Three things we learnt from Arsenal's last-gasp 1-0 win over Burnley
Laurent Koscielny’s last-minute winner gave Arsenal a precious three points as they laboured to a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor. Arsene Wenger’s side dominated possession and territory, but Burnley defended magnificently and went close to taking the lead themselves through Michael Keane and Berg Gudmundsson. There was an air of controversy about Arsenal’s winner as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s scuffed effort went in off the hand of Koscielny; nevertheless, the goal means Wenger can enjoy a happy 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager.
His team produced two vibrant first half performances against Chelsea and FC Basel last week, but failed to meet those high standards in Lancashire. The win though, moves Arsenal to within two points of the Premier League summit following Manchester City’s loss at Tottenham. Burnley will feel absolutely distraught not to get a deserved point, but there were plenty of encouraging signs for the remainder of the season.
Over the next few pages, we have suggested three things we learnt from this afternoon’s dramatic game.
Alex Iwobi Will Need Regular Rests
Iwobi has been an integral part of a fluid and nicely balanced Arsenal front three in recent weeks, but looked a little heavy in the legs today. The Nigerian is only 20, and this is his first full season as a first-team player in the Premier League. Arsenal are also slowly easing themselves into the routine of playing three games per week; this was their fifth match in 15 days. Iwobi still showed some nice moments, displaying the dexterity and close control that has made him a fixture in this Arsenal team.
However, the combination play in and around the penalty area that was so impressive against Chelsea was not quite as sharp. Burnley restricted Arsenal’s space in central areas, but the visitors still worked some good opportunities but were let down by technical errors in the final pass. Wenger has been stung in the past by over burdening young players too early in their career, and must not do the same to Iwobi. Leaving him out will be a tough call however, because no other wide option at the club does what he does.
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