Showing posts with label Burnley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burnley. Show all posts

24 September 2021

A Leviathan Rises From the Deep...

Three wins from three. Five goals scored from five different scorers. At a risk of sounding melodramatic, there is absolutely no other conclusion to draw other than the Arsenal, the mighty, mighty Arsenal, are back. Okay, so that was a touch more than melodramatic, but, still, it's hard to resist letting just a touch of optimism creep in after such a dire start to this campaign and after such gloomy campaigns prior. Consecutive 8th-place finishes are nothing to write home about, and it's perhaps little surprise that yours truly had stopped writing. This, my friends, is my first post since April 2019—approaching 30 months, give or take. I wonder if I'm as bad as this now as I was back then. Time will tell. Enough about me. It's my least-favorite subject. Back to the action on the pitch and, well, adjacent to it.

06 May 2018

Arsenal 5:0 Burnley—Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Well, if you're going to bid adieu to a manager of 22 seasons, you could do worse than we did today—a clean sheet and five goals in a dominant, confident outing, never truly troubled by Burnley even if the visitors might have fancied a chance at getting level on points with us. About the only element missing from the otherwise-perfect performances might be a cameo from Santi Cazorla. As it was, the margin was comfortable enough to allow Per Mertesacker a chance to come in and earn an ovation or two. Anyway, it was an inspired, organized performance that should remind us that the squad has some quality in it. Arsène may not have gotten the send-off season he deserved, but this result should warm his heart all the same. Enough maudlin stuff, though; let's get to the poll!

27 November 2017

Ramsey, Sterling, and the Art of the Dive...

Arjen Robben. Luis Suárez. Didier Drogba. All gifted in their own ways, but especially when it comes to simulation. Few if any could pantomime what it must feel like to get shot by a sniper and what it looks like to flop around like an electrocuted fish in the hull of a dory. It's a pity that such thespian theatrics are not rewarded by the Academy Awards. It's more of a pity that those antics are so frequently rewarded by the referees. With that in mind, we have two case studies: the penalty that Aaron Ramsey earned against Burnley, and the the penalty that Raheem Sterling earned against Huddersfield. 'Twixt the two, can we split any hairs?

26 November 2017

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings/MOTM!

Wave after wave of the Arsenal attack crashed up against Burnley's defense but looked like we'd never break through. The hosts had a number of chances in the first half but seemed to settle on defending with tenacity in the second as Arsenal probed and pressed for a goal. It was always going to be tough to score here; Burnley have only conceded two goals in six matches. It seemed like we'd squander a chance to gain ground on Tottenham, Liverpool, and Chelsea, who all drew on Saturday. Then, in stoppage time, Tachowski brought Ramsey down in the box and Lee Mason pointed to the spot. Alexis made no mistake, and that's 0-1 to the Arsenal. Let's get down to the poll!

30 September 2016

Are Burnley banana-peel or simply brown trout?

There is optimism, and there is overconfidence. Arsenal have just emerged from a dense, dense thicket through which the squad played no less than four matches in just 12 days. That we won all four has bred a fair amount of chest-pounding and back-slapping, The feeling of braggadocio has only swollen as we look ahead to fixtures to come and reckon that the next half-dozen or so should, by rights, end with maximum points. Burnley, newly promoted though they may be, represent just the sort of banana-peel we can ill-afford to slip on if we expect to match or improve on our second-place finish of last season.

30 January 2016

Of Sinners and Saints: can Theo score? Can Ox convince?

This was his moment, the perfect moment, the one scripted for him above all others. Subbed on late in the match gainst a visiting lower-tier side chasing an equaliser in the world's oldest association football competition, Theo Walcott found himself one on one with the keeper. Heaton was 15 yards off the line when Theo collected the ball, 25 yards from goal. These are the moments Theo lives for and scores from, are they not? However, he bottled it, trying to dribble Heaton only to have the chance snuffed out. With that, he might have killed two birds with one stone; the first being the chance itself and the second being Oxlade-Chamberlain's revival. It's the second I'm more concerned with...

Mohamed Elneny's Debut vs. Burnley: Match Highlights

In what looks to be Arsenal's only signing of the January window, Mohamed Elneny delivered a reassuring if not quite inspiring performance against Championship-side Burnley in the FA Cup fourth round tie, which Arsenal won 2-1. In the highlights below, you'll see a confident, composed defensive midfielder who slotted in quite well, moving about to offer support, drag opponents out of position, or disrupt counters. He might remind you of Alex Song—but without the reckless forays forward or the hopelessly optimistic hoofed-forward passes. He was unafraid to shoot from distance and asked questions of the keeper, coming close to scoring but for a fine save. Time will tell whether he can manage a similarly strong performance against stiffer opposition; for now, he looks like competent cover in the defensive midfield. Give the Egyptian a gander in the highlight reel below...

Thanks go to TerryAFC, whom you can follow on Twitter and to whose Youtube channel you can subscribe here.

Arsenal 2-1 Burnley: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

Arsenal fielded a much-changed side, making nine changes from last weekend, and struggled at times with a spirited Burnley side. The return of Alexis brought a much-needed boost as the Chilean assisted Calum Chambers's goal to open the scoring, then delivered the second goal after a beautiful, free-flowing sequence reminiscent of Arsenal at its finest. It wasn't always impressive but it was enough to see us through to the FA Cup fifth round. We'll take a closer look at how the lads performed later; for now, get down to the poll to give 'em what they deserve!

29 January 2016

Unleash Elneny! There. That is all.

After three disappointing results in the Prem, the FA Cup offers a welcome break as we host Burnley on Saturday with a golden chance at advancing to the fifth round proper. The Clarets did make a cameo in the Prem last season only to rejoin the Championship, where they currently sit third behind Hull and Middlesbrough, each of whom has featured in our recent FA Cup wins in recent seasons. Saturday will also reunite us with an old friend in Joey Barton, who I'm sure relishes a chance to play the cartoonish villain yet again. We'd do best to ignore his antics; he's just as likely to get sent off as to get someone sent off.

11 April 2015

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal. Vote for Player-Ratings/MotM

A twelfth minute goal from Aaron Ramsey put the visitors ahead, and that's about all the action there was to report; Arsenal kept 69% possession and held the Clarets at arm's length, and the hosts just couldn't muster any pressure or chances to speak of. There were a few queasy moments, to be sure, but we were good enough to claim an eighth straight victory. The result brings us to within four points of Chelsea (who have played two fewer matches as of this post) while heaping pressure on the Manchesters ahead of their Sunday derby. For those who like their schadenfreude, Tottenham lost at home to Aston Villa, dropping them to seventh and reducing the St. Totteringham's magic number to six. We'll revisit that later; for now, let's get back to the Burnley result and rate the our lads' efforts!

10 April 2015

Burnley-Arsenal Tactical Preview—sorry, Theo; this one's not meant for you...

All of the talk around Arsenal lately has centered on how well we’ve done in winning seven in row—can we actually challenge Chelsea? Along the way, certain matches have been highlighted and others neglected, as if we can blithely blitz a few “lesser” opponents as we waltz our way towards a Prem title. Thank you, Burnley, for serving notice that all is not quite done and dusted yet. In recent weeks, after all, the Clarets have found a way to earn a draw at Stamford Bridge, win at home against Manchester City, and earn another draw at home against Tottenham. We might sneer at that last one, but we’d do so at our own peril.

02 November 2014

Are you not entertained? What will it take to slake Gooners' thirst?

I think we can all agree that 70 minutes was a lot longer than any of us would have chosen as the moment when we finally broke through against Burnley, they of the -11 goal differential. After all, they'd managed a woeful four points, scored only five goals over all, and hadn't won a single match. We should steam-roll them them, scoring early and often on our way to putting this one to bed well before halftime. Even the gloomiest of Gooners wouldn't begrudge such a start, even given our apparent inability to keep a clean sheet or score the first goal. This was to be, after all, a invigorating, revitalizing fixture, one that would allow us to lay to rest if not slay certain demons that have beset us so often.

Ohhh, Santi Cazorla...
However, the first half unfolded as all too many have unfolded before, with Arsenal dominating possession (rising to as high as 85% at one point) but little to show for it but a few squandered chances, a handful of howitzers into the stands, and a nifty save or two from the keeper. And so we went into halftime locked in a scoreless draw against an opponent who seemed more than happy to batten down the hatches and ride out the onslaught, with the idea of a scoreless draw all the more galling against the backdrop of them having conceded 12 goals in their previous four fixtures. By the time Cazorla gave the gentlest of touches to a ball eight yards away from an empty net only to see it snuffed out, it looked indeed like we'd have to resign ourselves to a draw, with us wasting our best chances once again.

However, such a mindset, borne though it may be of many other frustrations, was misbegotten. Burnley may have set out to stubbornly deny us, keeping eight men in and around the box in order to frustrate us, hoping that the pressure on us to score would build to such a pitch that we'd be undone, with boos and cat-calls reigning down on Arsène, as the demands to bring on Walcott became well-nigh irresistible. Their plan was working for the most part, which made it easy for us to focus on how empty-handed we were with more than 3/4ths of the match gone, a drought perhaps punctuated by the near-misses and flubbed chances. Instead of celebrating what almost came to pass, we've convinced ourselves to regret them as what would never be, whether it be a brilliant save, a wasteful shot, or a missed hand-ball. Each moment of Alexisian brilliance that came to nought only offered a reminder of how much we've relied on him to this point and how bereft of other options we have when he can't quite deliver.

So it was fitting and just that Alexis found a way to finally break through. In that 70th minute, one we usually jeer as the one in which Arsène finally makes a substitution, Alexis nodded home from a Chambers cross, and the rout we had expected was on. Barely 130 seconds later, Chambers opened his account—on a set-piece, no less—and while it's true that we had to wait almost 20 more minutes, Alexis found our eighth stoppage-time goal on a deft cross-in from Gibbs, and we finally had a scoreline that lived up to our feverish dreams. For helpful contrast, Chelsea, they of the undefeated season and +15 goal differential, needed a dodgy penalty to see off QPR at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool lost 1-0 at St. James's Park, and Everton stumbled a to a scoreless draw at Goodison Park against ten-man Swansea. Patience, in other words, is a virtue.

For one reason or another, we like to leave it late. Whether that's a credit to our opponents' stalwart defense, a demerit against our stubborn attack, or some mixture of the two, it might be starting to pay off. We've won three games on the bounce, and while it may be comforting to see us seize earlier leads, we're starting to show signs of life. Chelsea, despite their indomitable start, are but nine points ahead. That might sound like a lot until you consider just how average we've been and how perfect they've been. We're off to a slow start, to be sure, and it might already be too late to reel them in. Time will tell.

Some would say that the 3-0 scoreline flatters us because the goals all came in the last 20-odd minutes of the match against a club that looks ready for relegation. They'd have a point. Then again, Arsenal have all three. No, the goals didn't come as early as we might have hoped. When do they ever? On this day, the waiting was not borne of wastefulness on our part so much as it was from diligence on theirs. We've grown accustomed to seeing the glass half-empty; on this day, we should see it as more than half-full, if not overflowing.


01 November 2014

Gunners 3-0 Burnley: Alexis is a one-man wrecking crew [video]

After a long, frustrating 70 minutes in which we utterly dominated an overmatched Burnley—who predictably sat back to absorb pressure and look for quick counters and who were certainly content to play for the draw—Alexis sliced them open with a header from close range from a cross in from Chambers, who opened his Arsenal account just over two minutes later. Alexis added a stoppage-time goal, his 10th goal for Arsenal and our eighth stoppage-time goal of the season, to make the final scoreline 3-0. That may flatter us a bit, but we—by which I might mean Alexis—worked hard for it. Burnley didn't get a shot on target until late on, and we had many chances snuffed out by Heaton, who made save after key save. Despite his efforts, we come away with a fine win, highlighted by the return of Theo Walcott who didn't have much to do in his ten-minute cameo. Check out the highlights below...

30 October 2014

"Striker returns from injury with wonder-goal against Burnley"

We're all waiting anxiously for the return of Theo Walcott to make his first first-team appearance since tearing his ACL back in January 2014. While we're waiting, it might be worth a quick look back at an earlier return from an admittedly more-gruesome injury. I refer of course to Eduardo "Dudu" da Silva, who returned from that broken leg to score a wonderful goal against Burnley in the FA Cup, turning Alex Song's cross into the net off his ankle:

For those seeking further symbolism, this was also a match that saw Theo Walcott return to action after injuring his shoulder and missing four months of action. Interesting parallels, to be sure, but let's hope that's as far it goes, seeing as how Eduardo never quite regained the form he showed before having his leg snapped so brutally.

I'll offer you Mark Twain's thoughts on the subject: "history doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes".

29 October 2014

Walcott set to make his return against Burnley...

Let's make one thing clear from the get-go: Burnley are on one hand precisely the kind of banana-peel you'd expect Arsenal to slip on. They're winless to date, and they've scored the fewest goals while conceding the most in the Prem. Their away-record is even worse. At home, they've at least earned a couple of draws. Away from Turf Moor, they're winless and toothless, having scored but one while conceding 12 in four matches. It seems almost unfair, therefore, to unleash against them one of our most fearsome players, one who might be working his way back from injury but who is chomping at the bit: Theo Walcott.