Arsenal beat Burnley with a stoppage time goal for the third successive
time after an open encounter that could have gone either way. Arsene Wenger’s men earn a huge victory to take them into the top four.
Heartbreak for Burnley right at the end as the Gunners scored an injury-time penalty to render the hosts’ first-half efforts unprofitable. Boos rented the air when referee Lee Mason blew for full time, with the home crowd accustomed to similar scenes.
A grey and wet welcome for the Gunners in the east Lancaster hills added to the intimidating atmosphere inside Turf Moor as the hosts surged forward from the off. Both sides came into the fixture level on points and the rain lashing down on only added drama to an already suspenseful encounter.
Burnley looked more eager in front of their crowd and, with a top four spot up for grabs, came out on top in the opening exchanges as they piled bodies forward with threatening long balls that pushed the visitors into their own area. Gudmundsson lashed the ball off the post in the first real chance of the game before Arsenal showed their first sign of danger.
Alexandre Lacazette was struggling to have an impact on the game, but after 20 minutes he spinned Tarkowski by the touchline before flashing a cross for Ramsey in the box. The Welshman tried to keep his side-footed finish down but it flew over the bar.
But the Gunners were far from snapping into action. Burnley continued their impressive display and even moved Wenger’s men around the pitch with some decisive passing. Arsenal failed to cut Burnley’s supply lines out wide and most of the danger came from tantalising crosses into the box which the Gunners’ back line managed to deal with.
The away side tried to slow the game down by reclaiming possession, enjoying a brief spell on the ball towards the end of the first period. It came to en end with Arsenal failing to get a shot on target, while Cech was once again called into action to get across and deny Brady from the free-kick.
The former Lyon striker was starved of service with Mesut Ozil out through illness, and his replacement also failed to pose a threat. Sean Dyche seemed to fancy his chances as he brought on Wood to play alongside Barnes in a two-man forward line.
On paper, both teams appeared eager to win it, but they were reluctant to take unnecessary risks that could lead to devastating mistakes. As the game petered out and both teams’ position looked to remain unchanged, Turf Moor once again witnessed an ending shrouded in controversy.
Arsenal won 1-0 last season thanks to a 93rd minute winner that cannoned off Laurent Koscielny’s arm, and Burnley will once again feel like they have been wronged. Tarkowski was penalised for a shove on Ramsey inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Pope even got a touch of the ball before it found the back of the net and Alexis Sanchez became a Arsenal hero with his last-gasp winner to take his side up to fourth.