Mikel Arteta previews Burnley clash
Arsenal defeated Burnley 3-1 on Saturday to move up to second in the Premier League table. The Gunners have now won eight of their opening 12 top-flight matches of the campaign and have moved level on points with league leaders Manchester City. But Arsenal, who had Fabio Vieira sent off late on, will need to solve three issues if they want to compete for the title this season.
Arsenal dominated proceedings in north London but were frustrated during the first half as Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford made a number of fine saves to keep the scores level. And in an end-to-end encounter, David Raya was also called into action in the other goal.
Arsenal eventually got off the mark in stoppage time at the end of the opening period as Leandro Trossard headed in Bukayo Saka’s cross. But the visitors hit back as Josh Brownhill struck in the early stages of the second half. William Saliba put his side ahead for the second time in the match moments later as the Gunners found their rhythm. And the hosts eventually saw the game out as Oleksandr Zinchenko added a third with 16 minutes remaining.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will now be without Vieira following the player’s red card as the midfielder will be forced to serve a suspension. The Spaniard is already missing Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard through injury. And Express Sport takes a look at three other issues he needs to address following the victory over Burnley.
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Starting each half quicker
Arsenal started their latest clash in a dilatory manner as they allowed Burnley time on the ball. And the visitors got into the game as they looked to threaten the Gunners. It was a similar story in the second period as the Clarets pushed forward after the interval. And Brownhill gave the hosts a scare when he levelled the scores just before the hour mark. Another side may have taken advantage of the Gunners’ slow starts to each half.
Killing teams off early
Arsenal have a heavy workload this season as they are playing in the Champions League. And Arteta will want his side to kill games off early so he can rotate players during matches and give his stars a bit of a rest.
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Arsenal’s win was in danger for most of the match as they didn’t build a substantial lead until Zinchenko’s 74th minute strike made it 3-1. And against better teams than Burnley, the pressure of not running away with matches may have a negative impact on Arteta’s side and cause them to implode. They did put Sheffield United to the sword in their last Premier League encounter on home soil as they defeated the Blades 5-0. And the north Londoners will want to put games to bed earlier on.
Keeping clean sheets at the Emirates
Brownhill’s goal means Arsenal have only kept two clean sheets in their six Premier League matches at the Emirates Stadium this season. Last term, Arteta’s team only managed four shut outs all season. If teams think the Gunners are weak at the back in front of their own fans, they may start to believe they can cause the north Londoners all sorts of problems. And that could prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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