Aubameyang hits double as Arsenal beat Burnley
Gunners are made to scrap for three points in bruising match at the Emirates Stadium - as boss Unai Emery looks ahead to another 'physical challenge' on Boxing Day
22 December, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
ARSENAL 3 (Aubameyang 14, 48, Iwobi 90+1)
BURNLEY 1 (Barnes 63)
UNAI Emery says he is bracing his team for another “physical challenge” when Arsenal travel to Brighton on Boxing Day.
The Gunners gaffer was talking after seeing his side earn a battling and bruising win over Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace, while Alex Iwobi was also on target as the hosts returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over the Clarets.
“We expected long balls, tackles and pushes – they also have good players and their attacking players created problems for us,” said Emery after seeing off Burnley. “We needed to impose our gameplan.
“It was a tough match, like we expected, and we are happy with this victory.
“Physicality is part of football and you need to be physically strong. Both teams needed to impose themselves physically and with quality. We imposed our gameplan in our moment and this victory is a consequence of this and we are pleased with this.
“We are expecting another physical game against Brighton, who are another good team with good players. We will be ready for the challenge.”
Arsenal raced into an early lead against Burnley. Mesut Ozil – wearing the captain’s armband in his first start in six Premier League matches – produced a sublime defence-splitting pass to Sead Kolasinac. The defender played a low cross into the box which found Aubameyang, who found the back of the net with a smart finish.
The goal was all that separated the two sides at half-time – remarkably the first time that Arsenal have led at the interval this season.
But within minutes of the restart it was 2-0 Aubameyang added the finishing touches to a quick counter-attack by smashing the ball past Joe Hart from an acute angle.
Burnley were gifted a route back into the game just after the hour mark when the Arsenal defence failed to clear a cross into the box, allowing Ashley Barnes to score from just six yards out.
The home fans grew increasingly nervous as Burnley desperately searched for an equaliser. They could finally let out a sigh of relief in stoppage time when Iwobi put the result beyond doubt from close range following good work from Ozil.
ARSENAL: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Monreal (Lichtsteiner, 37), Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Elneny (Torreira, 59), Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette (Iwobi, 78).
Substitutes not used: Cech, Saka, Ramsey, Nketiah.
BURNLEY: Hart, Bardsley (Lowton, 83), Tarkowski, Mee, Long, Taylor, Cork, Westwood, Hendrick, Barnes (Vokes, 77), Wood (Vydra, 77)
Substitutes not used: Heaton, Gibson, McNeil, Koiki.