After last weeks majestic 4-1 demolition of Liverpool at the Emirates, it was always going to be hard to emulate the performance at relegation-threatened Burnley yesterday, but Aaron Ramsey’s early slice gave the Gunners a lead to defend.
It wasn’t pretty, but Arsenal held on to record their eighth straight win in the Premiership, and Arsene Wenger was in no doubt who earned the points. “I’m pleased with the performance because it was a more fighting performance than a fluent performance.” Le prof said after the game.
“Many people question us on that side but I would first say that I’m surprised by the quality of Burnley. It would be a shame if they go down because they are fantastically well organised, they press very well, they have a great solidarity, they are very fit and I understand now why they took points from the big teams here. We had to fight, we had to be combative until the end and we couldn’t score the second goal. Our defenders played well today and won us the three points.”
Burnley definitely made it hard for us, and made Wenger’s men work harder than Liverpool did last week. “It was a different test. At some stages at the start of the second half I thought we were under pressure to concede a goal because we didn’t start very well. In the last 20 minutes it looked like they got a little bit tired and we could have scored a second goal. There were periods in the game where we need to be tight, well organised and calm at the back, and I think our defenders and goalkeeper deserve credit.”
Now Arsenal have the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final next weekend at Wembley, before facing Chelsea back at home. Wenger is still refusing to admit that we could catch our London rivals by the end of the campaign. “Nothing has changed. Chelsea are still too comfortable. We need a perfect run and we need a non-perfect run from them. We cannot master that, we can only master our attitude. I feel they are still in a comfortable position.
“We want to keep winning because we have to look behind us as well. Manchester City, Manchester United, Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham are behind us but we have made a little bit of distance between us. Manchester United and Manchester City are closer to us.
“We don’t want to stop the run. We’ve won 16 of the last 18 so we are consistent. There’s a good attitude in the team and great quality. Let’s see. It’s a challenge for a team not to forget how much it hurts to lose a game and focus on winning the next one.”
And if we KEEP winning the next one, and the next one, who knows where it will all end?