Arsenal continued their unblemished start to the new Premier League season with a battling 2-1 victory over Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, on target in last weekend’s win at Newcastle United, fired in his second decisive goal in as many games after the hour to move Unai Emery’s men to six points from two matches.
Alexandre Lacazette earlier opened the scoring in the 13th minute, only for Ashley Barnes to respond in fortuitous fashion shortly before the break.
An impressive performance from Dani Ceballos inspired Arsenal’s recovery and debutant David Luiz held the home side’s defence together to give the Gunners an 11th straight win over Burnley in all competitions.
Lacazette tested goalkeeper Nick Pope with a close-range header before scoring from the resulting corner.
With his back to goal at the near post, the French forward managed to spin and squeeze a shot through Pope’s legs.
28 – Alexandre Lacazette has been directly involved in 28 goals (21 goals and seven assists) in 36 Premier League appearances for Arsenal at the Emirates, more than any other teammate since his debut. Comforts. pic.twitter.com/61rZ8UKcr7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 17, 2019
Pope remained busy until Barnes equalised two minutes from half-time, cushioning Dwight McNeil’s deflected effort and prodding home despite Matteo Guendouzi’s best efforts.
Reiss Nelson had the ball in the net a few moments later, but Nacho Monreal was correctly adjudged offside in the build-up.
That proved winger Nelson’s final act as club-record signing Nicolas Pepe entered the fray at half-time.
Pope produced another two fine saves either side of the hour but could do little about the 64th-minute winner.
Ceballos was the architect of the move as he won the ball back in midfield and fed it forward to Aubameyang, who rifled into the bottom-left corner to end Burnley’s resistance.
What does it mean? Emery moves towards strongest XI
Arsenal boss Emery could have played it safe with his team selection after a laboured defeat of Newcastle at St James’ Park.
Instead, the Spaniard made three changes – one enforced, with Granit Xhaka injured – and reaped the rewards, as Ceballos, Lacazette and David Luiz all made the most of their inclusions.
Ceballos settles in on first start
On loan from Real Madrid, midfielder Ceballos looked every inch a top LaLiga talent as his guile on the ball created two match-winning assists.
3 – Dani Ceballos is just the third Arsenal player to register 2+ assists on his first Premier League start for the Gunners after Ray Parlour and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Impression. pic.twitter.com/S15jdjRCbL
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 17, 2019
Mee fails to contain Arsenal forwards
Clarets centre-back Ben Mee will feel he should have stopped Lacazette unleashing a shot for the opener and that was not his only indignity, with Pepe completely bamboozling him in the second half.
Key Opta Facts
– Arsenal have won their first two games of a Premier League season for the first time since 2009-10.
– Burnley boss Sean Dyche has lost all nine of his Premier League matches against Arsenal – the joint worst 100 per cent losing ratio by a manager against an opponent in the competition along with Gary Megson against Liverpool (9/9).
– Arsenal have won their last 10 Premier League games against Burnley – they have only enjoyed a longer run against Manchester City (11 between 1994 and 2004), also winning 10 against Newcastle between 2012 and 2017.
– Aubameyang has scored seven goals against Burnley in four league appearances, four more goals than he has netted against any other Premier League side.
– Ceballos is just the third player to assist two or more goals on his first Premier League start for Arsenal, after Ray Parlour (two against Liverpool in August 1992) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (three against Everton in February 2018).
Arsenal travel to Merseyside for a difficult date with Liverpool next Saturday, while Burnley visit Wolves the following day.
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