when Pepe’s touch inside Burnley’s box led the ball to hit Pieters’ outstretched arm, but Mikel Arteta’s side were not awarded a penalty following a VAR review.

Earlier this week, Fulham were involved in a similar incident as Mario Lemina was penalised for handball in the build-up to their disallowed goal against Tottenham.

But in a statement after the game, the Premier League clarified why Arsenal were not given the decision.

‘The ball has hit him from close proximity and he’s had no time to react,’ said the statement. ‘It wasn’t given on-field and the VAR didn’t think it was a clear error.’

 

Arteta, meanwhile, was left in no doubt that his side should have been awarded a penalty. ‘Absolutely,’ the Arsenal manager said after the game.

 ‘I think it is obvious and clear. I think there is no debate about that. ‘If that’s not a penalty, then someone will explain what a penalty is in this league.’

 

 

 

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Just In: Xhaka apologizes to Arsenal Fans for his costly mistake against Burnley

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Granit Xhaka is full of remorse for his horrendous display that led to Burnley goal, that cost Arsenal 2 points today.

He has come to apologize to Arsenal fans via his Official Facebook  Page:

It’s class from him.

 

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Match Facts: Burnley 1 vs 1 Arsenal

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Granit Xhaka gifted Burnley an equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal, in a match which also saw Erik Pieters’ red card and an Arsenal penalty overturned by VAR.

 

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang put Arsenal in control with an early finish that snuck through the grasp of Nick Pope (6). However, with Arsenal cruising and Burnley struggling, Xhaka inexplicably decided to play a pass across his own six-yard box which deflected off Chris Wood’s hip and into the unguarded net (39).

The game seemed to be meandering towards an uneventful conclusion but then sparked into life in the final 10 minutes.

 

Arsenal felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Pieters looked to have handled in the area but VAR did not deem it a clear and obvious error. Pieters – in the thick of the action – was then dismissed by referee Andre Marriner and a penalty was awarded when the defender deflected a Nicolas Pepe effort onto the crossbar. However, VAR showed that the block had come off his shoulder and Burnley had a reprieve.

Arsenal still managed to create one last chance in injury-time but Dani Ceballos curled an effort off the foot of the post as Burnley managed to hold on.

Player Ratings

Burnley: Pope (6), Lowton (6), Tarkowski (7), Mee (7), Taylor (6), Brownhill (6), Westwood (6), Gudmundsson (6), McNeil (5), Vydra (7), Wood (6)

 

Subs: Pieters (7), Brady (6), Rodriguez (6)

 

Arsenal: Leno (7), Chambers (6), Tierney (7), Luiz (7), Mari (7), Xhaka (4), Partey (6), Saka (7), Odegaard (6), Willian (6), Aubameyang (7)

 

Subs: Pepe (7), Lacazette (6), Ceballos (6)

 

Man of the match: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

 

Opta stats

  • Burnley have enjoyed just one win in their last 10 games in all competitions (D5 L4), after winning three in a row directly before that.
  • Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 games in all competitions (0-0 v Man Utd in January), after keeping five in a row directly before that.
  • Willian has provided an assist in each of his last three games for Arsenal in all competitions (3 in total), as many as he registered in his previous 25 for the club, while he is the Gunners’ top assister in the Premier League this season (5).
  • Only Cesc Fabregas (18y & 236d) reached 50 Premier League appearances for Arsenal at a younger age than Bukayo Saka (19y & 182d), who played his 50th game today.
  • Pope played his 100th Premier League game for Burnley, the 11th player to hit that milestone for the club.
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