Arsenal 2 Burnley 1
Mustafi 53, Alexis pen 90+8, Gray pen 90+3

Arsenal won a cracker of a match at the Emirates stadium, full of incident and drama. The Gunners were reduced to ten men when Granit Xhaka was shown a straight red card for a foul on Steven Defour with 65 minutes on the clock. One up at that stage courtesy of Shkodran Mustafi’s first Arsenal goal, the ten men of Arsene Wenger’s side held up well until substitute Francis Coquelin caught Ashley Barnes in the area to concede a penalty deep into the seven minutes of injury time. Andre Gray struck from the spot to level to leave Wenger furious on the sidelines. The Arsenal manager was sent to the stands for his reaction, at what looked like two points squandered. A final assault of Tom Heaton’s goal however would provide more drama. Ben Mee caught Laurent Koscileny in the face with his boot and Jon Moss now awarded the Gunners a penalty. With virtually the last kick of the match, up stepped Alexis Sanchez, cool as you like with a Panneka to beat Tom Heaton. The win lifts Arsenal up to second in the Premier League table and demonstrated the spirit that the ten man red and white shirts which Wenger says will be crucial coming into the second stage of this season.

Arsenal welcomed back fit again Danny Welbeck but he was only among the substitutes as Wenger named the same starting eleven which won 4-0 at Swansea.

Arsenal, full of inventive play and neat football, as actually so we’re Burnley who despite sitting back with just Gray up top, sprung forward at every opportunity. That style suited Arsenal and Mesut Özil was unfortunate to see his shot on 14 minutes pushed away for a corner by Heaton. From that corner, Koscielny saw his header held by Heaton and for the first time in the afternoon, we saw Gray threaten with his pace, only to be crowded out by the retreating Arsenal defence. On the half hour mark, the move of the half saw Arsenal sweep forward with Özil’s shot which was deflected for a corner when it deserved better. Aaron Ramsey’s rabona couldn’t tee up Olivier Giroud who was primed with a scissor kick.

Heaton was the busier of the two keepers and he was alert to tidy up as Özil lifted ball to shoot from Mustafi’s long pass out. Five minutes before the break and Heaton held from Alexis’ 20 yard shot, and three minutes later a brilliant piece of Alexis skill. The Chile striker collected the ball from Burnley’s clearance from a corner, side stepping his marker but firing wide without troubling Heaton.

Goalless at the break, Ramsey had a first second half sighter on Burnley’s goal, but Heaton held his shot. Ramsey is getting back to the form which enabled Wales to enjoy a successful Euro campaign, and the former Wales captain attempt at a scorpion kick from Giroud’s cushioned header went high over the target. Perhaps Giroud will need to show him how it’s done?

By his own high standards, Alex Iwobi hasn’t been at his best of late and here he meandered in and out of the game as Burnley stayed back in numbers. Iwobi can get the best of any defence on his day, but he needs to be at it in every game.

Seven minutes after the break, Ozil Iwobi and Alexis surged to breakaway, but despite Alexis hitting his shot cleanly, watched as the ball flew just over Heaton’s bar.

Then a moment when Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty. Gray clipped Mustafi’s heel, causing the German to fall, but referee Jon Moss waved play on.

Just before the hour mark however, Arsenal and Mustafi had their reward. Özil swung in a corner and Mustafi was first to rise to steer his header past Heaton for his first ever Arsenal goal.

Defour had been tussling with Gabriel and Xhaka in an intriguing encounter of strength and will. Having missed the ball however, Arsenal’s Swiss defender appeared to lunge at Defour and saw a straight red card to add to the one he received in the 3-2 win over Swansea here in October.

With more than half an hour to play with time added on, ten man Arsenal had to not only keep their lead, but also ensure they didn’t lose their discipline any further. Iwobi made way for Coquelin as the Clarets sensed a opening. A Defour free kick tested Cech, forcing the Arsenal keeper to push the ball over for a corner.

With three minutes of normal time remaining, Giroud made way for Welbeck and then Özil was replaced by Hector Bellerin.

Still a goal to the good in the 89th minute, Alexis paced away to feed Bellerin. The right back crossed for Welbeck, but just missed the Arsenal striker, with Coquelin’s follow up saved by Heaton.

The fourth official’s board announced a massive seven minutes of time added on and that spurred on the Clarets. The 92nd minute saw a clumsy Coquelin tackle catch Barnes, and Jon Moss pointed straight to the penalty spot.

Up stepped Gray to strike the ball in despite Cech getting hand to it. 1-1 and that seemed to be that. Only it wasn’t.

Alexis saw his drive saved by Heaton in the 96th minute and a minute later,
Mee who along with Michael Keane had had an excellent game, struck his boot into Koscileny’s face as the Gunners defender was about to head the ball.

Penalty said Jon Moss and up stepped Alexis as cool as you like to strike home from 12 yards with a sublime Panneka down the middle. Arsenal had claimed all three points in the face of some self inflicted woe, but that will to win, to never give up bodes well for the remainder of the season.