By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal starting with Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Nelson.
On the beach : Martinez, Chambers, Kolasinac, Pepe, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Martinelli.
So a starting place for Ceballos and Luiz two of our new players.
Arsenal having a good start and pushing Burnley back in their half. Ceballos with a first attempt but it goes a few meters wide. Arsenal get a free kick that is headed by Sokratis to Lacazette who is free in front of goal but the keeper can push the ball over the crossbar. The corner is given and Lacazette gets the ball in a crowded area. Pieters is all over him and Lacazette goes down but manages to keep control of the ball and shoots while on the floor and the ball goes through the legs of the Burnley keeper. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal after 13 minutes. Deserved on what we have seen so far.
A long ball finds Barnes for Burnley but he drags his shot wide. Better stay focussed! Burnley using the block the keeper tactic on corners and Dean does nothing of course. Leno with a good stop but it was offside anyway. Another corner and another goal moth scramble but Guendouzi can clear the ball in the end. A long ball finds a Burnley playr completely unmarked but luckily his cross is bad and Maitland-Niles can clear. Meanwhile we are practicing russian roulette in our own penalty area with playing the ball around dangerously. Ceballos is certainly looking to be an addition to the squad with neat footwork and running around a lot trying to get us going forward but we don’t really produce a lot for the moment. Burnley has taken the match in control.
Aubameyang gets a yellow card for being too close to a free kick when it is taken. A good attack finally and Guendouzi has a shot but the keeper can stop the shot with his leg and then Burnley can clear. Burnley counter and the ball gets deflected and falls to Barnes who can score from close range. 1-1 after 43 minutes.
Arsenal wakes up and a good combination on the left flank brings Monreal in some space and his cross is expertly finished by Nelson but the flag had gone up. The VAR confirms the decision on the field. Monreal was one foot offside. Mind you the linesman on this side had hawk eyes during the first half as he even stopped us when we were not offside. But correct is correct so 1-1 at the end of the first half.
One change at half time. Pepe came for Nelson who sat on the bench with an ice bag on his ankle. Pepe very lively from the start. Almost a good combination with Aubameyang but the cross is cut out. A bit later Aubameyang with a shot from distance but the ball sails wide off the post. Pepe with a good ball to Aubameyang but the keeper can smother his effort. Burnley with a header that goes over. But they are on the back foot since the start of the second half with Arsenal dominating.
Ceballos with an effort from just outside the penalty area but Pope with another save for Burnley. Ceballos loses the ball but wins it back and gives it to Aubameyang who comes in from the left flank and has a shot from just outside the penalty area that beats the keeper. GOAL!! 2-1 after 64 minutes.
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Let us hope we don’t fall back in a defending position like we did in the first half. Guendouzi doing just enough to prevent a chance for Burnley. Kolasinac comes on for Lacazette. Pepe with some outrageous skills but he is stopped by a number of Burnley defenders in the end. Could have used one of his teammates better maybe. Again Guendouzi with an important intervention when Burnley look dangerous.
After 83 minutes Torreira comes on for Ceballos who had a great first match at the Emirates. In the last minute Willock with a great run finding Torreira but again Pope can save the ball and keeps the tension in this match. Pepe breaks away but his pass is behind Aubameyang and Burnley can counter on their turn. Dean thinks he has to book a few more Arsenal players so Luiz and Sokratis get a booking. Burnley get a corner that is not really cleared and Luiz has to head it over his own crossbar. The Burnley keeper is in our penalty area for the corners but Rodriguez for Burnley shoots well over. Dean lets us play for almost 6 minutes despite only 4 minutes being shown by the 4th ref. Barnes also gets a yellow card from Dean probably to even things up a bit.
Arsenal win 2-1 against Burnley. I hope we don’t use this tactic of scoring and then falling bak around our penalty area too much as it invites pressure on our defence. Also the playing the ball in our own penalty area looks terribly dangerous and only lead to 1 good attack from playing yourself out of it. A tactic I really don’t like as we invite pressure and we spend some 10 minutes of the match playing the ball around in our penalty area with a high risk. Better listen to Johan Cruijff who use to say: when the ball is in the penalty area of the opposition they usually can’t score in our goal.