Premier League: Alexis Sanchez’s injury-time penalty gives Arsenal victory over Burnley

Burnley defender James Tarkowski in action
Burnley defender James Tarkowski in action

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was left “raging” after Alexis Sanchez scored an injury-time penalty to give Arsenal victory at Turf Moor.

It was a repeat of last season’s meeting between the sides at Emirates Stadium, when Chilean Sanchez slotted in a 98th-minute spot-kick to win the game. It was also the third consecutive time that the Gunners had grabbed a winner in stoppage time against the Clarets.

“It is a coupon buster,” said Dyche. “I don’t think anyone would put a bet on that.

“I have told the players we continue to develop, we continue to move forward. I have also told them this is the reality. Football is a harsh game and sometimes it hurts you.

“There is a lot of me inside that is raging a lot. It was highly unlikely it was not going to get given on a day like today, that’s all I will say.”

The win moves Arsenal up to fourth in the table ahead of north London rivals Tottenham, who drew 1-1 against West Brom on Saturday.

The result was harsh on Dyche’s side, who defended valiantly and looked like grabbing at least a point, before referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot after defender James Tarkowski pushed Aaron Ramsey.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: “From outside it looked 100% a penalty. I don’t know why he pushed him in the back. I would like to see it again.”

Arsenal’s Petr Cech was the busier of the two goalkeepers, making two crucial saves to deny Johann Berg Gudmundsson, brilliantly tipping the Iceland international’s drive onto the post and keeping out a low, rasping shot.

Robbie Brady also had a free-kick towards the top corner pushed away by Cech.

Moving on up

Before the game, Arsenal had earned just four points away from home this season and their poor form on their travels looked to be continuing before Sanchez’s intervention.

Arsene Wenger’s side were missing the guile of playmaker Mesut Ozil, who was out through illness, and had just one other shot on target in the match, Lacazette’s low drive which was easily dealt with by keeper Nick Pope.

Nacho Monreal drilled a fizzing shot from 25 yards narrowly wide and substitute Jack Wilshere’s deflected effort wrong-footed Pope but sailed wide of goal.

Arsenal have now won all six league games in which both Sanchez and Lacazette have started, moving into a Champions League spot behind the two Manchester sides and defending champions Chelsea.

Wenger added: “It is early, the table changes from one week to another. We wanted to win away from home and we did it. Let’s focus on the next one.”

Tarkowski impresses before error

Manager Dyche will be feeling a sense of deja vu after another late loss against Arsenal.

In January, he would have thought Andre Gray’s 93rd-minute penalty was enough to gain a point, only for Sanchez to net a penalty five minutes later for a 2-1 win.

At Turf Moor last October, the hosts were on track for a 0-0 draw, before defender Laurent Koscielny’s goal three minutes into added time.

Burnley’s fine early-season form is built upon a solid and organised defensive base, marshalled by centre-backs Tarkowski and Ben Mee.

Tarkowski has come into the side for the departed Michael Keane and you can see why he has been touted for an international call-up with England.

His tally of eight clearances, five interceptions and three tackles was not bettered by any player on the pitch, although it was his foul that led to the goal.

Burnley’s familiar feeling – the stats

  • Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 10 top-flight matches against Burnley (won seven, drawn three).
  • Burnley have now lost their past three home Premier League games against Arsenal 1-0.
  • Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals in his past five league appearances against Burnley – he’s only scored more against Sunderland (six) and Hull (seven).
  • Three of Arsenal’s past four 1-0 away wins in the league have come at Turf Moor.
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