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Arsenal grabbed an injury-time victory at Burnley on Sunday after Alexis Sanchez converted a 92nd-minute penalty to move the Gunners up to fourth in the Premier League standings.
Burnley lost just their second home match of the 2017-18 Premier League season after James Tarkowski was penalised for pushing Aaron Ramsey inside the box with barely a minute left on the clock.
The Gunners now sit one point above Tottenham Hotspur after beating their north London rivals 2-0 last Saturday, manager Arsene Wenger’s side clinching only their second away league win of the campaign.
Burnley entered Sunday’s duel having lost only one home game all season, with Turf Moor having established a fortress mentality among its players since the 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion back in August.
And it was the Clarets who took the game to the Gunners early on, Johann Gudmundsson rattling Petr Cech’s near post with an effort that Charles Watts of football.london said could have easily put them ahead:
Charles Watts @charles_watts
Gudmundsson hits the post, all started from a mistake by Bellerin. Arsenal need to wake up here.
Ashley Barnes led the line for Burnley in just his third league start of the campaign, but the majority of their first-half chances came from midfield as Robbie Brady and Steven Defour also tried to find the breakthrough.
The same could be said for Arsenal as Ramsey and Granit Xhaka each saw attempts go astray, while wing-back Sead Kolasinac was also an imposing figure in attack for the guests.
There was outcry from the visiting fans when Ramey appeared to suffer a foul by the opponent only to have a free-kick awarded against him, per sports writer Jonny Singer:
Jonny Singer @Jonny_Singer
Aaron Ramsey has just been penalised for being the target of an attempted murder. Seems legit.
After a somewhat sluggish start, Arsenal led in shots at goal by eight to four at the interval, per WhoScored.com, and had amassed almost two-thirds of the possession in their favour, albeit with nothing to show.
Burnley would have been the happier of the two teams as far as the scoreline was concerned coming back out for the second period, and journalist Will Unwin hailed their progress despite some big summer departures:
Andre Gray’s move to Watford had also relieved the Clarets of firepower up front, and Barnes was struggling to impose himself on an Arsenal centre-back trio of Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal.
Chances were few and far between in the second half, and it became clear heading into the final 20 minutes that one goal could be enough to settle the game. After losses at Manchester City and Cologne, the guests were at risk of losing three successive away games for the first time since April 2010, per AllArsenal.com.
Arsenal’s bench came to have an impact as Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck came on for Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette, respectively, the former impressing Layth Yousif of the Islington Gazette late on:
Excellent give and go from Wilshere to Sanchez as the midfielder’s shot is deflected wide. The Hitchin-born 25-year-old has injected a level of urgency in the Arsenal side. Still 0-0 here at Burnley https://t.co/YjGJ1Kj9yE
Iwobi’s performance had drawn some criticism, but the remaining Arsenal stars could have no greater presence in front of goal and were even pushed back into their own territory late on by the hosts.
Perseverance paid off, though, when a cross into the box saw Tarkowski bundle Ramsey over inside the box. Sanchez stepped up to tuck home from 12 yards, and Match of the Day illustrated the reception given to referee Lee Mason at full-time:
Match of the Day @BBCMOTD
That is the winner.
Sanchez’s spot kick wins it for #AFC at the death.
The referee is greeted with a chorus of boos from the home supporters.
#BURARS https://t.co/dABknkBuYv https://t.co/haaymGTI78
Arsenal had taken only four points away from home in the league this season prior to Sunday’s clash, and for all the criticism they may court for lacking heart, this display dispelled some of those concerns against stiff opposition.
Burnley ultimately paid the price for being conservative in attack, and Arsenal now have three consecutive home games to look forward to as they host Huddersfield Town, Manchester United and BATE Borisov in the UEFA Europa League.