Arsenal played a disappointing draw at Turf Moor today with the teams hitting the back of the net once apiece. As expected, the Gunners dominated the match with close to 60% possession and 15 shots (though only three on target), compared to Burnley’s nine, but in the end it counts for practically nothing; the points have been shared evenly.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring in the fifth minute after Willian pulled a counterattack through the middle and engaged the captain on the left. He slalomed into the box, went past Matt Lowton and James Tarkowski (a bit too easily perhaps), and squeezed an accurate low shot into the near corner with Nick Pope unable to keep it out.
But from that point on, Arsenal were being repeatedly hindered by a lack of focus, as well as luck on several occasions. A combination of both occurred in the 39th minute when Granit Xhaka took a needless second touch under pressure before whipping the ball towards David Luiz and hitting the body of Chris Wood. At that moment, he could only watch it go past the helpless Leno into the net.
Nonetheless, the Gunners could still have won the contest had they been calmer upfront on several occasions. Saka missed a sitter, Aubameyang could have easily added one or two more, Pepe wasted a lovely chance through a miskick. There was also a controversial moment when referee Andre Marriner gave Arsenal a penalty and showed Erik Pieters the red card, only to rescind both decision through a VAR intervention. It was, unfortunately the right call.
Speaking after the game, Arteta seemed angry and said it was an obvious handball, but it seems the boss didn’t see the situation too well. Pepe had hit it well and it was going in, but as Marriner was obviously told, the ball hit Pieters on the shoulder, rather than arm.
Overall, it’s a familiar sense of frustration for Arsenal. For what feels like a millionth time, they played reasonably well, created a lot against a resilient defence, and eventually paid for an individual mistake by dropping two points. There’s nothing left to do but hope for better luck and a different outcome next time.