Calum Chambers got his first Arsenal goal, but Alexis Sánchez was once again the savior for Arsenal after finally providing the breakthrough against a resilient Burley side en route to a 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium. Having got the only goals in a 2-0 win over Sunderland last week and been decisive in earning points against Hull City and Anderlecht, the summer signing from Barcelona scored a determined header with 20 minutes remaining before adding his team’s third late on. It was the first, though, that was crucial, coming as it did when it was beginning to look like Arsenal may finish frustrated and having dropped yet more points in what has been a disappointing start to the season. Just over two minutes later Chambers, whose cross supplied Sánchez, pounced on the rebound after a Danny Welbeck effort had been blocked off the line to effectively seal a vital win.
The English teenager may get much attention for his first senior goal, but it was Sánchez who was again the leading light for Arsenal. His intensity both with and without the ball remains an example that his teammates need to follow and when he wasn’t peppering the Burnley goal with crafted efforts, he was skillfully setting up chances for others. The visitors’ goal led something of a charmed life throughout, but manager Sean Dyche can still be happy with the determination of his side to improve on 12 goals conceded in their last four matches, including three straight defeats that left the newly promoted side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.
Still, after Arsenal lacked precision in the final third for much of the contest, by the end the score line could have been an emphatic one. Sánchez’s close-range strike in injury time came after substitute Lukas Podolski almost destroyed the inside of the post with a crashing volley. It means that for the first time this season Arsenal record back-to-back wins in the Premier League. If they are to continue that form, keeping Sánchez fit and sharp will be key.
From the start it was clear that the Chilean would be instrumental to finding a way through a diligent Burnley backline. His fine buildup play set up Welbeck for a chance early on that looked on its way into the top corner before Kieran Tripper produced the first of several last-gasp defensive interventions for Dyche’s men. Arsenal should have had the ultimate chance to open the scoring in the 21st minute, but the officials somehow failed to spot George Boyd deliberately deflecting an Arsenal corner at the near post with his outstretched arm.
Sánchez was involved in giving Santi Cazorla a chance that he volleyed inches wide and the star of the show showed his work rate without the ball to lead to two opportunities for himself that the impressive Tome Heaton in the Burnley goal repelled before the interval. The struggling Lancashire outfit made it through to halftime and appeared to gain confidence from that achievement as they enjoyed their best spell of the match early in the second period. Wojciech Szczesny’s reckless run out of his goal might have proved costly for Arsenal, too, had Danny Ings been able to take advantage.
As it was, by the end Arsenal were comfortable winners. Michael Duff made a sensational diving block to deny Cazorla but the barriers were soon crucially breached. Chambers sent in a cross and Sánchez showed all his admirable determination to sprint to catch up with the ball and then leap above two far taller defenders to send a header low into the net. Their barriers broken, Burnley’s deficit became fatal when Chambers finished after the visitors failed to clear a corner and Welbeck’s effort was somehow blocked on the line.
Podolski might have had a couple for himself, but aptly the final word was left for Sánchez when he skillfully took Kieran Gibbs’ cross under his spell before delivering a clam finish to make it seven Premier League goals in as many starts.