Arsenal 3-1 Burnley: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brace seals welcome victory
PUBLISHED: 14:22 22 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:31 22 December 2018
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Arsenal hosted Burnley at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime. Read on for Layth Yousif's match report.
A brace by striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a welcome win for Arsenal as they beat a determined Burnley side 2-1 at the Emirates on Saturday.
The former Borussia Dortmund attacker grabbed a goal in each half before Ashley Barnes pulled one back, before Alex Iwobi grabbed a late third as the Gunners held on to claim the victory after two defeats in a row this week.
Unai Emery made Mesut Ozil captain for the day against Sean Dyche’s Clarets while leaving the impressive Lucas Torreira on the bench.
In a lively start on a gloriously sunny winter’s afternoon Arsenal were denied by James Tarkowski’s last-ditch challenge after Aubameyang narrowly failed to get on the end of Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ ball across the box.
The Clarets immediately broke on the counter before Ashley Westwood dragged a shot wide with only Leno to beat when well-placed.
Ozil, playing as if he had a point to prove – which surely was the intended effect of Emery’s tough-love man-management this week – curled the ball into an onrushing Sead Kolasinac who pulled it back for Aubameyang to slot home past former England keeper Joe Hart on 13 minutes to make it 1-0.
With eight minutes remaining Sokratis and Ashley Barnes tangled on the touchline. While tempers flared enough for referee Kevin Friend to issue a yellow card to the 30-year-old Austrian U20 cap – who qualified through a paternal grandparent from Klagenfurt – of more pressing concern was Nacho Monreal forced to leave the pitch.
With games coming thick and fast the last thing Emery needs is to lose another experienced defender as Stephan Lichtsteiner came on.
The lead was doubled shortly after the interval when Aubemeyang grabbed his second of the match with an emphatic finish at Hart’s near post following a sweeping move.
However, just as the game seemed to be safe poor Arsenal defending on 62 minutes saw Barnes fire home from close range after the home backline failed to clear their lines on five occasions as the former Brighton striker made it 2-1.
As the clock ticked down the home side saw out the game as Iwobi made the match safe with seconds to go to seal a much-needed triumph at the end of Emery’s most difficult week since August.