Arsenal moved level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City courtesy of a hard-fought victory over beleaguered Burnley.
The Gunners had struggled to break down a disciplined Clarets side for much of the first half but broke the visitors’ resistance on the stroke of half-time when Leandro Trossard bravely nodded in at the far post for Arsenal’s 1,000th goal at Emirates Stadium.
Burnley equalised eight minutes into the second half when Josh Brownhill’s low shot was deflected into the net by Gabriel, but the visitors were level for only three minutes before William Saliba headed in Trossard’s corner from point-blank range.
Oleksandr Zinchenko completed the scoring with an acrobatic finish into the top corner after Dara O’Shea had inadvertently steered another Trossard corner onto the crossbar.
Arsenal finished the game with 10 men after second-half substitute Fabio Vieira was shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Brownhill, but the Gunners held on comfortably.
Burnley stay in the relegation zone while Arsenal trail league leaders City on goal difference – although Pep Guardiola’s team can restore their three-point lead with victory at Chelsea on Sunday.
“I’m very happy with the performance,” Gunners boss Mikel Arteta told BBC Sport. “The way the team dominated the game, we fully deserved to win.
“They were defending really deep [but] we generated a lot today and looked a threat every time [we came forward]. The timing of the equaliser was perfect.”
Trossard sets Arsenal on their way
Arsenal have had more than their fair share of injury troubles in recent weeks, but they were given a welcome boost before kick-off as Saka and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who both suffered knocks in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Sevilla, were passed fit to start.
Saka was heavily involved in the early stages and went closest to giving the home side the lead inside the opening 20 minutes, his rising effort from the edge of the area tipped onto the crossbar by Clarets goalkeeper James Trafford.
Kai Havertz – who endured another frustrating afternoon – should have done better from a Saka corner and Trossard had another powerful drive tipped over by Trafford, but the Belgian made no mistake after Saka rose highest to steer a Zinchenko delivery into his path.
The Gunners are just the third Premier League side to score 1,000 goals at a venue since the 2006-07 season, after City (1,138 at Etihad Stadium) and Chelsea (1,028 at Stamford Bridge).
The home side felt Brownhill’s second-half equaliser should have been disallowed for a foul on Tomiyasu by Luca Koleosho in the build-up – but they did not have to wait long to restore their advantage as Saliba was left unmarked to nod home his first of the campaign.
There were few complains from Arteta or his players when Vieira was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Brownhill, but Zinchenko’s scissor kick nine minutes earlier had all but ended Burnley’s hopes of salvaging a point.
Clarets show fight but defensive worries remain
Vincent Kompany’s Burnley have now lost six consecutive games since claiming their first win of the season at Luton in early October, but they were very much in the game before Trossard’s opener.
Sitting deep and defending in numbers, the Clarets succeeded in stifling Arsenal’s attack for the majority of the first half and could even have opened the scoring themselves.
Zeki Amdouni had a rasping long-range drive parried away by David Raya, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson was denied by the Arsenal goalkeeper after striding clear of the Gunners’ backline.
Brownhill’s goal early in the second half was no more than they deserved, but Kompany will be bitterly disappointed with the manner of Arsenal’s second as Saliba was left unmarked to head home from virtually underneath the crossbar.
“When the second half gets decided on two set pieces, it leaves a bitter feeling,” Kompany said. “In general play we did as well as we could in terms of being solid, aggressive and taking our moments.
“I would only ever have concern with a team who drop their standards. But this team have such high standards. There’s something unique in this club, but it doesn’t translate into results.”
One of few positives from a Burnley perspective was a first appearance of the season for forward Michael Obafemi, who came on with five minutes remaining after recovering from a long-term hamstring injury.
- 29HavertzSubstituted forFábio Vieiraat 59′minutesBooked at 83mins
- 7SakaSubstituted forNelsonat 81′minutes
- 19TrossardSubstituted forNketiahat 81′minutes
- 11MartinelliSubstituted forKiwiorat 89′minutes
- 21Fábio Vieira
- 22da SilvaSubstituted forOdobertat 88′minutes
- 7GudmundssonBooked at 90mins
- 8BrownhillSubstituted forObafemiat 85′minutes
- 30KoleoshoSubstituted forBruun Larsenat 80′minutes
- 25AmdouniSubstituted forA Ramseyat 80′minutes
- 21A Ramsey
- 34Bruun Larsen
Match ends, Arsenal 3, Burnley 1.
Second Half ends, Arsenal 3, Burnley 1.
Attempt missed. Michael Obafemi (Burnley) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Wilson Odobert.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Jorginho (Arsenal).
Offside, Burnley. Sander Berge tries a through ball, but Jacob Bruun Larsen is caught offside.
Jorginho (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jay Rodríguez (Burnley).
Offside, Arsenal. Gabriel Magalhães tries a through ball, but Eddie Nketiah is caught offside.
Jóhann Gudmundsson (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Declan Rice (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jóhann Gudmundsson (Burnley).
Offside, Burnley. Charlie Taylor tries a through ball, but Jacob Bruun Larsen is caught offside.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Arsenal. Jakub Kiwior replaces Gabriel Martinelli because of an injury.
Delay in match because of an injury Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal).
Substitution, Burnley. Wilson Odobert replaces Vitinho.
Attempt missed. Dara O’Shea (Burnley) with an attempt from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jóhann Gudmundsson with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Substitution, Burnley. Michael Obafemi replaces Josh Brownhill.