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Arsenal 3-1 Burnley: Emery’s men back to winning ways as Africans Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi strikes

The deserving star of the show was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – his brace taking his season tally to 15.

But for pure elegance and grandeur, Ozil was the only show in town.

With one swing of his left foot and a mesmeric, jinxing run, the German brought Burnley to their knees.

Here, on his first Premier League start since November 11, Ozil – wearing the captain’s armband – showed exactly why we shouldn’t discount him from Arsenal’s future just yet. 

His pass to set up Arsenal’s opener seared through the heart of Burnley.

Sead Kolasinac’s resultant cut-back was inch-perfect and Aubameyang’s finish was almost nonchalant. The Gabon striker’s celebration was anything but, as he launched himself into his trademark somersault.

He took the adulation, he deserves it – this his 14th goal of the season. But what came before it deserves its portion of applause. Eighteen passes – Ozil’s killer pass the best of the lot.

What vision. For those watching at home, Kolasinac wasn’t even in the picture as Ozil drew his left foot back to execute the pass.

Unsurprisingly, at least to some, Arsenal’s No 10 spotted him. Brilliant one minute, totally lacklustre the next. You don’t envy Emery’s dilemma. But with shows of quality like this, Emery simply can’t ignore Ozil. Impossible.

The rest of the half was scrappy to say the least. Ashley Barnes was booked for his angry reaction at a typically robust challenge from Sokratis. 

The Burnley forward was adamant the Greek defender aimed an elbow at him, his team-mates agreed as they rushed to the scene sparking an angry confrontation between both sets of players.

Referee Kevin Friend did well to placate the flashpoint.

Sokratis and Barnes clashed again moments before the break, the Gunners defender hauling back the attacker.


Arsenal (4-3-1-2): Leno 6.5; Maitland-Niles 7, Sokratis 7, Monreal 6 (Lichtsteiner 6, 37) Kolasinac 7; Elneny 6 (Torreira 59, 6), Xhaka 6, Guendouzi 7; Ozil 8; Lacazette 6.5 (Iwobi 78), Aubameyang 8.5.   

Subs not used: Cech, Ramsey, Nketiah, Saka.

Manager: Unai Emery 7.5

Goals: Aubameyang (14, 49)

Booked: Sokratis, Guendouzi

Burnley (5-3-2): Hart 7; Bardsley 6.5 (Lowton 83), Long 6, Tarkowski 6, Mee 6, Taylor 6; Westwood 6.5, Cork 6, Hendrick 6; Barnes 7 (Vokes 77), Wood 6 (Vydra 77) 

Subs not used: Heaton, Gibson, McNeil, Koiki.

Manager: Sean Dyche 6

Goals: Barnes (63)

Booked: Barnes, Mee, Cork, Westwood, Wood 

Referee: Kevin Friend 7 

Man of the Match: Aubameyang 


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