Arsenal have stuttered their way into a 1-1 draw away to Burnley today, but the tie was marred with controversy.
We started the match brightly and were instantly rewarded for their efforts.
Willian plays it over to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left side of the box, and the Gabon international works his way into the penalty area and crosses past the defender to create space and fires hard and low to the goalkeeper’s right to score in only the sixth minute of play.
We continued to look bright as we piled forwards, causing all sorts of trouble to our rivals, and Bukayo Saka and PEA combined with a delightful one-two to put the youngster in on goal (albeit with some lucky connections off the defence), but he couldn’t get his effort on target from close range.
The youngster wasn’t at his competent best when being put in on goal for a second time shortly after, and the defender eventually dispossesses him as he tries to ready up his shot.
Burnley were doing very little to challenge Bernd Leno, but before you knew it, the nightmare struck.
Our defenders and Leno turned down the chance to clear despite strong pressure on the ball, and the goalkeeper lays it off to Xhaka inside his box before two players close in on the ball. The Swiss midfielder tries to play it to Calum Chambers at RB but fails, and instead his effort cannons off Chris Wood and goes straight into the net.
We went into the break frustrated knowing we could well have found ourselves 4-0 up and coasting, but instead go into the break level.
The Clarets were better in the second-half as they went in search of a winner, but Bernd Leno saved our blushes on a couple of occasions in the opening 20 minutes after the restart, but then we came to life.
I’m a little amazed that none of our clearcut chances were put away. Nicolas Pepe came closest when the defender blocked with his shoulder from near the goal-line, before a late flurry of shots saw Dani Ceballos smash it against the post, and Arsenal will make the trip back to London frustrated knowing that it was two points dropped today.
I’m not entirely sure how the referee and VAR haven’t allowed our penalty when the defender clearly handles the ball inside the box under pressure from Nicolas Pepe, and VAR did step in to overturn a penalty and a red card decision which would have given us the ideal opportunity to close the game out,
but the real issue today was our finishing.
We had 16 shots today but were only able to test the goalkeeper on three occasions, and our confidence will no doubt take a blow after that result.