Arsenal 2, Burnley 1

Burnley were once again denied a point against ten man Arsenal in controversial circumstances as Alexis Sanchez's spot kick in the eighth minute of stoppage time handed the hosts the points at the Emirates.

Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 5:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 5:57 pm
Andre Gray feels the pain of defeat

After Laurent Koscielny was central to the storm at Turf Moor in October, handling the ball over the line from an offside position late on, the Frenchman was in the thick of it once more.

Andre Gray looked to have salvaged a point for the Clarets when beating Petr Cech from the spot deep in to time added on - cancelling out Shkodran Mustafi's header - but referee Jon Moss awarded a penalty at the opposite end, penalising Ben Mee for a high boot on the Arsenal skipper who, for a second time, was stood in an offside position.

Chilean Sanchez took on the responsibility from 12 yards out and sealed the points with a cheeky finish with the last kick of the game.

Andre Gray feels the pain of defeat

The Clarets haven't won in London in the top flight in 42 years, when beating QPR 1-0 at Loftus Road, and their form on the road this season suggested that the sequence would be extended.

Meanwhile, the Gunners have only lost once when holding home advantage this term when being edged out of a seven-goal thriller against Liverpool on the opening weekend of the campaign.

But Burnley, looking to defy the odds in the capital, battled bravely and threw everything at their attempts to negate Arsene Wenger's men, just as they had at Turf Moor in October.

The Clarets gave the hosts something to think about early on when Ashley Barnes's physicality generated desperation in the home side's penalty area, as he headed Ben Mee's hooked cross in to the six yard box, but nobody could apply the all important touch.

Andre Gray feels the pain of defeat

The away side were happy to sit back, inviting the Gunners to seek balls over the top or shots from distance, and it proved effective in patches.

Alexis Sanchez failed to test Tom Heaton with an ambitious drive before the Chilean forward steered a header wide after stepping goal side of Matt Lowton from Aaron Ramsay's pass.

Arsenal, though, possess the pace and precision to tear holes in their opposition with ridiculous ease and as they worked the angles from wide positions they soon started to craft openings.

Gabriel and Alex Iwobi worked the ball in to the pocket in behind Stephen Ward, down their right hand side and, with the ball being worked infield to Mesut Ozil, the German midfielder tested Heaton down at his post.

Burnley continued to defend admirably, putting all they had on the line to keep the Gunners at bay, and it was an out-stretched leg from Mee that diverted Iwobi's attempt wide of the upright from Laurent Koscielny's assist.

It wasn't all one-way traffic, though, and the visitors certainly contributed on the counter. Barnes, with a sight of goal 20 yards out, hit the target with his right boot but goalkeeper Petr Cech was equal to the effort, palming the ball away for a corner.

Ozil pulled a first time shot wide of the far post when Boyd's headed clearance fell kindly and Gray couldn't find a way past Cech when turning in the box at the other end.

With frustrations growing inside the Emirates, star man Sanchez started to have his say. He firstly forced Heaton in to a low save down to his right and then curled an effort wide of the upright when side-stepping Boyd in the penalty area.

The Clarets did have another chance to upset the apple cart before the break when Cech spilled Boyd's cross and the ball ricocheted off the leg of Gray and wide of the target.

Ramsay flicked over the top inventively from Giroud's cushioned header as the hosts looked to open the scoring before Sanchez fizzed a strike over the bar with space opening up for him in front of goal.

The breakthrough came just before the hour when Mustafi stole a yard from Stephen Ward to meet Ozil's corner to guide a header across Heaton and in to the far corner.

However, the visitors were given hope of getting something from the fixture when Moss reduced the Gunners to 10 men.

Granit Xhaka's dismal disciplinary record came back to rear its ugly head as the Switzerland international jumped in on Steven Defour with his studs showing. Moss brandished the red and Xhaka took three-and-a-half minutes to creep off the pitch.

Burnley went close to making their numerical advantage count shortly after when, following Mustafi's foul on Barnes 25 yards from goal, Cech flicked Defour's whipped set-piece over the crossbar.

With Dyche choosing to introduce Sam Vokes, the Clarets started to utilise the Welshman's prowess along with the strength of Barnes.

The latter had a great chance to level matters when Vokes beat Mustafi aerially, Barnes held off Gabriel but the striker was unable to poke the ball beyond Cech from close range.

Arsenal went close to wrapping the game up late on when Heaton beat away substitute Francis Coquelin's thumping drive but the Clarets were handed their chance to level soon after.

Barnes, with the ball at his feet, was upended by Mustafi and Moss had no other option but to award a penalty.

Boyhood Arsenal fan Gray picked up the ball, hoping to tick off one of the things on his bucket list, and fired the ball past Cech despite the goalkeeper getting a glove to his kick.

The visitors then had three minutes to hang on for a famous point, only their second of the season on the road, but it wasn't to be.

In a state of de-ja-vu, bringing incredible parallels to the misfortune suffered at Turf Moor, Sanchez's cross dropped for Koscielny, stood in an offside position at the far post, and Mee was penalised for a high boot.

Moss pointed to the spot again, Sanchez stepped up, and the Chile international had the audacity to dink the ball down the middle to win it for the Gunners.